A typical Krakauer book... well-researched, and looking at the main character from several points of view. Also, as usual, some informative digressions...in this book mainly re: Iraq/Afghanistan and al-Qaeda/Taliban. The portrait of Pat Tillman is that of a rugged individualist, an alpha male, who nevertheless had an emotional and intellectual side. The most interesting chapters deal with Army life and Pat's deployment into Afghanistan. There is considerable detail re: Tillman's death and subsequent events.
The lasting emotion for me is sadness for Pat, his wife Marie, and their families.
An excellent book.
This book made me sad. And angry. It reveals the details of football player Pat Tillmans death by friendly fire in Afghanistan and the subsequent cover-up of the details of his death.
Few come off well in this tale. Particularly appalling to me was what appeared as incompetence at best and intentional deception at worst at numerous levels of the government, including the command structure of the Army Rangers. At times, Krakauer also seems appalled; theres almost a sense that he felt to keep a cold objectivity for events so strikingly suspicious would somehow be deception itself. At times, he steps away and simply lets the participants tell the story in their own words in direct quotes from interviews or court transcripts. It is as if he is trying to convey, I am not making this up.
While the story of Pat Tillmans life before his stint in the Army is a quick read, the players and places and events of the major engagements in Afghanistan are confusing and require careful attention. What is incontrovertible in this book is the confusion and terror that attend heated firefights. I felt great sadness as Krakauer outlined one small blunder after another that I knew would end in Tillmans death.
What a shame that the events in this book did not engender in me as deep a regard for the remarkable person that was Pat Tillman as it left me with a sense of disillusionment from what clearly appears as a cover-up. And that may be the greatest tragedy of all.