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No Easy Day (Owen) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for No Easy Day:

1. Why has "Mark Owen" written this book—what was his purpose? Is this a "tell-all" account...or something else?

2. Talk about the Navy SEALs—their mindset and toughness. What makes them different from other branches of the military? In fact, how does Team 6 differ from the other SEAL teams? Why was this particular team chosen for the attack on bin Laden's compound?

3. How does one become a SEAL—what qualities are looked for in a potential SEAL?

4. Talk about the training, physical and mental, that prepares SEALs for the road ahead.

5. What about the book's title, "No easy day"? It refers to a SEAL saying that "the only easy day was yesterday." Talk about the meaning of that sentence—what does it suggest about the SEALs?

6. How did Owen's own background shape his career? What was it about the book, Men in Green Faces, that inspired Owen?

7. Talk about the men's camaraderie among the men in SEAL Team 6. What causes the tight bonds? Do other military services have the same personal ties?

8. How does the information in this book either jibe with or differ from other accounts of the Abbottabad attack that you've either read or heard?

9. Talk about the intelligence, or lack of intelligence, regarding the Abbottabad hideout. Although CIA analysist Jen says she is "one hundred percent" certain that bin Laden was hiding there, could she be truly sure? Why...or why not?

10. What is Owen's reaction when he finds that bin Laden's guns were not loaded? He says "There is no honor in sending people to die for something you won't even fight for yourself." Do you find that an accurate, true, or distorted statement of bin Laden...or, indeed, of any leader?

11. During a rehearsal of the attack, a lawyer tells the SEALs that if bin Laden "is naked with his hands up, you're not going to engage him.... You will detain him." Why was that procedure not followed. Should it have been? What might have happened had bin Laden been captured alive?

12. Were you shocked by the men's (including Owen's) handling, of the "dead weight" of bin Laden's body? Do bin Laden's remains deserve respectful treatment...or not? What does their handling of the body suggest about the SEAL's attitude toward bin Laden and toward their jobs in general?

13. After the attack, how did the SEALs react to the President's press conference? What were they concerned might happen during the announcement? Why did the announcement feel anticlimactic?

14. What have you learned—about the SEALS, the operation, or the actual attack—that you did't know before reading No Easy Day.

15. Does this book live up to expectations? Even knowing the outcome, did you find it suspenseful? How so...or why not?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, onlne or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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