Date read: 03.03.2017. How strongly I recommend it: 9/10.
It is safe to say that the draw of this book reaches far and wide as conversations about terrorism, military personnel and pondering about the validity of war now permeates 21st century humanity. People want to point to a hero in the midst of a sea of uncertainty. Thus it is easy to gravitate toward Adam Brown. This book honors military personnel while giving civilians an extensive panorama into the complex life of an American soldier. As a cross-cultural missionary, I would also add that there are many layers and similarities between the life of a soldier and the Christian missions endeavor. The overtone of faith broadly expands the reach of this book.
This book writes itself. This I say with no ill intention to the author. He does a good job of walking the reader through the life of a modern day hero, Navy SEAL Adam Brown. Simply put, Adam’s life was a unique example of bravery for many of us who live what we might consider much more “normal” lives. This book is not one that encourages highlighting specific texts or statements. I found myself cruising through each chapter, drifting to into the depths of Adam’s life: His victories, struggles, his humanity. At times I would pause, teary eyed or delighted, struck by how closely I resonated with his desire for meaning and purpose. His story begins (and continues midway through the book) as an unembellished recollection of life events. Then somewhere in the middle of the book the story turns to a jaw-dropping narrative of faith, sacrifice and fearlessness.
There are many lessons to be learned in this book, but I feel that the overarching message is found in the humanity of an individual who craves, freedom, justice and purpose. I walked away from this book with a poignant sense of my own longing to be a faithful husband, a loving father, a better man, while pursuing a path that carries eternal significance. Christian faith is the underlying foundation of this story, and though the author himself does not claim to share these beliefs, he writes with unbiased opinion about the Christian faith he encounters in the life of Adam brown. I found the author’s religious neutrality and dedication to an unvarnished faith account quite refreshing.
The inclusion of notes, letters, inscriptions of medals and honorary mentions placed between the ongoing narrative was very agreeable. This book is predominantly chronological with occasional glimpses into the past. This made the book an easy read, but for my taste, lacked a creative edge. That being said, I will reiterate that this book writes itself. The story of Adam Brown’s life is an exceptional one and therefore an inspiring read. I generally like to catch glimpses of the internal struggles taking place in the hearts or minds of a character. Fearless did describe these sensations, albeit, in my opinion, not as in depth as I would have liked to hear them.
Generally when I write about the language selection found in a book I am reviewing, I consider broad vocabulary, creative texts and introspective thoughts. For this particular book, this section might be better suited in describing the overall “flavor” or “feel” of how this book is aptly recorded. In my opinion, the occasional swear words and stark humanity that the narrative describes is much more believable when the word “shit” is used in place of the dumbed-down expression “crap”, “darn” or “shoot”. The author’s manner of communication felt “real world” and palatable, yet not tasteless or crass.
There were several times when I felt my eyes well up with moisture as I read Fearless. As a cross-cultural missionary for the past 20 years, I resonated with the comings and goings of a military man; of leaving family, missing loved ones, and questioning one’s own validity of heroism. Adam Brown’s humility shines forth in this book. He never considered himself a hero, though his admiration of bravery for the men around him was poignant. This “fearless” attitude and outlook on life is an example that I hope to follow. Fearlessness blended with humility makes a man strong. I find myself particularly challenged and motivated simply to be the man I was made to be while pursuing the purpose God has placed upon my life.
10 POINT RATING
I give Fearless a 9/10.