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Big Mac book review: Lone Survivor is painfully amazing

Book-jacket-lone-survivor-hi-resNot sure there is any way director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg can do justice to Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell's book, "Lone Survivor" but we will soon know if their Hollywood version can even come close.

This does not need to be "Based on a true story." The movie should just be, "A true story." The only problem is the truth may be too incredible to believe.

How Marcus Luttrell is alive today is ... incredible.

In an interview, the SEAL said the Hollywood production of his first hand account of the Afghanistan mission that killed three of his buddies, as well as several others in a failed rescue attempt, is the most important version. He knows more people will see this film than read his book, or watch any of his interviews.

The movie is released on Christmas Day in limited release, and everywhere on Jan. 10.

The book chronicles Luttrell's successful attempt to become a Navy SEAL, but focuses primarily on the 2005 Operation Red Wings - a now infamous mission in Afghanistan.

The last 250 pages of this 400-page book is as engrossing as a book can be; Luttrell's mission into the Afghan mountains went to hell because, as he tells, he followed the rules in a war where the enemy follows nothing.

What began as a mission to take some pictures and nail down the location of a Taliban warlord quickly turned into firefight where Luttrell and his friends were decidely outnumbered against heavily armed, and poorly trained, fighters.

NavysealsThree SEALS fought to their death, literally, while Luttrell survived and eventually found refuge among a small village of Pushtuns who agreed to protect him to their own death if needed.

Luttrell is no fan of the American media, as he repeatedly states in this book co-authored by Patrick Robinson. He makes a compelling argument that Taliban fighters successfuly manipulate the media to their advantage to the point where it often dissuades American military from following normal war-type protocol.

The book is an incredible tale of training, pushing the body and mind beyond even excessive limits, the power of the US military, of survival, loyalty, fear, lonliness, humanity, persistance, and haunting sadness. 

The movie does not need to do anything more than be the book.



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Just finished book, it was truly amazing and all soldiers should be revered for their restraint for keeping rules of engagement. There would be less Abu Ghraib like incidents if soldiers were allowed to defend themselves. You should read book, Unbroken. It is story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic and WW II hero, who forgave his Japanese tormentors.

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