Thursday, December 10, 2009

Second Quarter Outside Reading Book Review

Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden. Mark Bowden, 1999
Genre: Nonfiction

Black Hawk Down is a stimulating account of the events that occurred in Mogadishu, Somalia on October 3, 1993. Bowden depicts that fateful day in full including all of the unfortunate events in an extremely graphic manner. When a simple snatch and grab goes awry no one knows what is going to happen in Bakara Market.

“I did not ‘read’ Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down…I devoured it. It is a compelling tale of noble endeavor gone awry, written with such clarity and insight that the reader quivers as if trapped in the desperate, close-quarters firefight Bowden’s gifted narrative brings to life.”

Bowden truly spoke to me in this book. I have watched many war movies and books overflowing with violence of bloody battles, but by far Black Hawk Down is the best. One of the main reasons this holds true is because it really happened. Because of this he can not twist or bend the truth in any way. Not only this, but he chooses not to omit any part of the battle. Instead of omitting all the bloody scenes and creating a fairy tale out of it he gives you the raw, uncut footage of what really happened.
Another reason this book is a paragon for me is that instead of sticking to one persons account of that day which could have warped the actual events, he uses an array of sources (123interviews, nine books, nine articles and an extensive collection of notes can be found at the end of the book), to paint a picture of each and every scene in your head leaving you with the feeling of actual having fought the bloody battle.

“Word spread wildly over the radio, voices overlapping with the bad news. There was no pretense now of the deadpan military cool, that mandatory monotone that everything is under control. Voices rose with surprise and fear…” (78).

After reading this book I am extremely anxious to read as many of Bowden’s other ten as I can. Because of this book I am an avid fan of any war novel, nonfiction or not. Bowden has truly touched the depths of my soul with the reality this book imposed on me. Juxtaposed to Wolcott’s crash site, I feel as though war is too much a reality in our lives today. That is why I enjoyed this book so much. Black Hawk Down takes war and makes it a reality, not just some fictitious virtual reality only seen on TV, in video games and on the computer. If everyone read this book I believe the world would be a better place because of the reality this book imposes.


  1. 1. The reviewer's overall impression of the book is that it was powerful and spoke to him.

    2. The reviewer noticed that the writer wrote the book as it happened and didn't bend the truth.

    3. He did pick an interesting passage because it shows you the amount of suspense.

    4. I haven't really read any other books like it.

    5. I don't think I would read this book as it doesn't seem to fit my tastes.

  2. Eric from what i gathered from your response you were in love with your book. It scared me a bit how much you liked it. i am not very sure of what the writing syle is but other than that you did a very good job. from the way that you described the book i thought that it looked pretty good. you picked a pretty interesting part of the story to respond to. you used tons of really really big words which i havent seen in any other book review yet so yours was the best and the most confusing. i might consider reading this book but im not sure. i dont really know enough about the story yet.

  3. I can see that your overall feeling toward the book was off the charts. That you absolutely loved the book. I realize that this book is very real and the author goes striate to facts. You picked a interesting passage. It showed me how the author writes and the type of suspense it has in it. Some people leave out parts of the review and you don’t so its really great and you explain a lot about it unlike some people. I maybe would read this book because it sounds good but I am not big on war but how its explained sound cool.