Mark Owen’s book No Easy Day, a firsthand account of the killing of Osama bin Laden, has done what no other book in months could — knock 50 Shades of Grey from the top of the bestseller list.
The book rode a wave of publicity as well as controversy to the top spot, knocking off the sex fantasy book Fifty Shades of Grey for the first time all summer, Time reported. Mark Owen’s book, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden, has not been released yet but the advance sales have been enough to land it on the top spot of Amazon’s rankings.
The book has created quite a bit of controversy. As a former Navy SEAL who took part in the mission to kill bin Laden, Mark Owen had signed an agreement not to divulge classified information, the Los Angeles Times reported. When he broke that agreement in writing his book, the Pentagon issued a formal warning to take legal action.
“In the judgment of the Department of Defense, you are in material breach and violation of the non-disclosure agreements you signed,” Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson said Thursday in a letter addressed to Mark Owen regarding the book.
Aside from the fact that Mark Owen’s book was written without clearance from the military, the subject matter itself has stirred quite a bit of controversy. His account of the raid differs from the version that the US military put out to the public. He claimed that bin Laden was killed when he looked out of a door and was not near a weapon.
Owen also wrote that if the team was caught by the Pakistani military or police, they were to claim they were in the country on a top-secret mission to find a crashed surveillance drone. But they were given the authority to fire on Pakistani troops if needed, Owen wrote.
Because of the controversy that surrounded its publishing, Mark Owen’s book release was pushed up a week, from September 11 to September 4.