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November 12, 2019
Oh guys, I hate when I don’t like a book as much as everyone else does—especially when it’s written by a hardcore, badass Navy SEAL. I really thought I was going to love The Right Kind of Crazy. Author Clint Emerson also wrote the wildly popular and highly entertaining 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation. It’s amazing, and if you haven’t read it, I encourage you to go out and find it immediately!
The Right Kind of Crazy isn’t a manual. It’s a memoir of various battles, operations, and sometimes just pivotal life moments that Emerson has experienced over the years—from the 80s to just a few years ago. Every story in this book is wild. The operations are crazy and scary and impressive. But even the chapters on his family are just as powerful—and give a much better understanding of why Emerson is the way he is. (I had no idea that most SEALs come from broken homes, but I guess that makes sense).
So why the low rating? Because the book is simply not written well. It’s chaotic and rambling. Even though it’s technically divided into two neat parts, with each part containing chapters covering one specific time period, it still feels all over the place. There’s a lot of jumping back and forth, almost like stream of consciousness memory vomit. There’s so much going on, I never really knew where to look or focus. It needed major editing and some reorganization. (On that note, it would have also helped if Emerson had just deleted the blacked out redacted portions of the mission descriptions. I get that he’s trying to make a point about the government hiding so many details of his stories, but it got old. And, again, it distracted from the substance of what he was saying.)
I’m impressed with and in awe of everything Emerson has done in his life. Seriously, I’m a peace-loving mother, writer, and gardener with pacifist Mennonite roots, and I am fully aware that the only reason people like me can exist is because of people like him. I loved the substance of his stories, but I just wish they had been presented in a clearer and more simple way.
Thank you to Touchstone and Net Galley for the ARC!