I haven’t really discussed the Palin/Meyer merger because I don’t really think it’s going to affect the world one way or another. Nor do I think this sorry union will even get to the altar or whatevah. And if by chance they do get there – it won’t last. Mark my words, you don’t get involved with a Palin and walk away from it unscathed.
By the same token, Dakota Meyer is not to be reckoned with either.
Courtesy of a review of Meyer’s book on Amazon:
INTO THE FIRE, by Dakota Meyer and Bing West, while certainly well-written and meticulously documented, in the end failed to really engage me as a reader. There are two reasons for this. One is that CO-authored books, to my mind, can never quite match the reality or the authenticity of a true memoir – i.e. one written solely by its subject/narrator. In that respect, INTO THE FIRE, simply did not quite ring true. By this I do not mean that I did not believe Meyer’s story. I mean that I could not stop thinking that his story had been carefully organized and scrubbed by a talented and professional writer (Bing West), and I also kept wondering how much of the substantiating research about the Afghan war and the host country, not to mention the notes and timeline – all the stuff that ‘fleshes out’ a story about a single battle that lasted less than one day – had been dug out and skillfully addended by West.
The second reason I had trouble with Meyer’s story is more difficult to explain. But I’ll try. Samuel Hynes, a writer I have the highest admiration for (who was, incidentally, a combat veteran of WWII, and whose memoir, FLIGHTS OF PASSAGE, is a minor classic), once told me that one of the most important ingredients to a successful story is a likeable narrator. Much as I wanted to like Meyer, I couldn’t. My problem with this began early, in the Introduction, when Meyer described his team, ending with, “The others were looking to do their jobs and return home; I was looking for a fight.” And just a few pages later, still in the Intro, he describes his first ‘kill’ –
“I aim the gun. I’m a sniper; shooting is technique. No emotion … I fire burst after burst, walking the tracers up the slope. I hit hislegs first, then his back. I keep shooting until I’m tearing up a corpse. I rip through two hundred rounds …”
This is followed by joking with his team members, no introspection, no sense of the enormity of the taking of life. And this is pretty typical of the strong, silent macho ‘cowboy’ attitude Meyer displays through most of the book. He relents only slightly when he tells of his subsequent and reluctant treatment for PTSD.
As the person who alerted me to this said…this guy is a psychopath. I tend to agree.
And that is why this little consolidation could end in tragedy.