I hear there’s a frenzied Hollywood bidding war going on today over the No. 1 book on The New York Times non-fiction bestseller list: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes Of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell. Studio toppers are interrupting their vacations to try to get this book which was sold to Little Brown by superagent Ed Victor for a seven figure advance. How interesting that liberal Hollywood is hot for this patriotic tell-all by a proud conservative.
According to The Washington Post review, it’s the true story of American heroism and Afghani humanity, of morality vs survival. In June 2005, Petty Officer turned combat-trained Navy SEAL Luttrell led a four-man team into the mountains of Afghanistan on a mission to kill a Taliban leader thought to be allied with Osama bin Laden. On foot, the SEALs encountered two adult men and a teenage boy. A debate broke out as to whether the trio should be summarily executed to keep them from alerting the Taliban. Luttrell opted to spare the Afghanis’ lives. About an hour later, the Taliban launched an attack that killed all the SEALs except Luttrell, who was sure that the three Afghanis he let go turned around and betrayed his team.
Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains until an Afghani village took him in and cared for him. When Luttrell moved in with the Pashtuns, he discovered it is that culture’s tradition to protect those who have accepted their hospitality. So when the Taliban came to the village and demanded that the SEAL be handed over, the Pashtuns refused and an all-out battle virtually destroyed the village. All to protect Luttrell. He survived, returned home and received the Navy Cross for combat heroism from President Bush. “In this rich, moving chronicle of courage, honor, and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers one of the most powerful narratives ever written about modern warfare — and a tribute to his teammates, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” the Washington Post said. Come to think of it, this hot book does sound like a hell of a movie.