Controversial Navy Seal Book Displaces 'Fifty Shades' as Amazon's no. 1
No Easy Day the controversial first-person account of the killing of Osama Bin Laden by a former member of the infamous SEAL Team 6 that carried out the raid has shot to no. 1 on Amazon's sales rankings, more than two weeks before its Sept. 11 debut.
It displaces Fifty Shades of Grey, which has had the top spot to itself for the summer.
Publisher Dutton only revealed the book one week ago, having kept the title and the author secret.
No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden is pitched as the first "you-are-there" description of the mission by one of its members.
The CIA and the Pentagon denied vetting the manuscript or even advance knowledge of the book. Dutton plans a major rollout campaign, with network news show appearances and a 300,000 copy first printing.
Dutton adopted the pen name Mark Owen for the author, claiming that revealing his real identity would threaten his safety and the security of the SEAL program.
After the book announcement, Fox News published a story outing the author as a 36-year-old former SEAL named Matt Bissonnette.
Bissonnette comes from Wrangell Alaska (a detail that jibes with what little is known about the book), participated in the 2009 raid on the Somali Pirates holding hostages in the Indian Ocean, in addition to the killing of Bin Laden.
Bissonnette is also reported to be a consultant on the newest iteration in the hit computer game series Medal of Honor through a consulting firm he set up after retiring from the SEALs following the Bin Laden mission.
The controversy has been good for sales. No Easy Day has sat atop Amazon's Top 100 sales list for the past five days.
It displaced Fifty Shades of Grey, which had more or less owned the top spot for the entire summer and whose sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, have also consistently been among Amazon's top five selling books.
Zero Dark Thirty, a film adaptation of the killing directed by Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow, that has also generated controversy over questions the Obama Administration fed her classified details, is set to debut in December.