He put off reading it for a while because it’s the life story of Pat Tillman, who was one heck of a good guy. Tillman’s time in Iraq and Afghanistan while an Army Ranger was big news, but something he absolutely shunned. The subsequent commodification of his death and obfuscation of his fratricide is a deeply disheartening story.
Yet overall, Krakauer’s book illuminates the life of the most complete and compelling subject he’s written about thus far, deftly showing the beauty, integrity, and deep humanity of Tillman’s life echoed in that of his family and friends after his death. In the midst of the maudlin, bandying-about of the term “hero” post 9-11, Tillman’s family persevere against (quite literally) all odds to break through the cynical and high-level cover-up following the pointless death of their son, brother, husband and friend. Krakauer’s nuanced yet straightforward accounting of all their lives results in a damning bit of work on character, honor and war that will stick with you.
Hank wishes he could have known this remarkable human and he thinks you might, too.
Peace out, dogs. For real.
P.S. On a lighter note, if you don’t know about this other mighty athlete, Hank thinks you should, and so does his pet psychic. Tillman really sticks it: