‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Displaced at Number One by New Controversial Book, 'No Easy Day'
E.L. James' "Fifty Shades of Grey" has dominated virtually every number one slot on every national bestseller list all summer long. The book's been such an unrivaled phenomenon it seemed like the only things that could knock it from the top spot were an act of god, or a tactical strike. Well, we were half-right.
This week it finally happened: "Fifty Shades" was displaced from number one on Amazon's bestseller list. And the book to knock it down is about as unlikely as James' journey from self-published to runaway success. "No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden," the controversial true tale by a former member of the infamous SEAL Team 6 member that carried out the raid has shot to number one on Amazon's sales rankings, more than two weeks before its Sept. 11 debut.
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All 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.
"No Easy Day" is pitched as the first "you-are-there" description of the mission by one of its members. Publisher Dutton only revealed the book one week ago, having kept the title and the author secret.
"I haven't read the book and am unaware that anyone in the Department has reviewed it," said Pentagon press secretary George Little. White House and CIA officials also said the book had not been reviewed by their agencies.
One Navy SEAL told Fox News, "How do we tell our guys to stay quiet when this guy won't?" Other SEALs are expressing anger, with some going so far as to call him a "traitor."
And Col. Tim Nye, a Special Operations Command spokesman, said the author "put himself in danger" by writing the book.
"This individual came forward. He started the process. He had to have known where this would lead," Nye said. "He's the one who started this so he bears the ultimate responsibility for this."
The CIA and the Pentagon denied vetting the manuscript or even advance knowledge of the book, and have only begun to pour through its pages to check for information leaks. 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, who comes from Wrangell Alaska, 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.
Bissonnette received the rank of chief before he retired.
"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.