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When I first posted this review, there were roughly 3000 other reviews and many 1 and 2 star reviews. Most of the low rated reviews were from folks posting negative comments that had not even read the book. They were obviously against the war, didn't like the military, etc. Some of these comments are offensive, at least too me they were. I made a point to bring this to the attention of potential buyers of Chris's book so they wouldn't let the low ratings affect their decision to read, what I think is a very good story. I think this is important to point out and that's why I am including it here. The point here is to be helpful to others. So, with that said, I'd like to update this review a little bit now that over 5000 folks have had the opportunity to read it and leave their reviews, which seem to be a little more objective. I still disagree with others that claim this book is "poorly written". I think Chris, with help of course, did a pretty darn good job describing his experiences. This book was written by a Navy SEAL. Not Tom Clancy. This book is written in what I would call a sort of "conversational style". In other words, he writes like he talks. He is telling you a story or collection of them. I found his honesty refreshing. He makes no bones about the fact that he loves his job. He wasnt the best father or husband at times. He doesnt like politics, etc. I liked his sense of humor (I caught myself laughing out loud at times). I especially liked his discussion on his gear and weapons. It's interesting to read about what sort of equipment someone needs to survive in that kind of environment. He put things in his book that he was constantly asked about. Thats why they are there. The book also has some decent maps and photographs. This is not a book for everyone.Read more ›
Chris and Taya were our next door neighbors for most of the time the events in this book were taking place. While Chris has sanitized many of the events he was involved with, the book offers a seldom seen look into the trials and pains that American Forces, especially or SEALS endure along with their family and friends. There are no politics in this book, just a saga of the human side of war and conflict. For me it was a must read and for Chris, I'm sure it was way of purging nightmares and letting the public see that the men who protect us are just as human as we are.
So, I was finishing Mr. Kyle's book the other day and nearing the writing of my review when I saw the terrible news on TV that Mr. Kyle had been murdered. All I want to say is that I'm terribly sorry for Taya, Chris' children and the rest of his family and my heart goes out to them. Chris Kyle was a patriot. Because this is still a book review, I'll add one more thing. I enjoyed the book greatly. Any gripes I may have with it are minor and would just be nit-picking. I think everyone should give American Sniper a try. I know this isn't a very helpful review, but it is what it is. I gave 4 stars because I couldn't put it down until I was finished and to me, that is all that matters this time.
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Very broad stroke tale of Chris Kyle's career as a SEAL. Broad in the sense that there is very little detail on actual shots taken/contact with enemies (where he actually engaged targets in his capacity as a sniper).
I was initially going to review the book after having read the first 30% of it which left me a bit disappointed but I decided to give it a chance, and finished it before re-writing my entire review. I fully agree with some of the previous reviews that the writing could have been better and I have to admit that I actually started wanting to skip all the passages written by Chris's wife (Taya) entirely. It does give a bit of perspective on their private life but as a shooter I was more interested in Chris's actual accounts.
I found it very interesting (and initially a bit brazen) how Chris starts his book exactly the same way Carlos Hatchcock* did with his autobiography referencing having had to kill a woman the same way Carlos started his book having had to kill a boy. Later in the book Chris pays homage to Carlos so the similarity became understandable.
* Carlos Hathcock - technically the best sniper ever to have walked the earth and probably the best written Sniper autobiography to date)
Comparing the countless records on fighting in wars like Vietnam compared to modern day warfare in places like Iraq you cant seem to shake the feeling that the enemy guys like Chris face there just aren't cut from the same cloth. The Vietcong were a very formidable enemy, living the war and being excellent at guerilla warfare, tracking, planning and even having some superb snipers in their ranks.Read more ›
I have read many books written by men and women who have served our country in our armed services. American Sniper and Inside Delta Force, by Eric Haney, are at the top of my list of recommended reading.
Chris Kyle was a hero and role model to be proud of both on and off the field of battle. This open and honest autobiography of his life in the field and corresponding stress on his family is truly worth reading. Chris has a very candid, relational and sometimes comical way of telling his story. It is almost as if you are sitting on the back porch sharing drinks and barbecue while he recounts the story of his life in the Navy.
The excerpts from his wife are true gold. They reveal some of her feelings and stress about having a husband in the military. The fact that they kept their marriage together through it all is testimony of their character and morals.
Meeting Chris Kyle was one of my goals in life and I am truly saddened by his death this past weekend. RIP Chris Kyle, my thoughts and prayers are with your family.