2,055 of 2,166 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2013
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. One reviewer said the book was too "technical" and he couldnt follow it. Another said it was written by someone in "grade school". You can see by those two comments how differently this book will be viewed. This is a story of a man that goes to war, as he was trained to do. He had to make life and death decisions almost everyday. It's easy to sit in a nice comfortable home, and second guess him but the bottom line is that I am quite sure the men that served next to him were glad he was there. So all I can say is if you are interested in the life of a Navy SEAL, grab it. If not, why would you condsider it in the first place? Chris Kyle, rest in peace and God bless the men and woman who serve, and have served, this country.
732 of 802 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2012
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.
167 of 197 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
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.
766 of 967 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
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. Reading Chris talk about his enemy using beachballs to cross a river in order to reach American positions (which he promptly shot resulting in them drowning), the enemy mostly being completely jacked up on heroin, being stupid and having NO clue how to actually fight (pot shots and stupid fighting) and talking about picking off enemy soldiers on a nightly basis (sometimes up to 3 a night) really gives the impression that its much easier to rake up a high kill tally than it was in past wars. Chris goes on to admit how much he admires Carlos Hathcock and that he admits he is not even in the same league saying that he got as many kills as he did because he was lucky in mostly being where the action was. Therefore reading about some of the kills leaves you feeling less than 'impressed'. That being said, what Chris has achieved and what he did for his country is nothing short of heroic and respectable.
Chris does go on to discuss some of the street fights (clearing building to building) he was involved in out of his own choice after swapping his rifle for a Marines m-16 in order to fight along side them as he felt he could be of more use to the marines he was assisting on the ground than he could be as over-watch (a large number of his kills were CQ kills), which is also highly respectable.
- If you are interested in the technical side of being a Sniper and actual details on shots taken, there are better books (for a start Carlos Hathcock's autobiography, A 100% flawless must read!)
- If you're interest is purely in details of SEAL operations and their involvement in recent wars (Iraq) then this book will probably disappoint as it lacks detail. It is however very interesting to see how much the role of the modern day SEAL has changed (where and how they are deployed and how they operate as part of joint force missions with other branches of the US military).
- If you want to read about Chris Kyle for the sake of learning about him as a person, where he came from and a quick run-down on his kill record (with no detail on separate kills as they tend to be summed up as "...that day I killed 3..." then this book will probably be of interest.
All in all a good-ish book...couldn't say its $13 I'd spend again for the Kindle version, but not regretting having read it.
513 of 672 people found the following review helpful
What a remarkable story of heroism, patriotism, and self-sacrifice by an even more remarkable American, Chris Kyle. A Navy SEAL and highly trained sniper, Kyle is even more remarkable in his straightforward admittance that his accomplishments alone are not to be lauded, but the accomplishments and sacrifices of his fellow military men who sacrificed their vision, limbs, and some ultimately their lives in fighting for the freedoms that we often take for granted, yet hold so dear. It may not be much, but here is one American that is forever grateful and thankful to Chris Kyle and ALL of our brave men and women fighting for our country.
Kyle joins the ranks of such American sniper greats as Carlos Hathcock 93 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War, and whose sniper exploits were so eloquently related to the reader in these two books written by Charles Henderson; Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills and Silent Warrior: The Marine Sniper's Story Vietnam Continues, as well as, other sniper greats such as; Chuck Mawhinney a U.S. Marine with 103 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War and Adelbert Waldron the previous U.S. Military record holder with 109 confirmed kills.
One particular aspect that I liked about how this book was written was the occasional viewpoint expressed by Kyle's lovely wife, Taya. Although both she and Kyle allude to problems both faced concerning each other and his absence during his military service, one can't help but realize what a truly remarkable women Taya is and Chris is a damn lucky man to have her. I am quite sure that God has and will continue to smile upon the both of them.
I really liked Kyle's no apologetic statement that he enjoyed his job and took great pride in saving the lives of his fellow soldiers as they fought against the evils that they found in Iraq. Kyle doesn't go into a lot of gruesome detail concerning that subject but he makes it painfully clear that unless you have actually been there and seen the evil that hasn't been diluted by politicians and the media, then you really have no idea what it is like. I would wholeheartedly agree!
Kyle talks about not only his involvement as a Navy SEAL sniper in Iraq, but also his working relationship with other branches of the military. Some real insightful stuff!
Kyle not only gives you a glimpse into the world he and his fellow SEAL's lived during the Iraq War, but also the difficulties he faced when he came home in between tours and for good upon his retirement from the Navy. And although there were difficulties, he also shares some very humorous moments as well. I especially liked the story about the "burglar" breaking into his home while he was on leave and while he was still in bed after his wife left for work. I was laughing so hard that I couldn't stop for several minutes. As a matter of fact I am laughing real hard right now as I type this review. Sorry Chris, I am laughing at you as well as with you on this one. Ha Ha Ha
I am not one for posting a lot of spoilers when I do my reviews, but I do have to say that one only needs read a few pages to realize that not only is Chris Kyle one of the finest soldiers the United States of America has every produced, but he is also, and perhaps more importantly, one helluva human being and a truly great American. God Bless!
I highly recommend this book to every American as a very inspirational read as well as a biography of one extraordinary human being.
Martial Artist/Krav Maga Instructor
NRA Firearms Instructor
Author and Creator of numerous books and DVD's.
50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2014
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
"American Sniper" is a fantastic book. It is an excellent read, you will not be able to put it down once you get started. It is definitely just as good of a read as "Lone Survivor", "No Easy Day" and others like it. Now that I've read it I can't wait to see the movie on Christmas Day as well.
43 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2015
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a truly amazing story! Don't expect a historians account. This is HIS story and an gripping account of battle! It doesn't get more real than this! As a four time combat veteran, I can honestly say that Chris Kyle embodies the true warrior every service member imagines themselves! His true testament lies with his disappointment for the men he could not save! If you read this book and are not proud to call yourself an American, then you shouldn't be living in this country!
224 of 294 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
While not high prose, this was a quick and interesting read. I totally support our troops and their actions so obviously am positively predisposed. However, I think that the authors story is fascinating and important. What our troops do to protect us should not be forgotten or dismissed. It is a pretty breezy and easy to read account of Chris' tours of duty and participation in many very important activities in the war. It is not a history book but one man's experiences during those historic moments. I found it very informative about a particular aspect of the SEALs and sniping in particular; both topics that I do not know a lot about. I enjoyed it and think that if you are interested in the war and or sniping then this is a worthwhile read. Perhaps if you are an expert it might be detailed enough, but I liked it.
Thanks to Chris and all his brothers in arms for their sacrifice.
142 of 186 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
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.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A well written first person account of a patriot, soldier, husband, and SEAL. I like the fact the book is an easy read and not a laborious jungle of footnotes. Kyle's description of 'killing' to save American soldiers is riveting. There is just enough background information of Kyle's life to make the story interesting.
Inclusion of his wife's written thoughts adds depth to the book.
Description of BUD/S training and 'SEAL fun' provides a view of such training few of us will ever realize, nor survive.
Waterboarding, various forms of hazing and, indoctrination into the 'warrior' culture is described in detail.
Fire arms used and preferred by Kyle is of interest to those of us who like guns.
The book depicts Kyle as a human being, not a mindless robot, who kills without reason. A 'good ol boy' from Texas with values all of us Americans should embrace.
Some may be put off by Kyle referring to 'Yankees' but, no slight is intended.
Chris Kyle indicates he recieved permission from the Navy and "their request" for changes to the book "were honored."
Kyle discusses GROMM, Marines, SF, Rangers and does so with respect and admiration for those branches of the military.
There are truly some poignant moments in this book and, Kyle does have a sensitive side to his personality, which, is refreshing given his duty as an American Sniper.
Some losses described by Kyle during his service to our country are sorrowful indeed.
Taya, Kyle's spouse, provides insight into the difficulty of marriage to a SEAL, and, multiple deployments into very hostile territory.
I particularly enjoyed how the book is broken into smaller segments.
I would have liked more images of various countries, and weaponry.
American Sniper is an enjoyable book, not scholarly nor for the intellectual, but, a vivid first hand story of americans at war with a dangerous, fanatical enemy.
Almost 4 stars for the book. Definitely 5 stars for Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.
Sadly, yesterday February 2, 2013, Chris Kyle was shot here on American soil (Texas). Kyle died from the gunshot which, allegedly, was committed by another veteran soldier at a Texas gun range.
Condolences to Mr. Kyle's family.