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Time to Hunt (Bob Lee Swagger) Mass Market Paperback – April 13, 1999

391 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

After a literally explosive opening where sniper fire cuts through the chest of an unnamed victim (Swagger?), readers of Time to Hunt are plunged into the final years of the Vietnam War and the struggles of Marine Donny Fenn. Stationed in Washington, D.C., after recovering from a nearly mortal wound, Fenn is asked to spy on Marines who may have ties to the peace movement. What Donny quickly learns, however, is that his Navy superiors are more interested in framing somebody than they are in finding the truth. In this first section, readers waiting to discover the outcome of the assassination and glimpse Bob "The Nailer" Swagger will instead be swept away by Hunter's vivid painting of the divided loyalties and torn identities that plagued soldiers and citizens in the early 1970s.

But all of this action is only a prelude to Donny's subsequent relationship with Swagger in Vietnam. Hunter fleshes out the mythology that he began to create in Point of Impact as readers watch Swagger add to his famed body count and confront his nemesis, Solaratov. Hunter moves deftly from the mind of Solaratov to Donny and back to Swagger, and in each character finds the core of the Vietnam experience--fear, coldness, sadness, horror, elation.

The last two sections cut to contemporary events and find Swagger married to Donny's former love, Julie. Slowly, the events of the first half of the book begin to merge with Swagger's present history and stories that readers will recognize from Hunter's earlier novels. Swagger uncovers a deep connection between the Vietnam demonstrations of the 1970s, the predatory work of the CIA, and the killer who is after him and his family now. Nothing is as it first seems, and readers of Point of Impact and Black Light will have to revise all their expectations. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

When a sniper shoots a man in the mountains of Idaho and wounds the woman who is with him, it is not an isolated incident but the deliberate culmination of events that began during the Vietnam War. Bob Lee Swagger, who was a Marine sniper in Vietnam known as "Bob for the Nailer" for his lethal shooting, at first believes that he was the gunman's intended target. The wounded woman is his wife and the widow of his wartime comrade, Donny Fenn. Donny had been killed by a Russian sniper assigned the task of neutralizing Bob, or so Bob had always believed. But now it seems possible that Donny might have been the main target all those years ago and that it is Donny's widow that the sniper has come to kill, not Bob. Both a gripping war novel and a complex thriller coiled around the convoluted intrigues of the supposedly concluded Cold War, this is page-turning entertainment that will delight action adventure readers.?Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, MA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Bob Lee Swagger (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Island Books (April 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440226457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440226451
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (391 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Hunter won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism as well as the 1998 American Society of Newspaper Editors Award for Distinguished Writing in Criticism for his work as film critic at The Washington Post. He is the author of several bestselling novels, including Time to Hunt, Black Light, Point of Impact, and the New York Times bestsellers Havana, Pale Horse Coming, and Hot Springs. He lives in Baltimore.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on October 4, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In TIME TO HUNT, Stephen Hunter further embellishes the legend of master sniper Bob Lee Swagger. Known as "Bob the Nailer" in professional circles, Swagger is cunning, resourceful, and a remarkable marksman, skills he developed in his youth and honed during several memorable tours of duty in Vietnam. Because of these talents, Swagger is often drawn into scenarios that erupt into nightmarish violence, as depicted in POINT OF IMPACT and BLACK LIGHT, the first two books to feature this character.

Although the prologue and final third of the novel occur today, the backbone of the book is set in Washington, DC and Vietnam circa 1970. The story focuses on a marine named Donny Fenn, serving in Washington after completing a tour of duty in Vietnam. Fenn, forced to spy on a fellow marine with ties to the peace movement, fails to carry out the wishes of his superiors and is summarily cycled back to the 'Nam. There, he links up with Swagger, the deadliest sniper in the Corps. Their subsequent heroics (set forth in violent detail by Hunter in some of his most gripping writing to date), add to the myth surrounding Swagger. Bona fide heroes, they are days away from returning home when they are attacked by their nemesis, the Russian sniper Soloratov. Swagger is wounded, and Fenn is killed. Although Swagger has no way of knowing it at that time, this attack holds the key to the mystery of why Soloratov has returned to threaten Swagger's wife and daughter three decades later.

Hunter, like Swagger, is in a league by himself -- compulsively readable, he plunges readers into a world where conspiracies are the norm and sudden death is commonplace. From its explosive prologue to its gripping finale, TIME TO HUNT is certain to be one of the best pure suspense novels you'll ever have the pleasure of reading.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Time To Hunt" is the third in Hunter's Bob Swagger trilogy. It explains the cause behind Donny Fenn's death and Bob's near fatal wounding during the final days of the Viet Nam war. It is a twisting and well told tale of conspiracy in high places. Hunter is a master at maintaining a high level of suspense, I was complelled to read on right to the end. Hunter writes about shooting with a level of technical detail usually found in a Tom Clancy novel, yet it does not detract from the pace of his story. Hunter leaves enough clues for the reader to unravel things before he gets to them, but with enough twists to create a doubt that makes you read on. If you like high adventure and masterful conspiracies, you will enjoy this book. I do recommend however that you first read "Point Of Impact" and "Black Light" (parts one and two of the Swagger trilogy). Although in truth, each part stands well on its own as a separate tale. And remember, it is just a story!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Cordell on December 21, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First off I should let it be known that I am a fan of the Bob Lee Swagger novels and I also thought that Dirty White Boys was a good read. Stephen Hunter's first novels showed promise but they were awkward. They came across as trying to be works of literature. But with Point Of Impact Hunter found his stride. For those who are involved with the "gun culture" this series is superb. The technical details are dead on. But in Time To hunt Swagger comes full circle. The great American war hero finally finds peace with himself and has a re-match with his nemisis. This novel is more then just a suspense/thriller. In Time To Hunt Hunter finally achieves a level of literature and the best part of it is he isn't trying. Slow moving? No it trys to capture the pacing of real life. Rest assured though when the action happens it happens in buckets. Being from Idaho I especially enjoyed the sequence in the Sawtooths. If I have any complaint and it is minor is the fact that there are two hospitals in Boise. There is no Boise General Hospital.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Todd Wachtel on November 17, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've never been a big fan of prologues, in fact, I'm the one one person in America who hasn't seen the new Star Wars. Typically, prologues only fill in wholes in the original story. Not here. "Time to Hunt" answers questions, of course, but it actually makes me want to re-read the entire series of books. We always knew that Bob Lee was a BMF (see Pulp Fiction, wink), but we never really knew how Bad he was. We never really given an explanation for the awkwardness he feels in the 'world' or the awkwardness of his relationship with Julie Fenn. For those reasons, and many more, this book works with me. I whole-heartedly recommend the Swagger series to any and all (but frankly, start at the beginning, not here)
Now this brings us to the next problem, will there be a fifth in the series? The rousing adventures of Nikki Swagger? (Nah!) A meeting between Swagger and Pewtie (from DWB)? (That'd work). Any way Hunter does it...I'll be there!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 12, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Hunter has another smash bestseller featuring Bob Lee " The Nailer" Swagger. Be sure you have a lot of free time when you start Time To Hunt book because once you do you'll be hooked. Time To Hunt has it all--great plot, interesting characters, lots of action and surprises, etc., etc., etc. One of the most interesting aspects of this book is how Bob Lee became "The Nailer" in Vietnam. Just when you think Bob Lee has suffered enough and deserves to enjoy the rest of his life in peace, Hunter comes up with another traumatic adventure for him. While I don't know what, if anything, Hunter has in store for Swagger, I can't wait to read it. Now, do yourself a favor--buy a copy of Time To Hunt as soon as it comes out, cancel all plans and prepare yourself for a real reading pleasure.
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