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Customer Review

65 of 77 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars shooter, October 29, 2007
This review is from: Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper (Paperback)
Make no mistake, I have great respect for Coughlin and his 20 years of service to Corps and country. I am a former Marine. I served with Hotel Company 2nd BN 5th Marines in Viet Nam, mainly in the Arizona Territory, Go Noi Island, and into the Que Son mountains around An Hoa.

I bought this book with anticipation of an honest, no nonsense account of the opening of the Iraq war from the perspective of a senior enlisted Marine. Sadly, it was supremely disappointing on many levels.

One should not automatically assume that having a story to tell makes you a writer. Like every other craft (including that of a sniper) it takes training, experience, and time to develop. Clearly, Mr. Coughlin is not a writer. His style was amatuerish, his use of language unnatural, and the overall focus missplaced. For this I also fault the editors and any others I assume were supporting his work. There is no mistaking that Mr. Coughlin thinks a lot of himself. After all, he single handedly saved "The Main" by killing one Iraqi machine gunner. He singlehandedly changed Marine Corp doctrine with his 'mobile sniper concepts'. (Perhaps he was not aware that Marine snipers ARE mobile and have been for some time. Helicopter insertions of snipers occured regularly in Viet Nam. He should read Hathcock's book.) After the first chapter I was bored and put off at how often he patted himself on the back. Who identified him as the Top Rated Sniper? He never explained (although he never let you forget!) Every Marine is a rifleman. A sniper is a highly trained rifleman. They performed a sepcialized task. However, if body count is the measure, then I fully believe that the average grunt Marine during the same period of time in that conflict had a higher 'count' than him. Too often he spoke of "the battles the 5th Marines were in" while he was back with the headquarters company. I would have liked to hear more about that. The book lacked this perspective and that of other Marines and could have benefitted from more documented facts about the fight. Again, I respect him as a Marine and for his achievements. I don't really fault him as much as I am disappointed. He should read "Fields of Fire" by James Webb to see how a first hand account of personal experiences in combat should be done.

Semper Fi
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 5, 2008 12:26:48 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2009 9:18:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2009 9:22:19 PM PDT
J. Cousland says:
Get off yourself, guy. He means he was a former "active Marine". Now that he's not active, he doesn't want to call himself a Marine since it implies he is still active. You also might want to lighten up with him as well.......he IS a Vietnam Vet. Your comments make it sound like you ARE stomping on the flag. If you really are a Marine, you will know what respect is and who deserves it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2009 9:57:25 AM PDT
"Get off yourself, guy."

What else can you say about a fella who refers to himself by three names?

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 11:59:15 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jul 17, 2009 7:10:46 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 3:27:35 PM PDT
Chris says:
hey by the way coughlin was not a vietnam vet he enlisted in 1985 and retired in 2004.

Posted on May 18, 2015 1:54:39 PM PDT
OK, we get it, you're jealous. Write your own story see if anyone publishes or buys it.
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