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American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History Paperback – January 29, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 15,176 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Chris Kyle tells his story with the same courage and grit he displayed in life and on the battlefield. American Sniper is a compelling read.” (CLINT EASTWOOD)

“An amazingly detailed account of fighting in Iraq--a humanizing, brave story that’s extremely readable.” (PATRICIA CORNWELL, New York Times Book Review)

“In the elite community of warriors, one man has risen above our ranks and distinguished himself as unique. Chris Kyle is that man. A master sniper, Chris has done and seen things that will be talked about for generations to come.” (MARCUS LUTTRELL, author of Lone Survivor)

“Chris Kyle was incredible, the most celebrated war hero of our time, a true American hero in every sense of the word.” (D Magazine)

“The raw and unforgettable narrative of the making of our country’s record-holding sniper, Chris Kyle’s memoir is a powerful book, both in terms of combat action and human drama. Chief Kyle is a true American warrior down to the bone, the Carlos Hathcock of a new generation.” (CHARLES W. SASSER, Green Beret (US Army Ret.) and author of One Shot, One Kill)

“Reads like a first-person thriller narrated by a sniper. The bare-bones facts are stunning. .... A first-rate military memoir.” (BOOKLIST)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER (No Source)

American Sniper is the inside story of what it’s like to be in war. A brave warrior and patriot, Chris Kyle writes frankly about the missions, personal challenges, and hard choices that are part of daily life of an elite SEAL Sniper. It’s a classic!” (RICHARD MARCINKO (USN, Ret.), First Commanding Officer of SEAL Team Six and #1 bestselling author of Rogue Warrior)

From the Back Cover

The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir of U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, and the source for Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster movie which was nominated for six academy awards, including best picture.

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him “The Legend”; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 434 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (January 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062238868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062238863
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15,176 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Roberts on February 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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 ›
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wish I would have read the book first before watching the film. Some inaccuracies with the film or complete sequences that were skipped which played an important role in Chief Kyle's journey.

I enjoy the humor (twisted or not) sprinkled throughout the book. It gives you a no BS view of the world through a SEAL's eyes. His descriptions of BUDS and being overseas gives you a great visual for what it is like to be in those situations.

Towards the end of the book, it starts to change from a first hand account of events to a more personal opinion about his personal life, military life, and the people encountered in between.

Definitely an entertaining read. Keep in mind, it is a book written by a Navy SEAL, not a John Grisham novel so writing style may not match the gravity of the stories told. They are all important though for an American military legend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this book shortly after viewing the film. When i got home from the theater I spent the next several hours googling Mr. Kyle and was impressed to learn that the proceeds of this book were ALL being used to help vets. I'd strongly encourage reading this book as much of the books events, as often is the case, were omitted from the film. Be sure to do some research of your own on this individual, as I think you'll find him to be an exceptional model human being with core values that are often lost in today's society.
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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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was surprised that it wasn't "gory". It's a very readable story. His humor is great. I live in the southwest and appreciate the digs. I loved that his wife also contributed to the book. It was at times not always easy to listen to what was going on in Kyle's mind. I saw the movie; it was very good. But the book is outstanding and better than the movie.
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Format: Hardcover Verified 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.
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