Customer Reviews: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
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on February 6, 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.
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on January 5, 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.
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on February 10, 2015
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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on February 22, 2015
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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on February 8, 2013
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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on February 21, 2015
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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on January 7, 2012
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.
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on March 2, 2015
I enjoyed the story. One helluva hero. The writing was very elementary. That was a distraction. Just a shade above a grade schooler's essay on how I spent my summer vacation.
A case could almost be built that Chris Kyle had a killing addiction. But he put it to good use supporting our military guys on the ground.
And then we have the Academy Awards Ceremony, the height of hypocrisy, where the snoty, snooty self centered snobs of Hollywood stand and aggrandize themselves and others in their business. Where they make mega millions playing fake and fictional heroes that can dispatch a dozen armed thugs with or with out a weapon. They then stand up there and spew out their liberal clap trap about anti-war and anti-gun rhetoric and don't take the time to pay tribute to a real hero, Chris Kyle, that single handedly saved hundreds and even thousands of American GIs and Marines in his four deployments over in the Middle East.
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on August 5, 2014
What can I say, I loved the book. The book is well written, easy to follow and about as down to earth as anyone can get. Chris (rest his soul) was a just a fascinating individual. His tail of dedication, patriotism and sacrifice will hit your heart like few things ever could. His continual humor and heart felt honesty will keep you riveted to the pages. It is a clear, unobscured look at the soul of this elite warrior. My words will never adequately convey just how good this book truly is.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon April 6, 2015
I am glad that Chris Kyle's story made national headlines both in print and motion picture. Not only was it one worth telling but we as a nation need to support the men and women that bravely and selflessly put their lives on the line for our freedoms. They deserve all we can give them and more when they return home from their tours, especially those in combat! God Bless them all!
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