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Book Review: American Sniper by Chris Kyle

Updated on February 11, 2015
5 stars for American Sniper

Book Details

Book: American Sniper

Author: Chris Kyle

Cover Price: 9.99 (mass-produced paperback)

Book Cover Published Summary:

“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 accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraqi War, called him “The Legend”: meanwhile the enemy feared him so much they placed a bounty on his head. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.”

Is the book well written?

Yes, while this book is not filled with literary notes of brilliance in the form of flourishing and poetic thoughts, but it is a great story that is well-told.

Is it an easy read?

Yes, Kyle reminds me of so many of my guy friends from college, and you really do come away feeling like you know him a bit. He writes his story, the way he would tell it to a friend, with some comical reliefs of inside thoughts.

Is it a page turner?

ABSOLUTELY> This book received the A grade for the fact that I couldn't put it down. I always brought it with me in the car, in case I had to wait in a drive through line at Dunkins, long enough to get a few pages of reading in.

Readers Grade: A

Readers Response:

Chris Kyle is someone that every American should know, and not because of his role as the man with the most confirmed kills, as an ‘American Sniper’. No, every U.S. citizen should know Chris Kyle simply because he existed, and he fought for you and for me.

He is funny and honest, and his thoughts allow you some insight into the militant mind, that comes along with living in everyday conditions of life or death. He starts the book by reliving a sniper shot he took on a woman, inspiring the reader to question what they themselves would have done, hence the desire to keep reading on. It soon becomes apparent however, that there are no second thoughts when a legal wartime kill, is a matter of your life or theirs.

As a student of Political Science, I have learned a lot about the politics of American Wars, and the citizen response here back at home. In my American Foreign Policy class we learned about the US position in wartime conflicts, either openly or covertly, throughout US military history. With that said however, it is impossible to teach about the human position in modern warfare, but Chris Kyle simply allows us to relive it with him.

This book allowed me to ride along starting with Operation Iraqi Freedom in Baghdad, through Fallujah, Ramadi, and Sadr City. If you want to know what was being done in the Middle East, pick up this book and ride along with a very successful American Sniper. We should all be grateful that he took the time to recount his life into words for future generations to read. I believe any US Military History classes will need to add this to their list of required reading.

This is a simply-stated telling of what it is to be an American hero, with a gut burning desire to use his training as a warrior, for the good of OUR country; but it also the story of a self-proclaimed Texan, a husband, brother, son, and father, and someone you end up wanting to be friends with. As I kept coming back to digest some more of the story, I felt a dichotomy of anger towards the world that he was no longer in it, and yet so grateful for his friends and family that he followed through with an ambition to write American Sniper. As someone who just lost my mother, I was especially thankful for his children that they have this self told account of his life to have as they get older, as they are still so young.

Through reading this book, I found within myself a fierce respect I have for our armed forces and Vets, its always been there but it came out in bright colors and loud ways. Unless you have served in the armed forces yourself, I will no longer accept any opinion on the war in Iraq, from someone who has yet to read this.

This book puts you in the shoes of someone who has fought for our country, and done so with such selflessness, that it evidently created some home-life problems for him for a little bit. I think that the few pages added to the story by Taya Kyle, was a welcome change up from the narrative of the story during key points in Chris’s life, from someone who lived it alongside him as a wife and civilian. I also appreciate the honesty in her telling of the story as she lived it, she felt no need to sugarcoat her reality, and I admire the bravery in that.

February 2nd, 2015 marked and officiated Chris Kyle day in Texas. Taya Kyle has an excerpt at the end of the book that talks about the making of the movie and hanging with Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. The screenplay writer has an excerpt entry in there as well, he talks about his shock and sadness at the news of Chris's murder, as he had just met and been texting with Chris a few weeks prior. All of these open and honest accounts of what it was to know this man, even after he has gone, helps the reader come away from the book feeling like they were lucky to have known Chris too. While I still haven't seen the movie, I can’t wait to now, but I have heard it somehow incorporates the death of Chris into the story.

For those of you that don’t know the end of his story, which ironically has nothing to do with the story for the book, Chris Kyle was murdered on Feb 2nd, 2013 at the Rough Creek Ranch-Lodge-Resort shooting range in Texas. Kyle’s post-navy life included work with Veterans, and helping them to adjust to being home from war, and it was on one of these trips that he was killed by a fellow Veteran allegedly suffering from PTSD. The details about the shooter have caused controversy and questions about his own history, but none of that changes the facts of the case, the world is worse off without the likes of someone like Chris Kyle in it.


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