I enjoyed listening to this book. Right from the very beginning, you get a sense of Chris Kyle; the type of man he is. He loved going to war, killing bad guys and fighting for his country. He makes no apologies for being who he is. He's honest. This is brought out well in the narrator's telling. The narration is great.
I find some of the reviews of this story a little overly dramatic. Was Kyle a hero? I suppose he was in the sense that any soldier fighting for his country is a hero. But he was certainly not a god like so many reviewers make him out to be. He is exactly what he says he is: a soldier who was there to get the job done.
I was a little disappointed to find that this book didn't go into much depth on the sniping. Kyle has the most confirmed kills of any American military sniper in history. But even he says he was not a great sniper by any means. Most of his kills were opportunistic. He was simply the guy that had more chances to kill, and did. I was hoping to hear more detailed accounts of sniping missions. But most of it is all glossed over. Usually it comes down to "We were providing overwatch for a unit. I saw three targets that day and killed them." Quite disappointing. I have previously listened to "Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills" and found it to be far more detailed and interesting. Kyle even mentions the sniper that book is based on (a man named Hathcock), stating he is the greatest sniper in American military history.
Although Kyle is a sniper and has the record for most kills, this book is more of a general account of his life as a SEAL. Not that that is a bad thing. I liked it. But the title implied we would get a lot more detail of his sniping. I also found that there was so much that he did in his career, that we never get a full detail of any of his missions. Just general details before quickly moving onto the next thing.
If you want a detailed look at sniping and detailed missions, listen to "Marine Sniper". It's solid.
Great story about the navy seals and their deployment in Iraq.
This story gives not only a vivid peek in to the military live & private live of an navy seal but gives also a realistic view of the fanatic violence that is in this region what mainly is driven by fanaticism in the middle east.
Yes, especially to those who think soldiers are brutal baby killers. This book gave me a new look into the life of a solider during war. Chris Kyle gives a detailed look into his experiences not just overseas, but what he goes through when he comes back stateside and needs to "all of sudden" transition back into a civilian lifestyle. This is definitely a book every American should read/listen to especially to those that don't have a family history of military service.
This type of book is hard to really have a favorite scene or passage for me as it flows so well that it all seems like one big scene. While there are chapters, Chris does a great job explaining his experiences and telling it in a way that seems so natural.
It was tough when Chris would give his wife's perspective. This really brought home the tug-of-war that is really tough for families where one of the partners is serving overseas and leaves the other back home to take care of everything by themselves. When Chris shared the times where his wife was ready to give up due to Chris' extreme dedication to the SEALs over his dedication to his family is when you really start to understand there's more to being a soldier than just war. I cannot imagine how hard it must be knowing you've been trained to do a job (and know that you do it well) but also know that you have a family back home who relies on you and would rather have you home...but supports you for your service. That constant tug-of-war is something you never hear about in news reports. This book gives that side of war and military service and is some of the most intense parts of this book to read/listen to.
When I realized that this is book that mentioned the alleged altercation with Jesse Ventura, I started to have a different take on the author. Why would someone admit to assaulting such a highly recognizable figure like this? There actually is no mention to Jesse Ventura by name in the book but Chris Kyle has come out in public interviews after the release of the book and stated that it was Jesse Ventura he was making reference to. This just seems crazy.This has come down to a "your word against mine" situation and Jesse Ventura denies it ever happened. While I know Jesse Ventura has spoken out against the various wars recently, I cannot imagine a former Navy SEAL would say such things as Chris Kyle has claimed. There seems to be a current lawsuit regarding this between Jesse Ventura and Chris Kyle so it will be interesting to see who is telling the truth once a verdict comes down.
Call of Duty
As an European I found this story fascinating. A much more interesting story than that of Dakota Meyer, "Into the Fire".
The author's style reminds me of sitting around a campfire and listening to a friend's war stories. They're good stories, with some level of detail, but they are certainly not objective nor highly informative. I found Marcus Luttrell's book a bit more engaging, and Mark Owen's recent book a better narrative--progressing logically from point to point, rather than just moving down a timeline of events. As a Texan, the book is reminiscent of storytellers I've known, and I found the book mostly enjoyable.
Narration was the weakest point of the audiobook. I have no idea whether the narrator is a native Texan, but the accent is overdone. The pace is sloth-like. Listening at 2x speed created a more natural pace, but the accent was distracting throughout.
Overall, I found this to be one of the weaker books from recent military veterans describing their experiences. There are good stories, but they seem to just be collections of good stories tied together by an arbitrary timeline--no central, unified theme stands out.
killing, killing and killing, nothing but killing, no insights, boring
insights of the war
nothing, it is a book only
No Easy Day...similar story
The story as a whole will change the way you look at the sacrifices that members of the military make.
Chris does not become tangled up in Command level decussions, gives you the ground level downrange story.
The story goes back and forth between Chris and his homefront wife whom deals with the stress of deployments, family life, the media bias and the death of team mates. Caused a discussion between my wife and I and her feeling of dealing with similar issues
I had never asked her about.
The Team holds mock court prior to Chris's wedding, the results were funny as hell.
Chris has a junior team member who becomes gravely injuried, but goes on to be an inspiration, what happenes next really makes you examine what you do with your life and limitations.
The ending is a little flat, but then after a life at the authors pace, everything else is not high-speed. Thanks to all those whom make peace a profession.
This isn't my usual type of reading, but I like to learn from experts of all sorts and look into every corner of life and see how it works and this book delivered just what I expected from a pro telling his story. He really is a straight shooter, and writes that way (with help from the co-writer, I guess). No sugar coating, not propaganda, just very interesting reading (if you can stomach this sort of thing).