It's never too late to live happily ever after!
Chris Kyle was in every major battle of the Iraq war and was wounded twice. He has 160 confirmed kills out of 255 claimed kills as a sniper. You may have seen him on TV recently on Stars Earn Stripes and Sons of Guns.
I listened to this book as I traveled across Texas a couple of weeks ago. I took the ensuing time to analyze my emotional response to the book and to figure out what I really thought about this rather unusual story of a deadly SEAL's military career.
The very talented John Pruden is the narrator for American Sniper. He did an amazing job and offered a credible West Texas twang. He sounds very much like Chris Kyle who was born and reared in the Odessa, Texas, area. My husband, who also has that kind of Texas drawl, wasn't offended at all by the faux Texas voice.
About The Book
Amazing long distance shots and close quarters combat are presented matter-of-factly and honestly without Kyle trying to pretty-up his actions. He tells it all, dispassionately until he talks about his fellow soldiers. That's when his emotion comes across. He makes the point in the book that he didn't fight to free Iraq. He fought for his country because that's what he was ordered to do, and he fought for the lives of his fellow soldiers. These men don't get to pick and choose their battles or the way they're even used. Often politics and higher-ups create as many challenges and dangers to these warriors as the enemy.
The insurgents, the ones he called the bad guys, or savages, were the ones Kyle sought in his sniper scope. The more bad guys he could pick off; the more Americans he might save. That was the bottom line for him, and it's a bottom line I'm forced to respect.
This book awed me, and it made me cry. War is hell, and that fact is never so evident as when Kyle talks about his friends who died so tragically.
I am not a person who thinks deadly force and violence are never called for. I'm a realist -- maybe because I've lived in and visited enough third world countries to know how truly idealistic and naive most Americans are. At the end of Kyle's book, he quotes something that a friend of his, another SEAL sniper who didn't make it, said: "Despite what your momma told you... Violence does solve problems."
Unfortunately, I agree with that assessment. Why unfortunately? Because I'd prefer to live in a world where diplomacy and common sense ruled, but that's not the case. Force of action and violence are what pulled the world back from Hitler's quest for world domination.
Soldiers like Kyle perform like super heroes on the battlefield, but the post-war is often not easily won. To do what Kyle did, a man has to compartmentalize the softer emotions. In fact, I think it's safe to say that a man must become a different person -- someone who can use violence to solve problems and use it damned fast and expertly.
In the end, what happens to that changed person when war is over is the bigger moral question.That question is unflinchingly presented by Kyle and by his wife Taya, whose viewpoint is also given in the book. Taya Kyle speaks openly about the challenges of being the wife of a SEAL, and, often, the only parent that the children may know, and about how hard it is to find the man she loves inside the returned warrior.
This book is riveting, gut-wrenching, and unforgettable. It's not just an extraordinary war memoir that gives readers a glimpse of what the whole Iraqui situation is really like. It's also an emotional and moving story -- warts and all -- about a hero's journey from ordinary citizen to warrior and back to ordinary citizen -- if one could ever call an ex-Navy SEAL sniper ordinary.
I like to keep things simple. This has got to be one of the most well written and expressed stories I have ever had the good sence to buy. I couldnt turn it off and if you love America I am sure you will find yourself in the same boat!
A little long in some parts. Very good on detail about sniper gear.
Ture American from the south
Interesting for war buffs.
The book was an eye opener to the very nature of being an American Soldier. I am amazed at how tough soldiers can become in defending our nation. The mind set of a Navy SEAL is astonishing. I am grateful for men and women who are willing to serve to protect our freedoms. Many pay the ultimate price to protect our freedom and this book gives one many moments of refection and clarity as to what war is really like and why soldiers go to war. Amazing!
Do good, And good will come to you
As a fan of military thrillers, I picked this book up to read into the life of an actual soldier. What I got was a well written account, a blend of the soldiers personal life and struggles, mixed with pure military bravado. I enjoyed the book. Didn't agree with all his views but it was a solid read. A great addition to my library.
When even though his daughter was sick, he chose to re-deploy back into the field.
I have a lot of respect for the author and his service to our country but the story was just so, so. Maybe my expectations were too high but I just wasn't moved by this story. There are a few good parts but if you have read even a few good military books, you might be disappointed. I do completely appreciate his accomplishments and his struggles...I just wish there was more to the story.
I consider Chris Kyle a true American patriot and by no means have any intention of denigrating him or the sacrifice he has made for our country by writing this review. Of the non-fiction books describing the Seals and their efforts on our behalf, I found his book not to be written with the same depth as other books discussing similar subjects. In my humble opinion the book is a little too much rah rah, and somewhat short on substance. I enjoyed it but not to the extent I did the Warrier Elite by Captain Couch, Seal Team 6 or Lone Survivor.
Not at all what I expected.
John was Ok as narrator. Just a boring story.
I would like or have heard about how he decided which people were targets. What he had to go thru to set up his targets and how he escaped.
The story keeps you glued to the book.
The Lone Survivor. Same type of story.
I have never listened to John Pruden but so far he has been the best narrator
Great flow to the book.
Lone Survivor. Reads the same. Different stories, but same genre.
I liked that it gave the perspective of his wife. With everything Mr. Kyle went through it's easy to put a Superman title on him. The struggle he has with being a SEAL and a husband/father humanizes him and helps you to relate to him in a way.