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.
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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.
Bad Luck and Trouble opens with a horrific action sequence. Let's just say that Child has a way of dropping a bomb in the opening pages.
Reacher is contacted by Frances Nagley, a woman from his old unit. She's tracked him down in a unique way. Fans of arithmetic puzzles will liked this. Nagley tells him of what's happening to the men in their old unit. She and Reacher try to reunite with the rest of his old team, but they're almost too late.
Reacher's unit had the motto: "You don't mess with the unit." The people who have targeted Reacher and his team learn this truth a little too late.
Nonstop action. Larger than life characters whose camaraderie seems genuine. Despicable bad guys. Intricate plot. Edge of the seat suspense. If those characteristics appeal to you, grab Bad Luck and Trouble asap!
Without a doubt, Ain't She Sweet is my favorite Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel. I bought it in print when it first came out then bought it for my Kindle, Now I've bought it for my iPod.
I just sent an Audible gift of this book to my daughter who now has quite a commute each morning since she bought a house some distance from the school where she teaches. I'm introducing her to audio books this way.
I'm not only southern, I also write southern humor so I have a special fondness for books about small southern towns -- the characters, the mores, and the delightful southern colloquialisms.
This book is like sitting on a porch with a bunch of women on a hot Sunday afternoon, sipping ice tea, and letting the conversation swirl around me.
Narrator Kate Flemming portrays the women of the small Mississippi town perfectly. She's got the right amount of drawl and brings Sugar Beth and the other women to life.
It's a good thing digital recordings don't wear out because I've listened to this one so many times that were it CD, it would be worn thin.
Great book. Great performance. Perfect entertainment.
We started moving my office to our weekend home where I'll be hanging my hat temporarily until our townhome is available. Listened to Inside Delta Force by Eric Haney and narrated by Robertson Dean who has a great voice -- a manly man voice which is perfect for this story of Delta Force.
This is a compelling personal history from Haney who was among the first selected for Delta Force. Years ago I saw this book listed in the credits of the TV series The Unit starring Dennis Haysbert. I bought the book and read it in print, passed it on to hubby and our kids. When I saw the audio book, I knew we would all enjoy it -- and we did.
Highly recommended. Don't miss it.
Lightning is one of my favorite books so I was glad to purchase the audiobook and anxious to see if it did justice to this perfect example of speculative fiction. I'm happy to say that Christopher Lane does an excellent job in breathing life into Koontz's words.
I've always been surprised that Spielberg hasn't made a motion picture of Lightning. The story is the perfect blend of the puzzle of a mystery, the relationship of a romance, and the science fiction aspect of a changed future that might occur if the geniuses and the mad men of the world succeed.
Brian Tracy is an author and speaker with many motivational books to his credit. If you have a problem with procrastination, get this book!
Just listening to it makes you want to dive in and get your life organized, clearing out the clutter and the old bad habits by which you operate.
Excellent book with great advice that is actually very easy to implement.
Tripwire, Book 3 of the Jack Reacher thrillers, abounds in emotional threat and creates a nervous anxiety as the momentum of the story builds. You just know terrible things are going to happen to the villain's latest targets. I won't say any more because I don't want to toss out a spoiler. If you read or listen to Tripwire, you'll understand what I mean.
Suffice it to say that much of the book is an exercise in emotional sadism as well as physical acts of violence that have you constantly on the edge of your seat, waiting for more to happen to the hapless victims of the sadistic villain.
On a side note, this book was published a few years before 9/11 which brought massive changes to the NY landscape. Some of the science paradigms have changed so don't think the author did a sloppy job in research. What he describes as SOP was the way it was back in the mid 1990's. Science has evolved and so has SOP of dealing with body remains.
The consummate professional Jonathan McClain voices Reacher again and does a superb job with this story which gives more insight into Reacher's background, making you feel as if you know him better by the end of Tripwire.
All in all, another taut suspenseful thriller from Lee Child, a master of the genre, and a superb acting job by narrator Jonathan McClain.
Excellent story; lovely narration!
Donna Fasano is great at creating characters that seem real -- with the mixture of strengths and weaknesses that real people have. Best of all, she's at the top of the game in writing a sweet romance filled with emotion and characters who end up yearning for each other -- like Chelsea and Ben in this story. For comic relief, there's Ben's Aunt May.
Narrator Mary Lynn Bowen is skillful and brings this romance to life. She superb in voicing the different characters, but in Chelsea's voice, she really shines.
HIS WIFE FOR A WHILE has depth. You'll root for Chelsea. She learns, with the help of others, to overcome the tragedy of her own past, and that is what really helps her to embrace her future. She earns her happy ending.
This was the first audiobook of a Jack Reacher novel that my darling hubs and I heard. We'd read several of the Lee Child novels so we figured the audiobook would be good entertainment.
If you like your entertainment suspenseful, taut, gritty, and with a strong mystery too, this book is for you.
Dick Hill did an amazing job as narrator. He brought this book to life and made it feel as if we were listening to an action movie with all the elements guys love: blazing guns, strong hero, evil bad guys, and a high body count! (Ah, the things I do for my hubby -- like listening to Stephen Hunter and Lee Child novels. *g*)
Seriously, if you're looking for hero material, check out Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels. You won't be disappointed.
I read Watchers years ago, and I've re-read it every few years. I love this book -- the speculative fiction aspect, the mystery of it, the damaged characters who, through the power of love, rise above their pasts and fiercely protect each other, and Einstein. Everyone in the world who loves dogs wants a dog like Einstein.
This book has it all -- science fiction, mystery, suspense, and love -- and the narrator J. Charles ably brings his skill and talent to this story.
Great story. Great narrator.
My husband and I are slowly working our way through the Jack Reacher novels. In this, Book 2 of the series, Reacher is in the wrong place at the wrong time, and nearly loses his life because of it.
Wrong place and wrong time, yes, but Reacher is definitely the right man for that situation.
Narrated by Jonathan McClain who does several of the Reacher novels, DIE TRYING is a thrill ride. Just when you think there's no possible way the situation can get any worse, it does.
Just when you think there's no way out, Reacher creates one.
Lee Child does a masterful job in creating a taut, suspenseful, ripped-from-the-headlines story, and McClain does an equally masterful job of narration.
All in all, this is excellent!
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