Then one idyllic day, a man, a woman, and a girl set out from the ranch on horseback. High on a ridge above a mountain pass, a thousand yards distant, a calm, cold-eyed man, one of the world's greatest marksmen, peers through a telescopic site at the three approaching figures. Out of his tortured past, a mortal enemy has once again found Bob the Nailer.
With a plot that sweeps from the killing fields of Vietnam to the corridors of power in Washington, to the shadowy plots of the new world order, Stephen Hunter delivers all the complex action his fans demand in a masterful tale of family heartbreak and international intrigue.
©1998 Stephen Hunter; (P)1998 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.
This is a fast paced gut grabber, the scenes are just wild enough to fire the imagination.
The main character, AKA "Bob the Nailer" lives by a creed of his own, methodical, rigid and as cold as a cadaver he sees the world in absolutes, good/bad, right/wrong, hit/miss. While in Vietnam he becomes a one man army with two reputations, one for killing the enemy at an alarming clip, the other for having an uncommon number of his team mates sent home in body bags. The Vietnamise have a bounty on his head and one bright morning death comes calling in the form of a soviet sniper with skills that match his own. Bob assumes the bullet that kills his partner Donny is meant for him... Years later, after marrying Donny's widow and having reverted to a life of simplicity, privacy and peace Bobs worls is shattered when his nemisis returns to shatter the serenity if his mountain home.
The action picks up as Bob works to identify why, after all these years, they still want him dead...
The same skills that kept him alive in the jungle re-emerge and "Bob the Nailer" returns and the hunted become the hunted.
This is a great read, once started you won't want to stop.
I always enjoy Stephan Hunter's writing. This was the first of his titles I read and one of his best. Fast action, flawed but very capable characters, make this much more satisfying than some of the cartoon like heros one finds in much of the modern action genre
I really enjoy the Bob Lee Swagger books. I have read them all ad "real" books and am also enjoying the audio.
Yes, the unabridged goes into much detail into the world, the mind, and the equipment of the sniper.
I find this interesting and educational. I missed that in this abridgment but always recomend this author and this character to anyone who likes an intelligent adventure read with depth.
This is Hunter's most panoramic book, weaving together plot elements from "Point of Impact" and "Black Light" into a satisfying denouement for Bob Lee Swagger. Beau Bridges does a capable job with the narration. His voice adds continuity to the three audio books. (Aside: Has anyone else noticed that Beau Bridges sounds remarkably like Ed Harris?) My sole complaint, and the reason I gave this book three stars, is the abridgment. Bantam Doubleday was desperate to keep this recording at six hours and left much material on the cutting room floor. The result is choppy and fragmented. If you enjoyed this recording, buy the book. There is much more good material in the unabridged version.
This book had high reviews, but it was not what I thought. The first half of the book was interesting, as it built up a story line about Donny. But, I still don't understand why so much time was spent on Donny, when the book was supposedly about Swagger. In fact, most of the time was spent on Donny. By the time I got to the later part of the book, I didn't care that much about Swagger because there wasn't a lot of time building up his character. I had a hard time believing that Swagger could marry Donny's widow--based upon how they described Swagger and described the widow. Donny's widow is almost a one dimensional character, even though she is written about through-out the entire book. Basically all we learn about her is that she is really beautiful. That's it. She's not given much personality. I thought it was shallow and demeaning that thoughts of her by both men were really only about the fact that she was pretty. No mention of kindness, personality---nothing. Swagger is described almost like a red-neck. No reason is ever given as to why this beautiful woman would want to marry Swagger. Complete disconnect there. There is no mention of how they actually got together. Toward the end, the book completely deteriorated and became cheesy and just embarrassing. It was predictable in an overdone kind of way. With all that said, Beau Bridges did a good job of narrating. His style seemed to fit the military-type story. All I can say about this book is, skip it.
After reading "Point of Impact" and "Black Light" this book did well to tie the story together in a compelling fashion. The rough figure Bob Lee Swagger is yet again a pleasure to follow around root for as he takes on his enemies.
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