American Sniper

The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Narrated by: John Pruden
Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (28,079 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

He is the deadliest American sniper ever, called "the devil" by the enemies he hunted and "the legend" by his Navy SEAL brothers.

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war - of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends.

American Sniper also honors Kyle's fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyle's wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris.

Adrenaline-charged and deeply personal, American Sniper is a thrilling eyewitness account of war that only one man could tell.

©2012 Chris Kyle (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: 20 Best Military Audiobooks from History to Fiction and Beyond


The titles that fall under the designation of military audiobooks are more varied and diverse than you might think. From firsthand combat accounts to imaginative works of fiction, these listens cover a lot of ground on both domestic and international disputes, scientific and sociological analyses, male and female perspectives, lessons from victory and loss, and more. What they have in common, though, are themes of courage, loss, and determination.

What listeners say about American Sniper

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It's been censored by the publisher

Look, I love this book. I love Chris Kyle. But his publisher, in what can only be described as a complete chicken-shit move, and some bullshit censorship, removed the sub-chapter about Jessa Venture that resulted in the Kyle family being sued. This is not the book that Chris wrote!

Other than it being incomplete, it's a fantastic read. And it's absolutely nothing like the movie by the same name. If you enjoyed the movie, definitely read the book. You'll come to appreciate Chris Kyle in a new light. But that means rewarding the publisher for censorship. And that pisses me off. But it's too late now, they've already absconded with my money.

I can't reward this incomplete work with a 5th star. But it would be 5 stars if it hadn't been censored.

165 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Big boys play war and evade duties to their wifes.

Overall the book is not very well written and storytelling is divided to small pieces here and there. But that was not the main issue to me. I was very open minded when I started to listen to this book, but as the story progressed I could not start to dislike the author and the twisted manly image that was portrayed. Full of boyish ego boasting. I strongly disagree that it's heroic to skip taking care of wife baby and feed your own addiction to action by enlisting time and time again, especially when it seems that purpose to author is not to serve the locals, but to get to play with guns and wrestle with buddies.

14 people found this helpful

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SEAL Warrior Slaps Cows

Though he is a brave and patriotic warrior, Chris Kyle is so full of himself, it is irritating. He brags about his rodeo days, and laughs at how he used to break bones in his hands slapping cows in the head. Not a far step from that animal abuse to his joking about killing humans--laughing about an Iraqi soldier who bled to death after having his ass literally shot off...real funny. Kyle was no John Wayne. While a necessary evil, CK's apparent enjoyment of all his bad-ass ways got me to disliking him early in the book. Reminded me of a guy I knew who used to enjoy hunting deer, and then when the wounded deer was down, he'd go up to the deer and finish the job with a hammer. Was feeling pretty proud of our American heroes until I started reading this book. Guess we need that type...over there. When the narrator tried to vocally imitate Kyle's wife, it was kind of creepy. Overall, a readable account, but not one of my favorite audible books.

12 people found this helpful

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story kept my attention

interesting and honest story. disappointed that the author never developed more cultural sensitivity, but that's his honest perspective.

5 people found this helpful

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Tremendously Enlightening, could not put it down

I am a married Mother of 1 Son and 2 Step-sons. I have never served in the military and honestly do not have any close ties to the Military, other than my Father who served in Korea and a cousin who was killed in Vietnam during the TET offensive. Though I would prefer the world was all Love and Light with no war ever; that is just not how it is. I have strong feelings about the war on both sides of the issue, I respect others thoughts and opinions as their own; but no matter what I respect and support the courage, strength and patriotism of each and every member of our Military. I begin this review this way so that you can see I am a regular Jane.

This book is written from Chris Kyle a Navy SEal's perspective. It is about his life growing up in Odessa Texas and follows him through his life as a Navy SEal, from BUDS training to the war in Iraq and life during and after from his POV. If you are looking for fluff, BS and watered down opinions this book is not for you. Chris tells it like he saw it good, bad or indifferent from his POV. During the reading of this book I cringed, I smiled, I chuckled, I felt uneasy and a bit queasy, I cried and felt sad, but I was completely engaged the entire time. At no point did I feel lost or feel like I did not understand something. (Keeping in mind I am just a regular Jane); Chris explains acronyms, procedures and operations as the story moves along and talks in plain "Texan". Peppered throughout the book, Taya, Chris' wife gives us a heartfelt view of life with Chris. My heart could only bleed for her, Thank you Taya and "God Bless" you for all that you sacrificed for your country. And Chris for the record though you say (several times I might add) throughout the book that you do not consider yourself a "Bad Ass".........Uh Chris, you were a FEARLESS BAD ASS, period end of subject.

I am glad I decided to read this book; as honesty goes, Chris does not pull any punches and truly seems sincere in all his accounts of how things went down. I am not by nature one to believe everything I read and use quite of a bit of discernment as a rule, but at no point did I feel that anything but the truth as Chris saw it went from pen to paper.

Thank you Chris and every single person at home or deployed who Stand and Protect our great country. And thank you to all the Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, Wives and Children who sacrifice so those brave men and woman can do just that.

This is a must read for anyone who wants to read a firsthand account of the sacrifices the men and women of our armed forces endure on a daily basis.

228 people found this helpful

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Informative, But Not To My Taste

It was a bit distressing to experience the mind of a person who enjoyed killing humans, even though they are the enemy. I don't understand the psychology of it all. Maybe you have to enjoy it to be good at it, and our warriors need to be highly skilled. In my opinion, not most women's book.

8 people found this helpful

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An emotional and riveting biography.

Breaking down the wall and mystique behind the lives of America's warriors. The book brings you into the life of a warrior and patriot, not just on the side of combat, but the raw emotional side of his and his wife's life throughout multiple deployments. Emotional, personal, and revealing. RIP Chris Kyle.

15 people found this helpful

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A must read for Active Duty, Veterans, and family

This book is a riot, Chris Kyle... I salute you. I am 82 ABN veteran, and this book sums up all the emotions that somehow Veterand cant figure out how to explain to anyone, even ourselves. This book made me laugh made me smile and made me understand, it also made me Proud to be an Amreican, something the Author would be proud to know. It also made me very proud to have worn the Uniform with pride and respect.

96 people found this helpful

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Rough and tumble Texas boy makes USA proud

This book is a fascinating account of someone that lived a horrifying scenario without blinking. A Navy Seal, a man, a dad, a patriot, and a Christian which laid his life on the line for his fellow fighting forces, and in his belief his country, all to prevent evil from succeeding. Say what you want to about agreeing with the man, but call him a true man and a hero in the process. He is non-political. He is just a man that answered a call to duty from his country, and was extremely lethal at the task given. This single minded soul, concentrated on the task at hand and accomplished what we asked of him.
If you are looking for a book that questions patriotism, the reasons the USA went to war, move on to another book. However, if you want a glimpse in to a well trained mind that had a little fun along the way, and a few hardships, then this is a great book for you.

80 people found this helpful

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Bad Narration

Would you consider the audio edition of American Sniper to be better than the print version? Nope Would you be willing to try another one of John Pruden’s performances? No Any additional comments? Ok, this will probably do no good since this is so prevalent in audiobooks but just because your main character is from Texas; that does not mean you need to perform a bad imitation of Will Ferrell doing a bad imitation of George W. Bush. As a native Texan, the narrator's accent was just so irritating.

102 people found this helpful

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  • FaMa
  • 08-16-18

Disappointed by the red neck nonsense

Chris has obviously achieved a lot in his career as a Seal. It's not usual I take the time out to write a negative review but some of the comments really annoyed me and I had to point out the ignorance some of the soldiers go into war with. One example is where he admits he'd like to shoot all Iraqi's carrying a Quran and how the entire nation is F88ked up and beyond help. Its a fascinating view and shows the ignorance of not understanding why these people would want to kill Americans when it is America who attacked their country on a false pretense. I admire the courage of the soldiers, who are obviously doing their job even if it is in the name something that didn't exist (WMD) but I think the book could have had a more balanced view instead of the rhetoric of..We are America, we do what we like..F88k you if you dont like it

6 people found this helpful

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  • Dan Dan
  • 12-25-13

Entertaining listen.

I really enjoyed this book, it's very entertaining, however I ended up detesting Chris Kyle!
He really comes off as a jock Red-neck and confirmed to me why America gets such a bad rep overseas. I find it very frustrating that he could not see the irony in his complete lack of empathy with the Mujahideen. I could not help but draw some huge parallels with a man who sported a Crusaders cross on his forearm and who's priorities were listed "God, Country and then Family" with the Muslim extremist he was gunning down.
Don't get me wrong, I think they were doing a job that had to be done, however I think Chris Kyle and other Americans felt they were fighting a holy war as much the Jihadists!
If like me your view of The SEALS has been tainted by this guy, check out Adam Brown's book, he really does completely renew your faith!

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 03-03-12

Almost like being there.

A great listen, John Pruden's narration is spot on, his drawl is exactly what I would imagine Chris Kyle's voice is like. Every step of the way your alongside Chris listening to the thoughts of a proud and patriotic man giving an insight into his war. Theres a bit of technical detail but not too much to turn people off. In the end it's all about what he was feeling when he was doing his job, killing insurgents and watching colleagues die.
Thanks for sharing Chris.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • miss
  • 03-07-15

Respect to the fallen

A heroic account of a snipers life, such a shame Chris Kyle is no longer with us. A life taken so needlessly after surviving countless tours of duty. Rest in peace "The Legend"

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jackie Ainscough
  • 03-05-15

Excellent.

Great book and brilliantly narrated. I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to know the real story of Chris Kyle, it makes you see even more how well Bradley Cooper portrayed him.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-11-19

ok but the narrator spoilt it for me.

good story, but the guy who narrates it's got on my wick. had to stop about half way through sorry.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dave K
  • 04-16-15

Humm ok

After reading a few reviews I purchased. One thing that sticks in my mind is he is almost as extreme as the people he is shooting. I think something of this was mentioned elsewhere in another review. I like America very much but he love of the country and zeal for it was a bit too much for me. Some very good parts very well told.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sally Alp
  • 03-29-15

Didn't enjoy it as much

Too much cussing. I know it's a soldier's recount of his life. But cussing for the sake of cussing took away some of the seriousness of this book.
The late Kyle's attitude towards taking life made me cringe but that was his life experiences at the time.
What did I take away from this book. War is not nice. People die or come back changed.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James B.
  • 04-13-15

Okay

You will like this if you like books written by seals as opposed to books written by trained writers. Good story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • daniel
  • 04-08-15

Inspiration

I watch the movie first and now the book as this man story as he and his wife struggle to keep together is so amazing story of this man and A inspiration to join the military as as I am going to
join the Royal Marines so can you get into the SBS

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-11-19

Couldnt think of a heading, read the review :)

Does contain typical US machoism not found usually in books by Aussie solders but still a really good book. If you can deal with that, would recommend. Probably 4.5 stars is s more accurate rating from me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-18

Wow. what an inspiring legend. Honor your Heroes!

such an inspiring story of chris kyle's life! the struggles of reality between Service and Family - How we would all do better to apply his honor to our lives. Living Faith.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S c.
  • 02-23-19

ok story

good story ,tells it how it was,little bit sanitized really want to get below the surface.The end was missing,be nice with a update

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-20

Honest and inspiring

A truly inspiring story of an inspiring yet humble individual. Thank you for your service!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-11-20

Great story

Great audio book! Narrated very well and very easy to follow. Also sounds accurate to a lot of other things I have read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-13-20

America sniper

This is an amazing book The book puts you into the shoes of America’s most lethal sniper and is very detailed recommend to all

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-02-20

Phenomenal legacy, just, and sacrifice.

This man truly deserves credit for what he has done, and the realist perspective on war gives the reader an understanding that I’ve personally never had. Americans are seen as war hungry, but these men are trained to kill, simple as that, they done start war, they follow orders. Your government starts war. Much respect and peace to this mans soul. Rip.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-19

More about the man, rather then the title

A great insight into how he saw the world and how he justified his actions. Great read.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Theres
  • 12-02-18

Killing. Guns. God. Patriotism. Yeah, 'MERICA!

As title says. Everything you would expect from the book's title is in there. Guns, patriotism, killing, bible bashing, entitlement, family and some serious dedication to the cause of all those.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-07-18

Great listen!

Don't get to wear headphones often but when I do - I put this on.