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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sniper
I found this book very intersting, it tells the story of the most prolific sniper in American history. I found it to be enlightning in the fact what it takes for men to be in this enviroment , he holds no punches what he thinks of the people where he was fighting . In my opinion he is a true patriot of his country doing his job professionally . i also think it puts...
Published on 8 April 2012 by luggs

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What could have been a great read was
What could have been a great read was, at best, average. For an English reader the Americanisms grate (Y'all understand what I'm saying?), the grammar is poor (which seems to be par for the course for books of this genre) and, as other reviewers have already stated, some parts build up well then end without much depth or explanation of events, characters or results. To...
Published 1 month ago by JM


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What could have been a great read was, 28 May 2015
What could have been a great read was, at best, average. For an English reader the Americanisms grate (Y'all understand what I'm saying?), the grammar is poor (which seems to be par for the course for books of this genre) and, as other reviewers have already stated, some parts build up well then end without much depth or explanation of events, characters or results. To continually refer to the enemy as "bad guys" throughout and the killing of them as "fun" is cheap and while I haven't seen the film version, following this I don't particularly want to as American propaganda can only go so far. Shame
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60 of 68 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Long Shot, 19 Feb. 2012
By 
John M. Ford "johnDC" (near DC, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Chris Kyle served four tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom, making 160 confirmed kills of enemy soldiers and insurgents. In this biography, Kyle begins by describing his early life, his decision to join the Navy, and the courtship of his wife, Taya. The narrative then alternates between Kyle's military experiences and his home life with Taya and their children.

Kyle's descriptions of training and camaraderie in his Navy SEAL unit are similar to those from other military biographies. The training is hard, the participants are tough, and the officers in the "head shed" have them do some stupid things. The deployment sections of the book describe battle with Iraqi insurgents and the tactics that do and don't work against them. Kyle gives names when praising heroic actions of his fellow soldiers and uses unflattering labels when describing those for whom he has less respect. Don't miss what he says about "Runaway." Kyle comes across as a true solder--capable, patriotic, loyal to his comrades, and ferocious to his enemies. The enemies include opponents in bar fights as well as the Iraqis. We remember more than once that soldiers are very young as well as very brave.

The domestic segments of the book are less exciting, but have a depth not found in the combat stories. Kyle has trouble transitioning to his stateside life. And his wife has trouble understanding the war he leaves behind--and feels he must return to. His personal code of loyalty to "God, country, family" in that order is only a little different from Taya's. Why can't he move his family up to second place? We watch them go through the same growth struggles that all couples experience along with the unique challenges imposed by wartime military service. There are some useful lessons here.

It is clear that Chris Kyle was a heroic solder who served our country well. While his book has its moments--like the time he failed to hang up his cell phone before a fire fight and his wife heard the whole thing--it is a bit less than it could be. Certainly this is not because Kyle's life is uninteresting. But he could have shared more details about his work as a sniper. That's how the book is advertised and that's why most readers will pick it up. By that standard it falls a bit short.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tactless Drivel, 29 Jan. 2014
By 
Bought this two days ago on a whim as I expected a Navy SEAL with stunning prowess behind a rifle to be a collected, well-rounded, smart and perhaps quietly confident individual that would write an autobiography that would make up for an (as expected) average grasp of writing with a plethora of interesting stories, novel insights and awe inspiring recollections on his time as a sniper.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

The first sixty pages of American Sniper are a woefully dull account of Chris's upbringing that hold little interest, the only drive onwards - through the swathes of idiotic self postulating and sigh-inducing one liners that end every section - held within the hope that the story might become more exciting after he makes it through training and gets deployed on tour.

Wrong again.

Even if you forget the wearisome one-upmanship and the onslaught of achingly pointless bragging (rather curiously for a man that uses the word "Y'all" he says the British "speak English funny") you're still fed endless streams of school-level writing with the same amount of colour and vividity as Satan's bathroom fittings. Basically, this is how "The Hungry Caterpillar" would read if the caterpillar liked chewing tobacco and firearms.

I'm only half way through but tomorrow I will be calculating the elevation, drop and windage needed to launch this book 2,100 yards into the nearest recycle bin.

Then I'm off to Waterstones to buy the absolutely glorious, throat-catching triumph that is 'Sniper One' by Sgt. Dan Mills.
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160 of 188 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly unenjoyable. Do not waste your time., 22 May 2012
This review is from: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (Hardcover)
Nobody expects ex-forces guys to be world-beating authors but even when taking that into consideration, you begin to ask yourself why at some point during the production of this drivel did someone not take him to one side and say "Chris, this isn't good, not good at all in fact. Tone it down a little."?

You could forgive the bland writing style, the corny see-through patriotism and the unengagingly cardboard dialogue, if only the author didn't come across as one of the world's most conceited men. Every single anecdote is a poorly veiled attempt to make him look super-great, whilst simultaneously trying to make everyone else look like a complete idiot. If you only believed half of what was said in this book, you'd be forgiven for thinking the US Navy SEALS are 99.9% incompetents and 0.01% Chris Kyle. And it's only that 0.01% that gives them their deserved reputation.

Just when you think it can't get any worse along comes the dialogue from his wife. I doubt she had much of a hand in writing any of it because they're in exactly the same vein as the rest of the book. It just reads as manufactured and wooden. I've read better porn scripts.

I'm not in the habit of ranting, but I'm having difficulty finding something good to say. The only reason I read the entire book was out of morbid curiosity. After reading it I tried to reason with myself. I began wondering if I had just read the tone of the book all wrong. Perhaps his writing style needed to be interpreted differently? So I typed his name into a search engine to get an idea of the man and came across a few Youtube links and articles of the author, and you know what .... he's exactly as I pictured him.

I can't imagine anybody finding this book to be an engaging read. What scant little detail there exists is constantly overpowered by the author trying to paint himself as the ultimate macho soldier. It's sad because it had potential. I don't doubt he's had many real life achievements. I don't doubt he made an adequate soldier. And I hope that behind closed doors this persona of his is just a façade for a decent guy. But the way it was portrayed was over-glorified and as if it were through the eyes of a slow child. The type of child who'd sit at the back of the class feverishly eating his crayons.

The only thing I can compare it to is the absolute worst of 1980's straight-to-video action films.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is he really a Sniper ??, 31 Aug. 2012
This review is from: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (Hardcover)
Very disappointed with this...bought it as a person interested in Snipers, the technology, the mindset etc. but found this book to be completely rammed with gagworthy patriotism, and "How great am I?" drivel....

Kyle's descriptions of his sniping activities amounted to "an insurgent appearing, I took him down, another appeared, I took him down too......."....was this guy actually a Sniper at all ?? Makes me wonder..

If you want a much better sniping/Iraq/Afghanistan book check out Dan Mills effort Sniper One - excellent (and British, so no flag flying)...descriptive and factual...
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful.....Just Awful, 30 July 2014
I had great expectation reading this book after hearing so much about him but I was greatly disappointed when I got this. I have read countless books (British/American/ww2, vietnam, iraq and afghanistan) and could not put them down, infact did not want to put them down as they were a great read but this book...I struggle to pick it up and I actually can't wait to finish it.

It's extremely poorly written, there is not enough descriptions of events, for example, he has a great build up of an event thats happening around him and just as you think there will be more about whats going on it's on to the next chapter and nothing more said. He mentions Marcus Lutterall and Michael Monsoor, as a reader you're expecting how they met or what they did together but this was nothing more than a couple of sentances about them. I know Chris is not with us today but if you're gonna talk about someone who did something amazing I as a reader want to know more about your relationship and how you met, what you guys did together.

Everytime I read this book I want my imagination to be captured and placed next to him in Iraq, as you have with most GOOD writers but as I said previously, this is not a well written book and would not recommend it. If you want a book on the Navy Seals I highly recommended Lone Survivor, Roberts Ridge or No Easy Day but I would recommend you stay away from this one. And as I write this, I read on the internet that Chris Kyle's estate is being sued by Jesse Ventura for slander in this book, although the passage was brief (as most stories told in this book are) it was pretty easy to guess who he was speaking about and Kyle did come across as a bit of a macho idiot whose always right and never wrong.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious, Gung-ho, all American. A struggle to complete., 15 Aug. 2013
By 
Mr. A. Gale "Al Gale" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This book should be compulsory reading for all UK forces. It forms the perfect handbook for how NOT to act within a warzone, unless that serviceman is hoping for a dishonourable discharge and a long civilian jail sentence. The book also highlights the entirely wrong attitude to serving in the forces.

Contrary to Kyle's opinion, conflict is not all about `whupping ass', looking cool in a baseball cap and being a `bas ass'.
And like it or not, Rules of Engagement have to be followed. They are the bane of the service personnel's life, but failing to understand them (or worse, ignoring them) results, legally, in a murder sentence (look up Lee Clegg!). Acting as Kyle did, such a shooting someone dead AFTER they have planted an IED, is a sure way to jail.

And yet the most infuriating aspect to this book is the fact that Kyle is genuinely under the total impression that the Iraqi and Afghanistani bad guys only want to kill Americans. If this were true, UK troops could patrol without body armour or risk of injury. Kyle utterly forgets that the Iraq wars involved a coalition!

Ultimately, the book has such an utterly American focus that anyone reading it and coming away having any empathy for Kyle can only be a fellow American.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A good target, 24 April 2012
This review is from: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (Hardcover)
One of the worst book ever read. Is very difficult to find the correct adjective to describe it, poor written, repetitive, deprived of any useful information on tactics, techniques and procedures, only a long sequence of macho style vignette and false modesty. Nothing to compare with others books as "Sniper One" or "HOGs in the shadow". Bottom of the line, I bring the book on the shooting range and use it as target for some shot at 300mt.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good view of the man's war duties, a dismal view of the country's duties to the world., 26 April 2015
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I get the feeling that this is ghost-written. The description of Mr Kyle's service and his achievments are genuine enough, the description of the strain that this produced on his marriage is definitely genuine. There are some filthy (sexually) parts in here which might shock some people.

I was in Iraq many times between the two Gulf Wars. Mr Kyle's description of his enemies as "savages" just doesn't ring true. Most of the people I met had post-grad degrees from a Western university. Of course the "cannon fodder" did not have this privilege but one has to understand that the USA was invading their country - what would ordinary US citizens have done if another country had invaded the US? They would have fought back with anything they could lay their hands on.

There are a number of pieces that are offensive, muj. doping up in Iraqi hospitals prior to fighting - oh yeah and exactly what drugs did the poor Iraqis have left? When I was there an asprin was prized. OK, Mr Kyle was an NCO and he obeyed orders (as a good trooper should) and did not particularly think about why he had been sent to kill all those people. He did not question that he was the insurgent in their land yet he hated them for protecting their own back yard.

This story is a uniquely American story on how it is right to kill others. It goes back to pre 1776 and follows through the Civil War, two World Wars, Korea and Vietnam, Bay of Pigs, Panama, fill in what you want. An arrogant country, in the same way that Mr Kyle was an arrogant operator, riding roughshod over whomever they like. These people need to grow up and accept the responsibility that has been placed on their shoulders or very soon the Chinese will take their place.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Inside the mind of a licensed killer-crusader, 19 April 2015
By 
David Herdson (Wakefield, Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History (Hardcover)
I nearly didn’t make it past the prologue, though ultimately I’m glad I did. In it, Chris Kyle describes his first sniping kill during the 2003 Iraq War: a woman who was preparing to launch a grenade at American marines. He describes her as a savage, blinded by evil. That kind of language is entirely typical of the whole book. Maybe in that instance his description is right? Alternatively, maybe she felt she was doing her bit to fight against an invading foreign army. Who knows? One thing is for sure: Kyle never stops to ask such questions.

At one rare introspective moment, Kyle asks whether he needed to distance himself emotionally from those in his cross-hairs and inevitably he answers that he doesn’t need to. Why this is goes back to the earlier comment. More than once, Kyle writes that his hierarchy of values is God, then country, then family – itself revealing of the man. He gets himself a Crusader cross tattooed on his arm. He continually views his opponents as evil, bad guys, savages, and the like. He doesn’t need to distance himself emotionally because he has already absolved himself of their deaths when in his mind killing them is doing God’s, and his country’s, work.

So much for the unlikable man his book is self-centred on. What about the book itself? I don’t think it’s as badly written as some other reviews have suggested. It’s honest and in style, easily readable. If it’s macho in content and humour, that’s descriptive of the nature of the man: you would expect little else. It would be good to read more of his colleagues, of the sights and sounds around him, of his deeper thoughts and so on but in effect, those asking for them are actually asking for a different author and that would necessarily have meant removing such value as the book does contain. In any case, it’s not all guns, death and self-promotion; Kyle – and his wife, Taya, in short inserted sections she’s written – do give interesting and at times painful insights into the domestic life of service personnel serving in warzones.

Why as many as three stars then? Because unwittingly, Kyle has given his readers a very good view inside the mind and lifestyle of a modern American sniper and soldier (strictly speaking, Kyle is a member of the US Navy but as he spends all his fighting time on land, that’s a technicality). I’m quite sure it’s not the one he intends but it’s a powerful, honest and valid picture all the same.
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