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American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History Paperback – 29 Jan 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 886 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (29 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062238868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062238863
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.6 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (886 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

“Chris Kyle tells his story with the same courage and grit he displayed in life and on the battlefield. American Sniper is a compelling read.” (CLINT EASTWOOD)

“An amazingly detailed account of fighting in Iraq--a humanizing, brave story that’s extremely readable.” (PATRICIA CORNWELL, New York Times Book Review)

“In the elite community of warriors, one man has risen above our ranks and distinguished himself as unique. Chris Kyle is that man. A master sniper, Chris has done and seen things that will be talked about for generations to come.” (MARCUS LUTTRELL, author of Lone Survivor)

“Chris Kyle was incredible, the most celebrated war hero of our time, a true American hero in every sense of the word.” (D Magazine)

“The raw and unforgettable narrative of the making of our country’s record-holding sniper, Chris Kyle’s memoir is a powerful book, both in terms of combat action and human drama. Chief Kyle is a true American warrior down to the bone, the Carlos Hathcock of a new generation.” (CHARLES W. SASSER, Green Beret (US Army Ret.) and author of One Shot, One Kill)

“Reads like a first-person thriller narrated by a sniper. The bare-bones facts are stunning. .... A first-rate military memoir.” (BOOKLIST)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER (No Source)

American Sniper is the inside story of what it’s like to be in war. A brave warrior and patriot, Chris Kyle writes frankly about the missions, personal challenges, and hard choices that are part of daily life of an elite SEAL Sniper. It’s a classic!” (RICHARD MARCINKO (USN, Ret.), First Commanding Officer of SEAL Team Six and #1 bestselling author of Rogue Warrior)

From the Back Cover

The #1 New York Times bestselling memoir of U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle, and the source for Clint Eastwood’s blockbuster movie which was nominated for six academy awards, including best picture.

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him “The Legend”; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am not an Amazon reviewer, I do not do it often. However I almost feel moved to by this book, because it really was not what I had expected. If you are looking for an in-depth, meaningful insight into the mind of a trained killer who has the 'accolade' of being the most prolific sniper in US history, this is not your book.

What you will find here is a rather hashed attempt at writing a book, in all honesty it felt like I was reading a poorly detailed diary. While examples of Kyle's involvement in firefights is substantial, he failed to really pull me into his story. Instead of holding his hand through what should be a blockbuster tale of combat, loss, patriotism, I sit on the sidelines, being constantly buffeted by the harsh winds of stereotypical 'Team America' patriotism. I admire this in him of course, it just reaches a stage of being blatant flag waving, something I feel naturally repulsed by being a 'proper, quiet British man' (I guess).

Let me warn you now, this book is ridden with patriotic cliches, I actually struggled to finish because of this. It really did feel like that his every justification for killing was that he was American, they were 'bad guys' and that was that. I think the book truly fails to really dig deeper into his psyche and ask fundamental questions of him, 'how do you really feel about killing', 'do you really put country in front of family' and so on. Now don't get me wrong, I can appreciate this may not have been his intention behind the book, I just feel he had the opportunity to do so much more with his story.

I gave the book two stars, mainly because I did (to an extent) find it readable and hard to put down (maybe I just wanted to reach the end).
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Format: Paperback
For a start, this book is just horribly written. It's so bland and corny at times, and Kyle comes across as a completely unlikeable and revolting man that just rubs me up the wrong way throughout. Bradley Cooper did a seemingly better job of portraying Chris Kyle in the film than he portrays himself in his book.

This book isn't actually the "brutally honest" life of a US Navy SEAL sniper in Iraq doing a difficult but necessary job to save his colleagues lives or that of civilians, or a soldier who is also a family man and struggles of that. It's virtually a long macho brag by a man who is almost literally a cartoon caricature of a Texan; an oafish conservative "Christian", uneducated, a hunter who kills for sport, worked as a 'cowboy' for years before enlisting in the armed forces, probably never even left his state before joining the forces, for such a patriotic American who never stops going on about "American lives" he seems to despise Americans from other states such as California and raves on about how the British troops he encountered in his first tour of Iraq "talk funny". He goes into great detail of all the bar fights he's been in, hazing/beasting new members of the SEALs and his disrespect and disregard for local laws when he was briefly stationed in (I believe, it's been a while since i read this) Kuwait.

This would all be a bit tolerable if it weren't for his sickening blood lust.
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By John M. Ford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 Feb. 2012
Format: Audio Download
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.
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