American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Author: Chris Kyle with Jim DeFelice and Scott McEwan
Release Date: January 3, 2012
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 Kyles fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyles 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.
This is my honest review
Narrator: John Pruden
Rating: 5 Stars - excellent
A gritty, raw, and an endearing autobiography
I rarely venture out of reading romance fiction, and it’s been a while since I’ve read an autobiography. I do like reading about military heroes real or not, so I thought why not read about Chris Kyle? His life as a Navy SEAL sniper intrigued me. I was pleasantly surprised that once I started this book, I couldn’t stop.
Chris Kyle is very candid when he talks about his life growing up in Texas, his life as a cowboy, and then making the decision to enlist in the military. His telling of personal experiences while in the war in Iraq is both very raw and gripping. What he had seen and done was really gritty, but what do you expect? This is war he’s talking about, and it’s not pretty. When I reached the end of the book, I truly felt like I had been inside a sniper’s head, and I mean that in the most sincere way. I still can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to actually be there and live through all that.
This is one man’s memoir, and I whole-heartedly respect his beliefs and decisions. One of the stories he recounted talked about a guy on his team nicknamed “Runaway”. The guy would run away once the going got tough. Would you want someone like that covering your back in the midst of battle? Nope. Chris Kyle was a true American who loved serving his country and went above and beyond doing his job well as a sniper. He was the type of guy to run into battle and not run away. In the end he saved so many lives. I thank him for his service and sacrifices.
Narration: 5 stars
I made the decision to listen to the audiobook, and I’m so glad I did! John Pruden’s voice fits well with this autobiography. There are parts of the book that are in Taya’s (Chris Kyle’s wife) POV, and the narrator didn’t try to speak in a higher voice for the female parts. Instead, he used his regular voice, but talked at a faster pace. At first I wondered if I had hit the speed button, but I soon realized that he was switching pace to read Taya’s parts. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed John Pruden’s narration. Listening to this book was a wonderful and captivating experience for me.
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~ Quickie Movie Review ~
~ Quickie Movie Review ~
My quickie thoughts:
After finishing the audiobook, I did go see the movie American Sniper starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. I'm a huge fan of movies directed by Clint Eastwood, so seeing this movie was a no-brainer for me. Chris Kyle's job as a sniper was not an easy one, and it did eventually take a huge emotional toll on him. Bradley Cooper did an amazing job translating those emotions on film. Filled with suspense and war action, the film also showcases the painful realities of what many military families go through everyday when their loved ones are fighting overseas. It also shows the hardships that must be dealt with when they return home. Sienna Miller's portrayal of Chris' wife, Taya, seemed heartbreakingly genuine. An absolutely phenomenal and powerful adaptation of the book.
Did you read the book or see the movie?