American Sniper by Chris Kyle
Navy Seal Chris Kyle has recorded the most kills in US history during his time-serving 4 tours between 1999 and 2009. His job was to protect his fellow comrades as they traveled on the ground throughout war-torn areas, and Chris had a bird’s eye view from roof tops. While Americans nicknamed him “Legend”, the enemy called him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and had a bounty out for his death.
In 2013, after Chris had served his country for tn years and had returned home to be a husband to his wife and a father to his two children, Chris was killed while working with war vets.
This book, written by Chris himself and includes chapters by his wife Taya is their story of a deep love and a war that never ended.
Note – this is not my genre at all. I avoid war books and anything political like the plague. (And the plague is something definitely to avoid!)
If you know Chris’s story… you know there is more to this book than war. It is a passionate story of a man who wanted to protect his country. It is also about his meeting his wife, having children, and her fears every time Chris left to go back into the war. It is a first hand account from Chris himself of what it was like from the rooftops, working to save his team… it is about love and it is about loss.
My husband and I went to see the movie when it came out. Again, not something I would normally do, but I had heard amazing things from people whose opinions I trust – and many of these opinions were female friends of mine who also would not get into a war movie. We went… and it was powerful.
This is what led me to the audio version of this book. I wanted to know more of the story, and the book definitely does that. American Sniper is told mainly first hand by Chris with occasional thoughts and dialogue by his wife Taya. The book I found to be harsher than the movie. While interesting, Chris is very proud of his killings, even to the point of discussing using different ways to kill (rifles, etc…) to see what works best.
It is hard for me, for someone who has never experienced war and is a life long member of the “why can’t we all just get along” club, to understand taking pride and talking in detail of killings. I am not judging, just explaining a feeling.
The audio book is still an impressive take of what it would be like to be in the center of the war. Nearly killed many times during battle, it is a sad ending to know that Chris was killed while back in the states not far from his home, trying to help others. *Note – this is not covered in the book.
Narrated by Jim Defalice who was an excellent voice for Chris. I struggled when he narrated the chapters written by Taya as his voice did not change at all and sometimes it was hard to tell in the audio format when the narration had changed to her. The book would be talking about falling in love with him, and I would have to think, “Chris fell in love with a man? Oh no – this is Taya talking.”
Overall, I recommend this book or audio for anyone who would like to know more as I did. It is a piece of our American history that I like knowing a little more about. I recommend the movie as well.
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishing
Length: 10 hours and 21 minutes