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Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger, #1)
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Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger #1)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  7,904 ratings  ·  418 reviews
In the jungles of Vietnam, Bob Lee Swagger was known as 'Bob the Nailer' for his high-scoring target rate at killing. Today the master sniper lives in a trailer in the Arkansas mountains, and just wants to be left alone. But he knows too much- about killing. The mission is top secret. Dangerous, patriotic, and rigged from the start. One thing goes wrong: double-crossed Bob ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published March 6th 2003 by Arrow (first published January 1st 1993)
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Community Reviews

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Mike (the Paladin)
I like this book. There are things in it that bug me a bit, but on the whole nothing that really requires comment.

Bob Lee Swagger is a solitary man who lives alone in the Arkansas hills with his dog and his rifles. He loves to shoot though he doesn't hunt for meat anymore as since the war, he's lost his taste for the kill (something I've come to share. Maybe it's an age thing to?). Bob is part of the (so called) gun culture. He reads gun books, he loads his own ammunition and works at accuracy.
...more
Benjamin Thomas
I had read the novel Hot Springs by Stephen Hunter several years ago and had been pleasantly suprised by the quality of the work. And then, about a year later I saw the movie, "Shooter" starring Mark Wahlberg and once again, came away pleasantly surprised. I realized that the movie was based on the novel, "Point of Impact" also by Stephen Hunter but beyond that I discovered the two were related in a unique way. The main character in "Hot Springs" was Earl Swagger (with at least three books in th ...more
Nathaniel Gage
Before I start a review of this book, there's two caveats that I should probably address. The first is that I have a deep and abiding interest in guns and all the information that surrounds them, which makes the information in this book—length of pull, turned case necks, all kinds of manufacturers and statistics that are too numerous to name—a pleasure to read about rather than a chore. It's not everyone's cup of tea, and I know and respect that. But this is my own opinion, and it was just the i ...more
Keri
Bobby Lee Swagger is a loner. He likes things simple, just him, his dog and the cold silence of the north. He also has a talent...not to sing or dance, but to shoot and kill. He was a sniper for Uncle Sam, one of the best in the world. But when the government comes calling and presses on Bobby Lee's I love my country button, he must heed the call. But thanks to his daddy's teachings and how Uncle Sam has treated Bobby in the past, he takes no chances and takes steps to ensure that he is protecte ...more
Jane Stewart
4 ½ stars. Last half is good action suspense.

For the first 240 pages (42%) I was depressed and stressed. I had trouble sleeping at night. It was too much hopeless helpless victim feel because innocent man Bob Lee was framed for murder and on the run. THEN it changed and the rest of the book was exciting and hard to put down. Bob Lee was on a mission of retribution -- revenge. The bad guys were worried. There was a happy ending for the good guys which I liked. But I did not like one thing at the
...more
Jim
Bob Lee Swagger is a tough, unforgettable character. The action, settings & plot are all plausible. If you like conspiracy theories, guns & snipers, it's a great read. Well written & thought out.

The biggest surprise to me was that when I tried to re-read the books maybe 5 years later, I couldn't get back into it. I didn't think of it as a read-once book. It's better than that. Maybe a little too good & I remembered it too well to make a re-read worth it. Usually my memory is wors
...more
Lucas
I finally gave up reading this book on page 270. Which honestly was hard for me to do because I've never given up on a book before. Well, I gave up reading FAST FOOD NATION but that was different. Anyway, reading this book was an uphill battle only because Hollywood had recently turned it into a movie --a bad movie and although I never saw it, the mere thought of it shied me away from reading it. However, I decided to put my best foot forward and read the book and then see the movie and then dra ...more
Jonathan Briggs
Master sniper Bob Lee Swagger, "Bob the Nailer," has sworn to kill no more. He's withdrawn from society into the mountains of Arkansas to nurse his wounds, physical and spiritual, from Vietnam. Bob won't even kill deer, his rifle set on stun. But his bloodlust is reawakened by a chance for payback: A shady colonel visits Bob's cabin and offers him the opportunity to take down the Russian sniper who blew Bob's hip off and killed his protege in Vietnam. The commie rat is out to kill "the great man ...more
Danielle Tremblay
Memorable and beautfully-drawn characters, in a very complicated plot. Tons of detail about shooting and the sniper's world, delivered in a way that does not get in the way of the action. Keeps you guessing until a perfect and very satisfying ending that ties everything up nicely.

And it's not over when it's over. If you want to find out about some of the things hinted at in "Point of Impact" - how Bob managed to stop an entire NVA battalion with a 2-man sniper team, and the real story about Bob'
...more
Carol Storm
Is Bob Lee Swagger really Superman?

Man this book gave me a headache. Stephen Hunter can write great gun battles, and he knows weapons and tactics. But his hero, Bob Lee Swagger, is a boring, monotonous individual. He's not a carefree playboy like James Bond. He's not a family man like Jack Ryan. He's not even a cheerfully amoral mercenary like Conan The Barbarian.

No, Bob Lee Swagger is what Tennessee Williams once called "an ass-aching Puritan." He doesn't smoke, drink, raise hell or chase girl
...more
Sandy
At the suggestion of a friend, I picked up a 5x7 paperback not expecting too much but I became so engrossed in this character and the clear writing that I ended up reading this book in a day.
The author is just as skilled as Bob Lee Swagger...lines up the story, checks the wind, loads the right ammo in the form of words and gets to the point...BAM! Suddenly you're hit by a story that tells you everything you want to know but still feel mystified by the protagonist. Very, very good read. Never fel
...more
Frank
Excellent fast-paced action novel from Stephen Hunter. This is the first Bob Lee Swagger novel and it is probably the best! However, I really love all of the Swagger series - both Bob Lee and Earl Swagger. I would recommend reading this book, then "Dirty White Boys" (not a Swagger novel, but some of the same characters appear in other books), and then "Black Light" which ties "Point of Impact" and "Dirty White Boys" together and is a great intro to the Earl Swagger novels. Hunter is super!!
Steve
It took me only 21 years to get around to reading this 1993 Stephen Hunter release. I did it mostly out of curiosity, just to see how closely it resembled the 2007 movie, “Shooter,” on which it was based. It turns out, I needn’t have bothered.

Obviously, aside from the difference in their titles, Hunter’s novel and Mark Wahlberg’s film have very little in common. In fact, if you look closely at the cast of characters for the Paramount Pictures release, you‘ll wonder if you stumbled into the wrong
...more
Robert Kristoffersen
First off, the film 'Shooter' does not do this book justice at all! With that said, the book was inspired by Marine sniper Carlos Hathcock, and if you've read the biography of him called "Whitefeather" you will see the parallels. Aside from having the greatest name I've ever seen in literature (Bob Lee Swagger), the character feels like a more civilized version of Rambo. As the story opens, he hunts animal for sport, but doesn't kill them. Instead, with deer, he removes their antlers so as nobod ...more
Maddy
PROTAGONIST: Bob Lee Swagger
RATING: 3.5

Bob Lee Swagger is pretty much living the life of a hermit in the mountains of Arkansas. His life revolves around guns; he has a huge cache, which he fine tunes and cares for but never uses for killing. He doesn't need much in his life. He's got a loyal dog and plenty of room to roam, and that suits him fine.

When Bob served in Vietnam, he was renowned for his marksmanship; currently, he is one of the top shooters in the United States. In spite of himself, h
...more
Nathan
I picked this up for a nice pulpy, summer read. I assumed it would be pretty entertaining, since that Marky Mark movie Shooter that derived from this book is so fun. Awful. But fun.

There's a pretty good thriller in this book. It's a shame that it's trapped inside so many unnecessary words. Hunter suffers from the delusion that he is a gifted writer, and clearly thinks that going into unimaginable amounts of detail is the sign of inspiration. It isn't. He drones on and on about some of the most
...more
David Graham
A series of books that I would like to recommend is Stephen Hunter’s first three books of the Bob Lee Swagger series (Point of Impact, Black Light and Time to Hunt). I have only read one of the later books in the series and they seem to be more straight-forward action-thrillers but the first three books had the most wonderful plots and some of the best twists I have ever read. Hunter took what could have been a very one-dimensional character in Marine sniper Swagger and made him intensely intere ...more
Adam
This is the second novel by Stephen Hunter that I've read, and while it doesn't quite hit the cartoonishly hypertrophic heights of Dirty White Boys , it's more tightly focused and plotted. This is both good and bad, since after the first 100 or 200 pages it feels as if the characters are all slaves to the plot, which is unfortunate, since they actually had the potential to be pretty interesting people. On the plus side, the technical details of marksmanship and rifles are all pretty interesting, ...more
Barry Brierley
A milestone thriller...the very first of the 'Bob Lee Swagger' novels! Can you hear the humor in the author's voice as he chooses that name for his protagonist? Bob Lee Swagger, from Blue Fly, Arkansas. What a hoot! Absolutely zero pretense of 'fine literature' here, just damned good writing, gripping, compelling plots, and fascinating characters. Stephen Hunter is top-grade stuff, and 'Point of Impact' is entirely typical of his work. Mr. Hunter won a Pulitzer Prize for his film criticism with ...more
Nate Hendrix
I enjoyed almost all of Hunter's earlier novels, but I tired of the Earl Swagger novels. I am hoping this will be a better series. It was much better than the movie that it was made into. bob Lee Swagger, Earl's son is framed for a murder he did not commit. he has to clear his name and find the men responsible. It was ok.
Leon Aldrich
Stephen Hunter well deserves his place among military-police-thriller authors. And ...

His character "Bob Lee Swagger" is neck & neck with the likes of "Mitch Rapp" and "Myron Bolitar."
Terry Irving
Bob Lee Swagger is a great character. After you read this book, you feel like you can go out and shoot anyone from a thousand yards.

Please don't.
Gareth Otton
This is one of those rare books where I think Hollywood did a better job with the movie than the author did with the book.

The reason, in my mind at least, why books are usually better than movies is because of the following reasons:

1 - In a book you get a look into the characters head which gives the reader a unique insight into the characters and their motivations making them more sympathetic and likeable.

2 - There is room for a lot more expansion and explanation in books making it easier fo
...more
Jeffrey
The audiobook is abridged. It moved too fast with too little detail. Which I guess some like. I never really cared for the characters as they were shallow stereotypes of the people I imagine the complete book, being some 500+ pages, fleshed out. And Beau Bridges should stick to something other than reading books as his narrative was terrible. This is the first book with sound effects of the 4 or 5 I have listened to... the jury is out IMO as to whether I'd prefer a description versus hearing it. ...more
Mike
Fantastic book. The man's research is phenomenal. This is how to write a thriller. I can read this again anytime.
Timothy
Stephen Hunter has created (or should I say, "re-created") a marvelous hero in Bob Lee Swagger. Swagger is like a good, white-hatted cowboy from the Old West, or a modern day (well, early 1990s) version of a knight who never deviates from a personal code of chivalry.

I loved the action, plot twists and turns, technical descriptions (guns, listening devices, FBI forensics), and the various cliffhangers where it seems impossible that Bob Lee will survive and escape the bad guys (in this case, inclu
...more
Shawn
Being a fan of popular fiction, HOW did I miss this one for so long? I've seen the movie(having no idea really that it was based on a novel) and sort of enjoyed it. I like action films as much as the next guy and this one was average to good. So stumbling across the book I thought "why not" I'll give it a go. I'm very glad I did for now I have the whole series and they are some of my favourites. Hunter writes like I suppose a sniper shoots...deliberate and certainly on point. There isn't a lot o ...more
Sam
Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Stephen Hunter spent four years writing Point of Impact, his first novel and the debut volume of his series character, former marine sniper Bob Lee Swagger. From what I gather from his foreword and other sources, Hunter spent those years immersing himself in gun culture, and the thriller he came up with is saturated with technical detail even as it functions as a fairly solid thriller.

Swagger is retired on a disability pension when he is contacted by a mysterio
...more
Suzanne Arcand
I liked this book. A lot! I'm glad that I didn't let the tacky cover page deter me from it.

This novel will probably appeal to anybody who is interested in guns. I don't know much about them and still it's one of the aspect of this novel that I enjoy the most. It opened a whole new word to me and did it in a very entertaining fashion.

It will also appeal to anybody who believes that you have to be able to defend yourself, that the government will not protect you. This book is made for survivalist
...more
adri patamoma
mais um bestseller lido em viagem! indo pra campos do jordão, escolhi algo facinho de ler, de um autor até então desconhecido pra mim. gostei do livro, mas não assim muuuuito, sabe? dá pra passar o tempo, mas tive a impressão de que o stephen hunter não sabe deixar a história tão interessante quanto o lee child, ou o john sandfrod. o final do livro é bem brusco, onde tudo se resolve repentinamente, sem muitas explicações. senti falta de saber mais, de juntar as pontas soltas, de resolver os deta ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
Stephen Hunter is the author of fourteen novels, and a chief film critic at The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
More about Stephen Hunter...
Time to Hunt (Bob Lee Swagger, #3) I, Sniper (Bob Lee Swagger, #6) Black Light (Bob Lee Swagger, #2) Dirty White Boys Dead Zero (Bob Lee Swagger, #7 Ray Cruz, #1)

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