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Point of Impact (Bob Lee Swagger #1)

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  11,478 Ratings  ·  547 Reviews
Point of Impact
Paperback, 528 pages
Published March 6th 2003 by Arrow (first published February 1st 1993)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 18, 2011 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: action
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.
Benjamin Thomas
Oct 23, 2011 Benjamin Thomas rated it it was amazing
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
May 28, 2012 Nathaniel Gage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike French
May 26, 2015 Mike French rated it it was amazing
3 Things not to do:

Tug on Superman's cape
Spit into the wind
Mess with Bob Lee Swagger

A wild ride from start to finish. Make sure your seatbelts are fastened and your hands are inside the vehicle at all times! I thought J Carson Black's Cyril Landry was tough, but he is a wimp compared to Bob Lee! A must read for fans of Thrillers!
Jul 18, 2014 Nu-Jahat-Jabin rated it it was amazing
হটাৎ মনে হল পুরানো বই গুলা সব রিভিশন দেওয়া দরকার।কারন মাথার ভিতর থেকে অনেক কিছুই হারিয়ে যাচছে।
অনুবাদের মান নিয়ে যখন পড়েছিলাম তখন আগামাথা বুঝতাম না। পড়তে পারলে টাইপ অনুবাদ হলেই চলত। কিনতু এখন অনুবাদের মান ততটা ভাল লাগছে না। চলে টাইপ অনুবাদ।

বইয়ের বযাপারে তখন যেটা মুগধ করেছিল সেটা হল রাইফেলের বরননা। সেটা এখন ও ভাল লেগেছে।
ভিয়েতনাম ফেরত বব লি সোয়েগার কাহিনীর পযাঁচে পড়ে খুনি হয়ে যায়। এরপরের লড়াইটা নিজেকে বাঁচানোর জনয । কাহিনীতে আছে ভিয়েতনামের সমৃতি বনধু হারানোর গলপ, নিজেকে সব কিছুর ভিতরে বাঁচিয়ে রাখ
Jane Stewart
Oct 30, 2014 Jane Stewart rated it really liked it
4 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 e
Oct 10, 2010 Keri rated it really liked it
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
David Graham
Nov 22, 2013 David Graham rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 12, 2008 Jim rated it really liked it
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
Aug 21, 2007 Lucas rated it did not like it
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
May 15, 2007 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 14, 2012 Sandy rated it it was amazing
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
Asghar Abbas
Dec 25, 2015 Asghar Abbas rated it it was amazing
This is one of the THE best thrillers ever. A real one. Joyous to read from start to finish
It's an absolute shame that it is not more well known.
Character of Swagger is A celebration of Hunter's skills.
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
Dec 11, 2009 Maddy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2007-reads
PROTAGONIST: Bob Lee Swagger

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
Jul 02, 2010 Nathan rated it it was ok
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
Danielle Tremblay
Oct 19, 2012 Danielle Tremblay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
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'
Carol Storm
Jul 05, 2011 Carol Storm rated it it was ok
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
Feb 07, 2012 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!
Billy Purdue
Jul 13, 2016 Billy Purdue rated it it was amazing
I had just finished Lee Child's series and my father in law recommended this and even loaned me the entire series. I very much enjoyed this and look forward to the next.
Oct 20, 2007 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book. The man's research is phenomenal. This is how to write a thriller. I can read this again anytime.
Masayuki Arai
Jan 23, 2017 Masayuki Arai rated it it was amazing
The trick on the rifle was amazing :)
Feb 07, 2014 Steve rated it liked it
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
Nov 16, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing
I read Point of Impact, the first book in the Bob Lee Swagger series, by Stephen Hunter. Stephen Hunter is a novelist, essayist and a Pulitzer prize-winning film critic. The story takes place after the Vietnam and Cold wars, and takes in different places all over the United States. The story starts out with Bob Lee Swagger living in the mountains of Arkansas with his dog. He was the best sniper in Vietnam. However, rogue government agents locate him and say that there is a plot to assassinate th ...more
Christopher Taylor
Oct 30, 2016 Christopher Taylor rated it liked it
This, the first Bob Lee Swagger books, was an interesting read, since I'd seen the film "Shooter" which I enjoyed. I was curious what would be the same and what would have been changed. Aside from the very core plot point of an assassination, nearly everything was changed. Swagger was made younger, not southern, and nearly every single point in the sequence changed and was shortened.

In a way, this is two books. The first third or so is about a good ol' boy, a rural southerner retired from the mi
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
I was just looking for something light to read and picked this book because it looked interesting and was rated well. This novel was quite a surprise. It was clever, fast moving with a main character of the nature of Jack Reacher. I was fascinated by the author's grasp of the media, politicians and government workers and often said to myself I wish I had those insights. As it turns out that among his qualifications he was the film critic for the Washington Post and a former Pulitzer Prize winner ...more
Barry Brierley
Aug 03, 2012 Barry Brierley rated it really liked it
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
Aug 22, 2007 Peter rated it it was ok
It's hard to believe that Hunter is a Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic. He can't write fiction to save his life. The story itself is a fun little mystery with quite a bit of suspense. Everything else - the characters, the dialogue - is unbelievably clumsy.

This is still worth reading for the lengthy descriptions of all of the factors that go into shooting at range. If videogames have taught me anything, it's that shooting someone with a sniper rifle involves holding down the "hold breath" butt
I didn't expect to rate this 5 stars but it deserves the praise. The story started out slow but it built up, 2 or 3 lives were intertwined and the suspense was topnotch. Stephen Hunter's masterful storytelling made it worth my time although it took me almost a week to finish it. Plots with a lot of layers and mysteries were tangled to create a suspenseful story that really kept me on edge. No loose endings here and nothing predictable, at least for me. Would definitely read the other books in th ...more
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Greeting 1 3 Oct 27, 2016 03:02PM  
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Bob Lee Swagger (10 books)
  • Black Light (Bob Lee Swagger, #2)
  • Time to Hunt (Bob Lee Swagger, #3)
  • The 47th Samurai (Bob Lee Swagger, #4)
  • Night of Thunder (Bob Lee Swagger, #5)
  • I, Sniper (Bob Lee Swagger, #6)
  • Dead Zero (Bob Lee Swagger, #7; Ray Cruz, #1)
  • The Third Bullet (Bob Lee Swagger, #8)
  • Sniper's Honor (Bob Lee Swagger, #9)
  • G-Man (Bob Lee Swagger #10)

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“What he called his own personal night was about the feeling of being nothing, of having no worth, of having spent himself in a war nobody cared about, and having given up everything that was important and good.” 0 likes
“knowing that he himself looked so cowboylike to these Eastern people, in his best black Tony Lamas, a nice pair of Levi’s, a pointed-collar shirt with string tie and a black Stetson, all under a sheepskin coat, his best coat.” 0 likes
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