Steve Rawls's Reviews > American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

American Sniper by Chris Kyle
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M 50x66
's review
Feb 08, 2012

did not like it
Read in February, 2012

I tried, I really tried but I just couldn't make it through this book. I wanted to like it because I'm ex military and I live in Texas but about half way through I put the book away for good. The writing was dull and choppy, the sentences short and non descriptive. It read as if it had been written by my nine year old son. I found the repeated referral to bar fights and the continuous boasting of kill numbers to be a complete turnoff. I had hoped for colorful narrative like that of Black Hawk Down but instead found the book, well, just boring.
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02/05/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-35 of 35) (35 new)

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John About half way through. I hate to agree, but you're right. I'll finish it, and bless Kyle and his family. What an amazingly talented solider that was taken from his family too soon. The book is not written well; it's very juvenile. The story is worth my time, and maybe yours


message 2: by John (new)

John This book leaves you wondering if all those people he killed were guilty.


Skyqueen In other words, Steve, Sir, you wanted to be entertained. From a fellow Texan here who nonetheless gives thanks and gratitude EVERY morning for our military men, women and animals. God's grace be with you. Let Freedom ring!!


Chuck Cornmesset John, it's not for you to decide who is guilty or not. Just the same as it wasn't for Chris. It war and war is hell. It's kill or be killed.


Austin Brogan The simple fact is he's a seal not a dam writer. You shouldn't expect someone who came from the military to be a dam good writer.


Joshua Piorier I didn't see any where in the book would he boast about his kills, rather the opposite. He put the reader in his shoes and did a pretty good job. Bar fights? Hardly mentioned throughout the book but maybe all of 4 times. You wanted to read up on a Navy SEAL but I don't know what you would be expecting...Did you want him to talk about his favorite food?


Clark I finished it; the second half isn't as good as the first half. Re: all the comments that he's not a writer--well, that's why he hired not one but two ghost writers who both failed at their job.


Steve Ok cut Kyle some slack he's a solider not Shakespeare.


Otter there were maybe 2 references to bar fights. I don't find it hard to believe that that happens in the military.


Allen If want to be entertained, you chose the wrong book. However if you want to learn more about the US Military in general and Navy SEALs specifically you chose wisely. Kyle gives readers a glimpse into the life of a SEAL during as well as adjusting to family life when on leave and after leaving the military. I purchased the memorial edition which by the way deleted the bar fight reference to "Shruffy Face" (Ventura).
The memorial edition has several eulogy type writings of Kyle that were added after his death. You get know just how well liked and looked up to Kyle was to these friends and family.


Marina I couldn't agree more!


Taylor Goehle Have to agree with most of this. Taya's contributions were definitely the highlights for me as well.


message 13: by Todd (new) - rated it 2 stars

Todd Huish This is exactly how I felt! In addition to being completely unable to shake the feeling that if I met Chris Kyle, I wouldn't have liked him which left me not caring in the slightest about the entire ordeal


message 14: by April (new) - rated it 1 star

April Poorly written despite 2 ghost writers and likely not a person I would've liked if I'd ever met him. His open declaration that he preferred to re-enlist rather than stay with his wife and 2 children didn't help, nor did his repeated references to enjoying killing.


message 15: by David (new) - rated it 1 star

David Pretty much how I feel... so much bragging is inconsistent with the behavior exhibited by the heroes and veterans I know...


message 16: by Debbie (new)

Debbie I thought the book was in his words, found it worth the read!!!!


Hannah I miss Chris so much. The negative comments about him or his book is hard to deal with at times but we also realize the comments are said out of ignorance. The men and women of the military and YES that includes Chris is/was fighting this war for our freedom and safety. It's nice to have the freedom to express your opinions about this book or Chris's job right? You wouldn't have that freedom if it wasn't for people like Chris that sacrificed their own life so we could have one. I'm sick of the lack of support and respect for these men, women and Chris who gave/give their all. Just shows how selfish and spoiled some Americans are.


Michelle I have to agree with you. I wanted so much to like this book. I love my country and support our military 100%. I just got sick of the bragging and back slapping. Yes, he did a wonderful thing for our country, but I've met many Military men and women in my life (I grew up in a military family) and everyone I have ever talked to has been humble and never boasted of their experiences like Kyle did.


Nathaniel C. Molloy This book was great


message 20: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Bragging? I think not. Can't you see it's survival? Don't you see the soldiers that come home from protecting you are damaged? It's called PTSD. So what if it appears to be bragging. I admire their strength. If I was a soldier I would be sent home in a straight jacket or a body bag. He's telling his story. He's giving the facts. And if he wants to celebrate killing the bad guys then I say let him.


message 21: by Brent (new)

Brent Stanley I couldn't agree more. I also am about halfway through and am contemplating actually finishing the book. The writing is awful, and is written like a kid talks. There isn't great flow to the book and it's not really very interesting. And those who say he's a SEAL and not a writer... There were two co-authors who helped with the book and they should have had a greater influence with the delivery.


message 22: by Mikxela (new)

Mikxela Agree. I stopped reading after a couple of chapters due to the poor quality of writing.


Itdont Thank you for your review. I found this book to be a sad story of a very sad life. It is alarming that people worship this man and his dark view.


Hannah Laura wrote: "Thank you for your review. I found this book to be a sad story of a very sad life. It is alarming that people worship this man and his dark view."

It should be alarming for anyone to worship a human being. I don't believe Chris was worshiped.

I believe Chris is respected as man who fought for our freedom and made difficult choices doing his job.

Being respected and worshiped is two different things.


Hannah Michelle wrote: "I have to agree with you. I wanted so much to like this book. I love my country and support our military 100%. I just got sick of the bragging and back slapping. Yes, he did a wonderful thing for o..."

There's the Military and there's the Navy SEAL these guys are a breed of their own. They are cocky, confident, arrogant, strong, selfless, determined, smart and the best of the best. I could go on with the list but if you know a SEAL then you know how they are. It's not bragging it's pride for their country and letting their country know the job will and is getting done.


Itdont A person doesn't have to know a SEAL to understand people like this. We get it. And we don't find it appealing. To each his/her own. I hope that people who read this book do not think that all Americans behave and believe as this sniper did. That would be bad for us all.


Hannah I thought the same thing until I met a SEAL and now we are engaged. Some people think they know how the SEAL community is. Until you've become part of that community is nothing but assumption.

Actually it's sad that a lot of people view Americans as spoiled, ungrateful, selfish, power hungry, judge mental and all about the almighty dollar. People watch the news and read a magazine that's a clear view of how some Americans behave. No need to read this book of choices one man made.

I'm always reminded of a song song verse "God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in their shoes, then you might know what it's like to have to choose"

If people read this book and come to the conclusion All Americans have the same views and opinions as Chris then I would have concern about their lack of intelligence.


Skyqueen Agree and thank you. Wish I could find a SEAL...but he would need to be retired. LOL No...I mean 60.
Taking my son to finally see the movie this week. Saw that audiences clapped when it first came out. Good!


message 29: by Scott (new) - rated it 1 star

Scott Morris I was totally excited about reading this book, with all the movie hype and press. I really did try, but found the book to be poorly written, laborious, and dull. After 120 pages i put it down for good. I'll try the movie and hope that it's half as good as the hype.


message 30: by Scott (new) - rated it 1 star

Scott Morris I was totally excited about reading this book, with all the movie hype and press. I really did try, but found the book to be poorly written, laborious, and dull. After 120 pages i put it down for good. I'll try the movie and hope that it's half as good as the hype.


Diane I just started it and was really hyped to read it and yet, it's embarrassingly written, and the military guys just sound like the bullies on the playground grown up. And for all practical purposes, so far, I've found his wife's writings to be completely useless.


message 32: by Sanchez (new) - added it

Sanchez By all means, killing human being is not a joke nor joyful chess.


Lauren Ugh. I am glad to see this review! I found 15 pages in I was struggling with this book but felt like such a ba$*ard thinking he came off as full of himself and kind of disgusted with the thrill to kill in addition to how he didnt feel a strong need to bond with his son because "babies are so needy". Granted i understand there is a job to be done and i have the greatest respect for our military but now that I have struggled to page 129 i feel i can put this down. Again, glad others struggled with/disliked this book!! Its my very first DNF:( (did not finish)


message 34: by Leigh (new) - added it

Leigh Ann I feel the same way! Don't feel bad. I couldn't finish it.


message 35: by Priscilla (new) - added it

Priscilla I'm so glad I found these reviews!! I made it about halfway through the book a few years ago but was so appalled by it that I stopped reading it. I thought about going back and finishing it but I haven't and I probably won't. This is one of the few books that I've ever abandoned, and I'm glad I'm not the only one.


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