Wednesday, June 17, 2015

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW - AMERICAN SNIPER - BY CHRIS KYLE, SCOTT McEWEN AND JIM DeFELICE

11887020
pic and bio taken from Goodreads

DESCRIPTION:

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 Kyle's 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.
 

MY THOUGHTS / REVIEW:

I have heard so much about this book.  I never even heard of this man until his passing.  Then there was all this up roar and I had to find out why.  I started reading articles about Chris, and became quite interested in his career.  I don't particularly like war books.  They made me sad, and I don't like all the inner conflict that goes along with it.   While reading about Chris though I didn't get that he was tormented from his interviews.   He sounded like a very patriotic man.  I cannot imagine what a soldier has to go through, but it sounded like he went through a lot and came out better for it.  Might have been a long road, but he made it work.

That brought me to hearing that a movie was coming out.  Yes, I am a little behind the times.  hehe.  I decided I had to read the book first before I could decide if I wanted to watch the move.  Let me just say, if the movie reflects even half of what was represented in this book, it's going to be intense.

Chris's story is absolutely amazing.  It's heart wrenching, and intriguing, and completely fascinating.  I love so much that he decided to write this book.  My heart aches that he is not longer around to enjoy what life had to offer after service.  He scarified so much of himself, and was finally making a life with his little family.

This book documents so much of the crud he had to go through as a SEAL and sniper.  The story was so intense at times, that I found myself holding my breath on several occasions.  Chris was the epitome of what a soldier should be.  Dedicated, responsible, and 100% sure of what he was doing was the right thing.  He was a man of great integrity, and sense of duty.  I don't know if I agreed with the way he put his priorities.  His were Country, Family, God.  I just wish he would have seen it as Family, God, Country.  Anyway he saw it I guess it doesn't really matter, because he was effective at all that he did in life.

The fighting Chris saw was absolutely mind boggling to me.  It was just so sad, and he took everything with such grace.  He worked hard, and he did what was necessary to keep our country safe, and his men.  

He is such a sweet father, and husband.  We didn't really get to see all of that in this book, but I am currently reading Taya's version, and have found that this man was even better than I  thought he was.

After serving his country for so long, Chris finally decides to get out.  He gets quite famous outside of the military as well.  Best selling book, and movie.  Then he is gunned down in a senseless act of violence.  It breaks my heart.  This is the kind of man I would be so proud to have my daughter bring home.

This really was an amazing story.  It's kind of graphic, and has lots of language, but I have to admit that it didn't bother me at all.  His story was so intense, and so mind blowing that I stayed so focused on what was happening in the book.

If you like patriotic books, that are right from the horses mouth, you will like this book.  I have to say this is one of the best books I have read in a while.  I have read lots of great books, but this is such a great non fiction book.  So great.  Sad, intense, inspiring, loving, but also down and dirty in the fighting.  So good.

Source:  I bought this audio book for myself.  I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

MY RATING:


WHERE TO BUY:

   

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Chris Kyle  Scott McEwen  Jim DeFelice
Chris Kyle                       Scott McEwen                                  Jim DeFelice

Chris Kyle is a former United States Navy SEAL, who with 255 kills, 160 of them officially confirmed by the Pentagon, is the deadliest marksman in United States military history.Kyle served four tours in the second Iraq war, and was awarded the Bronze and Silver Star medals multiple times. In addition he was awarded two Purple Hearts. He served from 1999 to 2009. 
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Chris and a friend were killed on February 2, 2013, at the Rough Creek Lodge shooting range in Erath County, Texas.

Scott McEwen is a trial attorney in San Diego, California. He grew up in the mountains of Eastern Oregon where he became an Eagle Scout; hiking, fishing, and hunting at every opportunity presented. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Oregon and thereafter studied and worked extensively in London, England. Scott works with and provides support for several military charitable organizations, including the Seal Team Foundation.

Scott's interest in military history, intense patriotism, and experience with long-range hunting rifles, compelled him to accurately record the battlefield experiences of Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in United States military history.

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Jim DeFelice 

My latest book, CODE NAME: JOHNNY WALKER was hailed by Kirkus Review as a “fiery, insightful memoir from the former Iraqi translator who fought alongside U.S. Special Forces during the recent war in Iraq.” They also “a harrowing personal journey of courageous self-empowerment during wartime.” called it an “invaluable insider’s perspective of Iraq.

I wrote it with the real "Johnny Walker," who was born and raised in Iraq. His dream of building a better country after the ouster of Sadaam Hussein was dashed by religious and sectarian violence. He risked his own life to help US military track down religious terrorists who targeted innocent Iraqi civilians and American military installations. I first heard about him from Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (who I wrote AMERICAN SNIPER with, who credited Johnny with saving many American and Iraqi lives. Chris noted that Johnny had an uncanny knack for defusing volatile situations, uncovering the right perpetrators who might be hiding in plain sight, and saving several American team member’s lives under fire. With the help of concerned SEALs, Johnny and his family were safely relocated to the U.S., where they are now, as Johnny likes to say, “living the dream.”