Monday, February 9, 2015

American Sniper By Chris Kyle: Book Review

Listen guys we might as well establish something here, for awhile there are going to be a lot of book reviews, if you don't want to read them I totally respect that but I am reading a lot as you can tell and I feel the need to share. I am trying to change up the genre of the books that I am reading to keep it interesting around here but there are going to be book reviews here and there, I'm sorry if its not your thing.

As you know reviews of the movie American Sniper are absolutely everywhere, not to mention the horrific story of how Chris Kyle's life was taken far too soon. I see it on the cover of every magazine in the supermarket, its on every entertainment show and naturally curiosity got the best of me and when Jason and I were at Target the other night I bought the book. I know the movie is the hot topic but I prefer to read the book first on most accounts and having thought about that the other day I was quite amused yesterday to wake up and find Helene over at Helene in Between had wrote THIS post. She makes some really good points, I like to read the book because I want to decide what the characters look like, see the whole picture in my head exactly as I think it is because of what I have read. Now obviously I could only do that so much with this book as I have seen Chris Kyle and his wife Taya's face everywhere.

The book in my opinion is ALWAYS better than the book, always.. so I knew I had to read this book before I saw the movie, and I am anticipating the movie to be epic.

This is the synopsis directly from the Good Reads website, exactly as you would find it there. 

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.

I truly couldn't put this book down, I know there are mixed reviews as to why Chris Kyle wrote this book but regardless I do believe his story deserved to be told and as he said it, why better to tell it than he who lived it. 

I know there are mixed reviews about this book, there is a lot of talk about Chris Kyle glamorizing war and although I respect everyone's opinion on what they read I honestly didn't see it that way. Here's the thing, I feel like in order for me to judge his truth I would have had to live it, I get that he comes across cold but I find it hard to believe you wouldn't having seen the things he has seen. When acts of terrorism happen we are angry, we are sad that the world we live in leaves us with worries such as this but none the less that is the world we live in. It makes us angry and sad. Chris Kelly saw terrorism everyday for 8+ years, he walked the streets with his fellow American's everyday in a place where they were target, literally with bounty's on their head. Wouldn't that make you a little biased? a little cold?

This book was hard to read, the gratefulness we have for the men and women who serve our country in those terrible awful places just doesn't seem like enough. They truly risk their lives and sadly sometimes lose them all for the greater good of us and our daily lives. 

I felt horrific sadness reading this book all the while knowing that this man served his country, had many close calls, came home struggling to find a balance between what he had been through and what his life had been to being home in a completely different world trying to find normalcy in a life that didn't make sense to him anymore had died in such a horrific way. This man served his country in the most courageous way and came home looking for a way to serve his country while still being a father and a husband and he died at the hands of a fellow veteran. It makes my heart ache. 

Even if you've seen the movie, read the book. 

I was sad for the book to end when I was done, and although I have seen the movie a couple of times I went out and bought Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. Marcus and Chris were both SEALs and Marcus was mentioned in the book, reminding me of my love for the movie and how I hadn't read the book. So stayed tuned for a review on that!

Happy Reading!!

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