American Sniper : The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
by Kyle, Chris; McEwen, Scott; DeFelice, Jim

Author's Noteix
Map of Iraq
Prologue: Evil in the Crosshairs1(7)
1 Bustin' Broncs and Other Ways of Having Fun
2 Jackhammered
3 Takedowns
4 Five Minutes to Live
5 Sniper
6 Dealing Death
7 Down in the Shit
8 Family Conflicts
9 The Punishers
10 The Devil of Ramadi
11 Man Down
12 Hard Times
13 Mortality
14 Home and Out

A member of Navy SEAL Team 3 describes his life as a father, husband and as the serviceman with the most confirmed sniper kills in the history of the United States military while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reprint. 400,000 first printing.

If you're wondering why it takes multiple cowriters for Navy SEALs sniper Kyle to tell his story, consider this: Jim DeFelice, coauthor number two, is the author of numerous military thrillers. He clearly appears to have been brought on board to give Kyle's story the requisite oomph. And it worked. The book reads like a a first-person thriller narrated by a sniper. The bare-bones facts are stunning. Kyle has the most confirmed kills of any U.S. military sniper (more than 150), two Silver Stars, and at least one confirmed bounty on his head. The book follows his career from 1999 to 2009, and, like Anthony Swofford's Jarhead (2003), it portrays a sniper's life as a mixture of terror and mind-numbing boredom. The book never glorifies what Kyle did for a living, but it's not an apologia, either. Kyle doesn't spend a lot of time justifying his chosen profession, preferring instead to give readers a sense of what it is like to be a sniper, which lets us speculate as to whether we would have what it takes, if the situation called for it. A first-rate military memoir. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Memoir of America's most prolific sniper, with an emphasis on the grisly, unpredictable nature of contemporary warfare. With more than 250 confirmed kills in Iraq and several citations for bravery, including two Silver Stars, Kyle may well be the "most lethal" soldier in American military history. Fortunately, this memoir (written with co-authors Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice) takes a more unassuming and approachable tone in narrating his improbable journey from a modest Texas childhood to becoming a sniper with SEAL Team 3 and serving four deployments in Iraq: "my so-called ‘legend' [has] a lot to do with luck." As with other recent books about the SEALs, they are depicted as a breed apart: hyper-competitive, with the most intense training, hazing and bonding rituals (the latter involving much drinking and fighting). Kyle is unapologetic about his own conservative persona, and perhaps not the ideal spokesman for military public relations. The highlights of the narrative are the grim yet often funny accounts of Kyle's violent battles all over Iraq, most of which are described crisply. The author describes his participation in numerous urban battles, such as the protracted struggles for Ramadi and Fallujah, and asserts that elite operators like himself contributed to Iraq's evolving stability-"it took violence of action to create a situation where there could be peace." Kyle provides a few surprising moments, as when he writes eloquently about his fellow veterans, including SEALs killed or wounded in battle. "There's no reason someone who has fought for their country should be homeless or jobless," he writes. Kyle's wife offers her counterpoint narrative in italicized passages, driving home the surreal life of difficulty bestowed on professional warriors' loved ones. This aggressively written account of frontline combat, with plenty of action and technical nitty-gritty, should appeal to conservative readers and military buffs.

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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