Friday, October 11, 2013

Book Review, American Sniper

An autobiography by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice

Reviewed by Kevin B Parsons

Chris Kyle looked through the scope of his rifle and zeroed in on an Iraqi woman. Friend or foe? He could hear the troops arriving as she took something from under her clothes and yanked at it.
A Chinese grenade.
Should he shoot her?
The book takes the reader into Iraq and other areas, through the eyes of Kyle, a Navy SEAL (Sea, air, land), fighting the war against terror. He’s been credited with the most confirmed kills as a sniper, over 150. Chris Kyle served in four deployments to the Middle East.
Good books contain tension and this delivers plenty, from him and his peers taking cities and moving toward winning the war. Other tension includes the loss of fellow soldiers, relations with his wife and the insanity of leadership. He declares military intelligence to be an oxymoron.
His emotions seesawed from emerging out of firefights convinced he’d die there, to thinking he was invincible. One thing he never vacillated about however, was any doubt about killing the enemy, whom he described as, ‘savage, despicable, evil.’  
Kyle did a good job of taking the reader into his mind, holding nothing back. At his fourth deployment, his wife put her foot down, enough is enough, time to come home, be a husband and father of his two children. He makes the wise decision yet struggles with feelings of failure, as he didn't return to help his brothers in blood.
He rebuilds his life by organizing retreats for injured veterans in rural Texas, his home state.
And now a huge spoiler alert, not in the book.
Chris Kyle was murdered on the shooting range at one of his retreats from a Marine, a hideous irony after surviving so much danger in war.

An excellent read, with a terrible ending that takes place after ‘The End.’  
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