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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 23, 2013
Chris Kyle served four tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom, making 160 confirmed kills of enemy soldiers and insurgents. In this biography, Kyle begins by describing his early life, his decision to join the Navy, and the courtship of his wife, Taya. The narrative then alternates between Kyle's military experiences and his home life with Taya and their children.

Kyle's descriptions of training and camaraderie in his Navy SEAL unit are similar to those from other military biographies. The training is hard, the participants are tough, and the officers in the "head shed" have them do some stupid things. The deployment sections of the book describe battle with Iraqi insurgents and the tactics that do and don't work against them. Kyle gives names when praising heroic actions of his fellow soldiers and uses unflattering labels when describing those for whom he has less respect. Don't miss what he says about "Runaway." Kyle comes across as a true solder--capable, patriotic, loyal to his comrades, and ferocious to his enemies. The enemies include opponents in bar fights as well as the Iraqis. We remember more than once that soldiers are very young as well as very brave.

The domestic segments of the book are less exciting, but have a depth not found in the combat stories. Kyle has trouble transitioning to his stateside life. And his wife has trouble understanding the war he leaves behind--and feels he must return to. His personal code of loyalty to "God, country, family" in that order is only a little different from Taya's. Why can't he move his family up to second place? We watch them go through the same growth struggles that all couples experience along with the unique challenges imposed by wartime military service. There are some useful lessons here.

It is clear that Chris Kyle was a heroic solder who served our country well. While his book has its moments--like the time he failed to hang up his cell phone before a fire fight and his wife heard the whole thing--it is a bit less than it could be. Certainly this is not because Kyle's life is uninteresting. But he could have shared more details about his work as a sniper. That's how the book is advertised and that's why most readers will pick it up. By that standard it falls a bit short.
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I am glad I read this story, if only to gain a better ground-level understanding of how the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 unfolded. If Navy Seal Chris Kyle is anything to go by, the drive to take Baghdad was anything but a smooth operation. The fight to claim Fallujah and Basra from jihadists became the bloody job of special assault units like the Seals. Kyle takes us inside these intense battles as he played the role of a sniper assigned to protect his 'brothers' when under fire. Accompanying this main narrative of blood and guts are a lot of back stories intended to help the reader get a better picture of this brutal conflict. We learn what went into making Kyle the fighting machine he ultimately became; we also get to see the candid comments of his wife as she describes the stress her husband's war service has visited on her and the children. This is not a book dedicated to the valor of war per se. The goal of triumphing over one's enemies through mortal combat gives way very quickly to those more intangible values like the strength and courage of belonging to a band of brothers under fire. This willingness to be there when needed is what both potentially makes and breaks a Seal. It is a sad tale with its brief moments of glory. Whether you like Kyle or not, his personal life makes for a compelling read in terms of what factors shape his character under fire: weapons, training, stress, fear and pride.
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on January 3, 2015
I found myself emerged in the battle scenes one minute and then tearing up or angry at the situation the next. Absolutely fantastic.
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on May 24, 2015
Currently almost half-way through. The stories that Chris Kyle told are very interesting. I normally wouldn't be into this sort of genre but the fact that it is all true makes it interesting. Watching the movie while I was just beginning the book helped me to visualize the happenings a bit better.
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on March 16, 2015
Simply unbelievable..... From the first page to the producer notes... Griping story..

I felt like I knew him.... Thank you for your service... Rest in Peace!
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on March 15, 2013
I bought this book when I heard he passed away during a shooting recently. A very easy read for readers that aren't advanced to read and if you like a military point of view to read through it quite easily.

Some parts of the books, input could of been removed or a bit more detail during heavy operations. Still from a none-writer book it's highly entertaining and worth the price.
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on October 10, 2015
Enjoyed the book very much. Was a little surprised how detached he was about killing which I now completely understand and support based on his realization that the "enemy" simply wanted to kill Americans. Savages is correct.
These Islamists are now overrunning Europe purporting to be refugees. In time we will need more Chris's to maintain our western standards.
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on April 6, 2015
A very good autobiography of an outstanding SEAL. A very good read for anybody interested in the life of a dedicated SEAL.
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on October 28, 2013
Loved the conversational nature and the honest tone. So sorry that Chris is no longer with us. A true hero.
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on May 7, 2016
Chris Kyle isn't Shakespeare... then again, Shakespeare wasn't a SEAL. I absolutely loved this book. I didn't read this book for any reason other than to read Kyle's perspective, thoughts and mindset during his tours in Iraq. Kyle's book show us how deeply he cared for his country, his family, his comrades in arms, and the innocent people caught in the crossfire of war. Kyle's book also showed the physical and mental toll on his body.

Reading the insights of his wife, Taya, was a pleasant surprise. I'm grateful for having her perspective as well.

I think this book is a must read for anyone interested in a soldier's perspective of war, family, and sacrifice.

If you're looking for a Shakespearian book... go buy a book written by Shakespeare.
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