Review: Chris Kyle’s American Sniper | Shelf Life

By Zac Leonard// Contributing Writer

With all of the hype behind Clint Eastwood’s new film American Sniper, many forget where the story actually came from: the autobiography.

Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle wrote American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History about his four tours in Iraq and proved that his talents expand beyond the scope of a rifle. He is a true storyteller.

Kyle starts off the book with a suspenseful tale about an experience he had on the battlefield, telling everything as he saw it. He does not sugarcoat anything or romanticize war, but tells about his whole military and family history in a way that makes it seem like you are having a conversation with him.

What is striking about this book is the delicate balance between Kyle’s life at home and his life at war. Some of the book’s most powerful moments show how his wife and children were impacted by his obsession with war.

A soldier coming back from four tours of war where he killed 160 men, women and even children to tell the world about his experiences is not very common. Kyle is transparent because he wants to show what the war in Iraq is really like, not just what is seen on the news.

In all of this, he is not ashamed with what he has done. He knows what his duty was, and he did it with pride. His book is not meant to glorify him, but a platform to show people what war is really about. Kyle just happened to be good behind a rifle and figured out how to be the best on the battlefield. This soldier did his job and did it well, and may he rest in peace.

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