After all the hype with the movie “American Sniper” as well as the trial of Eddie Ray Routh for the senseless murder of Chris Kyle, I knew that seeing the movie would not suffice – I had to read the book [first at least]. I’m always a big fan of reading the book before seeing a movie based on a book, so that’s what I did.
I had done a lot of research on Chris Kyle before reading – his achievements, marriage, and his murder. It was nice to read his perspective on all of this [obviously besides the murder].
People seem to have an opinion on Kyle, either good or bad. He is often referred to either as a coward or a hero, with little in between. I can easily say that he is a hero and an extremely selfless man that did whatever he could to protect the other soldiers in Iraq.
Kyle highlights so much in this book, his childhood, his lead-up to deciding to go into the military, the SEAL training and deployments. He and his wife also write about their personal life, the good and the bad. It’s easy to get a good picture of what was going on.
The book is well written. Kyle did not ever have an intention of writing this book. He was typically quiet about his accomplishments and was not one to boast or be recognized. Word got out that other people were going to write a story about him so he decided to do it himself – just to make sure the real story was the one that got out. I find that quite admirable.
The book also isn’t sugar coated. You can tell his demeanor from the way he writes. He is cocky [probably for good reason], a true fighter, and quite emotionally removed. All of this is probably to be expected.
I think the greatest part of this is that you get a true picture of what the war was [is] like. I learned so much that I had no clue about. It’s also wonderful that although it’s not exactly the happiest book, it really isn’t too gory or “manly” – sure there is gun talk but you don’t have to be a military expert to read it.
There is no questioning how selfless Kyle was. In the end, he died trying to help a fellow soldier that was battling PTSD. It still is crazy to be that he survived so many insurgent attacks only to be killed on American soil by a cowardly man he was trying to help.
If you’ve seen the movie or are considering, I highly recommend that you read the book. It is one of the best I’ve read in awhile and is a true story of an American hero.