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Publisher's Summary

He is the deadliest American sniper ever, called "the devil" by the enemies he hunted and "the legend" by his Navy SEAL brothers.

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war - of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends.

American Sniper also honors Kyle's fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyle's wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris.

Adrenaline-charged and deeply personal, American Sniper is a thrilling eyewitness account of war that only one man could tell.

©2012 Chris Kyle (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: 20 Best Military Audiobooks from History to Fiction and Beyond


The titles that fall under the designation of military audiobooks are more varied and diverse than you might think. From firsthand combat accounts to imaginative works of fiction, these listens cover a lot of ground on both domestic and international disputes, scientific and sociological analyses, male and female perspectives, lessons from victory and loss, and more. What they have in common, though, are themes of courage, loss, and determination.

What listeners say about American Sniper

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tremendously Enlightening, could not put it down

I am a married Mother of 1 Son and 2 Step-sons. I have never served in the military and honestly do not have any close ties to the Military, other than my Father who served in Korea and a cousin who was killed in Vietnam during the TET offensive. Though I would prefer the world was all Love and Light with no war ever; that is just not how it is. I have strong feelings about the war on both sides of the issue, I respect others thoughts and opinions as their own; but no matter what I respect and support the courage, strength and patriotism of each and every member of our Military. I begin this review this way so that you can see I am a regular Jane.

This book is written from Chris Kyle a Navy SEal's perspective. It is about his life growing up in Odessa Texas and follows him through his life as a Navy SEal, from BUDS training to the war in Iraq and life during and after from his POV. If you are looking for fluff, BS and watered down opinions this book is not for you. Chris tells it like he saw it good, bad or indifferent from his POV. During the reading of this book I cringed, I smiled, I chuckled, I felt uneasy and a bit queasy, I cried and felt sad, but I was completely engaged the entire time. At no point did I feel lost or feel like I did not understand something. (Keeping in mind I am just a regular Jane); Chris explains acronyms, procedures and operations as the story moves along and talks in plain "Texan". Peppered throughout the book, Taya, Chris' wife gives us a heartfelt view of life with Chris. My heart could only bleed for her, Thank you Taya and "God Bless" you for all that you sacrificed for your country. And Chris for the record though you say (several times I might add) throughout the book that you do not consider yourself a "Bad Ass".........Uh Chris, you were a FEARLESS BAD ASS, period end of subject.

I am glad I decided to read this book; as honesty goes, Chris does not pull any punches and truly seems sincere in all his accounts of how things went down. I am not by nature one to believe everything I read and use quite of a bit of discernment as a rule, but at no point did I feel that anything but the truth as Chris saw it went from pen to paper.

Thank you Chris and every single person at home or deployed who Stand and Protect our great country. And thank you to all the Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, Wives and Children who sacrifice so those brave men and woman can do just that.

This is a must read for anyone who wants to read a firsthand account of the sacrifices the men and women of our armed forces endure on a daily basis.

239 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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It's been censored by the publisher

Look, I love this book. I love Chris Kyle. But his publisher, in what can only be described as a complete chicken-shit move, and some bullshit censorship, removed the sub-chapter about Jessa Ventura that resulted in the Kyle family being sued. This is not the book that Chris wrote!

Other than it being incomplete, it's a fantastic read. And it's absolutely nothing like the movie by the same name. If you enjoyed the movie, definitely read the book. You'll come to appreciate Chris Kyle in a new light. But that means rewarding the publisher for censorship. And that pisses me off. But it's too late now, they've already absconded with my money.

I can't reward this incomplete work with a 5th star. But it would be 5 stars if it hadn't been censored.

195 people found this helpful

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Bad Narration

Would you consider the audio edition of American Sniper to be better than the print version?
Nope

Would you be willing to try another one of John Pruden’s performances?
No

Any additional comments?
Ok, this will probably do no good since this is so prevalent in audiobooks but just because your main character is from Texas; that does not mean you need to perform a bad imitation of Will Ferrell doing a bad imitation of George W. Bush.

As a native Texan, the narrator's accent was just so irritating.

104 people found this helpful

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A must read for Active Duty, Veterans, and family

This book is a riot, Chris Kyle... I salute you. I am 82 ABN veteran, and this book sums up all the emotions that somehow Veterand cant figure out how to explain to anyone, even ourselves. This book made me laugh made me smile and made me understand, it also made me Proud to be an Amreican, something the Author would be proud to know. It also made me very proud to have worn the Uniform with pride and respect.

100 people found this helpful

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Rough and tumble Texas boy makes USA proud

This book is a fascinating account of someone that lived a horrifying scenario without blinking. A Navy Seal, a man, a dad, a patriot, and a Christian which laid his life on the line for his fellow fighting forces, and in his belief his country, all to prevent evil from succeeding. Say what you want to about agreeing with the man, but call him a true man and a hero in the process. He is non-political. He is just a man that answered a call to duty from his country, and was extremely lethal at the task given. This single minded soul, concentrated on the task at hand and accomplished what we asked of him.
If you are looking for a book that questions patriotism, the reasons the USA went to war, move on to another book. However, if you want a glimpse in to a well trained mind that had a little fun along the way, and a few hardships, then this is a great book for you.

81 people found this helpful

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Good story but the narration killed it for me

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Could not recommend

What didn’t you like about John Pruden’s performance?

The Texas accent that the narrator adopted felt forced, wasn't that good and was unnecessary. After several hours of listening to words pronounced without the trailing letter G, I couldn't take it anymore. Messin and drivin and divin and shootin got old.

79 people found this helpful

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Raw, Real, and flows well

I've read most of the audible books on SEALS. This is the best by far. It doesn't go into too much detail on SEAL stuff, but gives you just enough to tell the story. And oh what a story it is! Chris has lived a VERY exciting life. He gives insight into the way a SEAL thinks, and even criticizes the leadership quite a bit. This book is good for the military man, as well as the civilian; pretty much anyone who has an interest in the SEALS as people....not so much their tactics.

55 people found this helpful

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Conflicted feelings about this story

I liked the pace and structure of this book. So many battle stories I've read are so long and drawn out that I lose the flow. This was quick stories, to the point, and clear. I also liked the reader. All the details about the weapons was lost on me but I'm sure gun lovers can really get into that. What I had trouble with was the authors personal beliefs about God and country, marriage, child rearing, and the like. Yes, I know it really was the whole point of the book, and I don't have trouble with it being included. But it requires the reader to deal with his attitude toward war, his marriage, etc. And personally I found I didn't like the guy much.

I realize there are these type of people out there - and I'm glad they are on our side, but I would not choose him as a good friend - and I'm sure he wouldn't like me much either. I respect him as a soldier. I honor his sacrifice. But I wouldn't want his type of person making up the rules and running things. There are just other things to consider in war besides "killing the savages." I don't consider these type of people as heros. They join the military because they like to fight, they like to kill. I don't see that as heroic. His story of the soldier that jumped on the hand-grenade to save his buddies - that was the hero. Someone who goes into harms way because he likes war and likes to kill people, for whatever reason, is a soldier doing a job. Conversly, I see this guy as so humble that he would probably be the last person to call himself a hero. I wouldn't call him a savage brut. He seems to be introspective, humble, teachable, caring and even quite sensitive about many things. It is just hard for me to see both sides of these characteristics in a single person. I guess that's just my narrow thinking.

51 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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This Guy is No Marcus Luttrell

I am sure glad Chris Kyle is on our side, but I wouldn't want him to be my neighbor. This is where Chris Kyle and Marcus Luttrell differ. Luttrell seems like a very humble and all around great guy. Chris Kyle comes off like a bit of an a**hole who seems to want to be a celebrity. He also goes through great detail to let the reader know how much of a bad a** he is. Sure, he says things to the contrary multiple times, but that just makes it seem worse. That said, he is a bad a** warrior deserving of respect and gratitude for his service, he just is not very humble about letting the reader know it.
I did like the book very much though. It is your basic autobiography format and goes through a brief pre-Navy history and a more detailed accounting of his life as a SEAL. His story is a good one. Very entertaining.
The narrator was average. There are parts in the book were Chris Kyle's wife steps in to write her point of view from whatever time is being discuss at that point in the book. Here the narrator uses what I guess is what he thinks is a female voice. It sounds really stupid. There is one or two other times in the book where I guess he thinks the writer would cry and he starts to break down and cry a little. It's bad. Luckily, there is not much of that.
All and all I was happy with the book and I no way regret reading it. I would recommend this book.

41 people found this helpful

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Thank you for your service, but not for this book

I get that a lot of people will hit the 'no' button when asked if this review was helpful, but somebody has to tell the truth. I believe that the majority of reviewers are proud Americans with a 'Let's kill all the Hajjis' type of mentality. Which I understand and can appreciate on certain levels. 3 Stars is actually kind though with respect to this book... Obviously we are swayed by the sacrifices of Americans that defend this great country. Even with Scott McEwan in the middle driver's seat - This book was only listenable to those who discount writing in order to praise heroics. They are not the same thing. I realized going in that this wouldn't be like listening to "Sniper Elite" by Scott McEwan... But I was hoping for something much better then this. The Story was very - Start/Stop. It had a very Po dunk sort of feel to it - Like a good ole boy attitude would put us on a level playing field. It seemed like the musings of someone, who took time to make a pseudo diary. Not a Diary like the "Notebook" mind you. It was also very opinionated in a way I couldn't relate to - Wether I agreed or not. I 'Could not' finish listening to this book after grinding my way through the first half. There was no continuing story line to follow, so I found it very hard to stay involved with this book on any level. Sorry for the non conformist attitude.

For what its worth............ J






40 people found this helpful

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  • Dan Dan
  • 12-25-13

Entertaining listen.

I really enjoyed this book, it's very entertaining, however I ended up detesting Chris Kyle!
He really comes off as a jock Red-neck and confirmed to me why America gets such a bad rep overseas. I find it very frustrating that he could not see the irony in his complete lack of empathy with the Mujahideen. I could not help but draw some huge parallels with a man who sported a Crusaders cross on his forearm and who's priorities were listed "God, Country and then Family" with the Muslim extremist he was gunning down.
Don't get me wrong, I think they were doing a job that had to be done, however I think Chris Kyle and other Americans felt they were fighting a holy war as much the Jihadists!
If like me your view of The SEALS has been tainted by this guy, check out Adam Brown's book, he really does completely renew your faith!

14 people found this helpful

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  • FaMa
  • 08-16-18

Disappointed by the red neck nonsense

Chris has obviously achieved a lot in his career as a Seal. It's not usual I take the time out to write a negative review but some of the comments really annoyed me and I had to point out the ignorance some of the soldiers go into war with.
One example is where he admits he'd like to shoot all Iraqi's carrying a Quran and how the entire nation is F88ked up and beyond help. Its a fascinating view and shows the ignorance of not understanding why these people would want to kill Americans when it is America who attacked their country on a false pretense. I admire the courage of the soldiers, who are obviously doing their job even if it is in the name something that didn't exist (WMD) but I think the book could have had a more balanced view instead of the rhetoric of..We are America, we do what we like..F88k you if you dont like it

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 03-03-12

Almost like being there.

A great listen, John Pruden's narration is spot on, his drawl is exactly what I would imagine Chris Kyle's voice is like. Every step of the way your alongside Chris listening to the thoughts of a proud and patriotic man giving an insight into his war. Theres a bit of technical detail but not too much to turn people off. In the end it's all about what he was feeling when he was doing his job, killing insurgents and watching colleagues die.
Thanks for sharing Chris.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • miss
  • 03-07-15

Respect to the fallen

A heroic account of a snipers life, such a shame Chris Kyle is no longer with us. A life taken so needlessly after surviving countless tours of duty. Rest in peace "The Legend"

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jackie Ainscough
  • 03-05-15

Excellent.

Great book and brilliantly narrated. I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to know the real story of Chris Kyle, it makes you see even more how well Bradley Cooper portrayed him.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-11-19

ok but the narrator spoilt it for me.

good story, but the guy who narrates it's got on my wick. had to stop about half way through
sorry.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave K
  • 04-16-15

Humm ok

After reading a few reviews I purchased. One thing that sticks in my mind is he is almost as extreme as the people he is shooting. I think something of this was mentioned elsewhere in another review. I like America very much but he love of the country and zeal for it was a bit too much for me. Some very good parts very well told.

2 people found this helpful

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  • daniel
  • 04-08-15

Inspiration

I watch the movie first and now the book as this man story as he and his wife struggle to keep together is so amazing story of this man and A inspiration to join the military as as I am going to
join the Royal Marines so can you get into the SBS

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sally Alp
  • 03-29-15

Didn't enjoy it as much

Too much cussing. I know it's a soldier's recount of his life. But cussing for the sake of cussing took away some of the seriousness of this book.
The late Kyle's attitude towards taking life made me cringe but that was his life experiences at the time.
What did I take away from this book. War is not nice. People die or come back changed.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James B.
  • 04-13-15

Okay

You will like this if you like books written by seals as opposed to books written by trained writers. Good story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 10-24-14

All ego, no sniping

I was very disappointed. The title promised so much, I was expecting to read about the intricacies of long distance marksmanship but to no avail. It was all about bravado and brainwashing. As a Navy Seal, Chris was deadly, as a storyteller, the same. He bores you to death.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mitchell Turner
  • 05-11-19

Couldnt think of a heading, read the review :)

Does contain typical US machoism not found usually in books by Aussie solders but still a really good book.
If you can deal with that, would recommend. Probably 4.5 stars is s more accurate rating from me.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • S c.
  • 02-23-19

ok story

good story ,tells it how it was,little bit sanitized really want to get below the surface.The end was missing,be nice with a update

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-18

Wow. what an inspiring legend. Honor your Heroes!

such an inspiring story of chris kyle's life! the struggles of reality between Service and Family - How we would all do better to apply his honor to our lives. Living Faith.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Theres
  • 12-02-18

Killing. Guns. God. Patriotism. Yeah, 'MERICA!

As title says.

Everything you would expect from the book's title is in there. Guns, patriotism, killing, bible bashing, entitlement, family and some serious dedication to the cause of all those.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shannon Couch
  • 05-03-18

Inspiring

gets you thinking about a few things in life a little differently.
as always is better than a movie could ever betray.
i suggest anyone either with military experiance or not to sit down and take the time to listen. you WONT regret it.
RIP Chris

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-30-21

American Hero

Such a amazing bio. Chris is a legend and I hope he's never forgotten, Rest in peace Legend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-03-21

Fantastic Book

Narration captures the feel of the book perfectly! It's as if Chris was reading himself.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-25-21

true American hero

watched the movie a number of times and loved it. the book is so much better and detailed with accurate accounts of what happened unlike the movie. I'm a ex New Zealand soldier. I try to imagine what it was like for Chris and his team and u just can't. awesome story

1 person found this helpful

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  • Morgan James
  • 01-24-21

Fascinating insight into the mind of Chris Kyle

Well written and narrated book that captures the journey of Chris Kyle from why he entered the service, to his experiences in war, the effect on his relationships, and his life after the war.

1 person found this helpful