by Cam Peddie
American Sniper is about American hero Chris Kyle, who served on multiple deployments in Iraq and tallied up the most confirmed kills in American history. The book is narrated in the first person and shares the story of Chris Kyle starting before he was recruited into the military. This is not your average war autobiography, as it is told by a man whose fellow servicemen called “The Legend.” Kyle’s youth seems to be just out of American folklore. He is from rural Texas and grows being a rancher and riding horses. The book immediately radiates a patriotic feel without using sappy imagery. The subtle and humble heroism of Kyle is something that grew on me as I read the book, as I would rather be shown than told about accomplishments and valor.
Throughout the book, Kyle faces many challenges. His military service is not one of these challenges. He views his service as his duty to his country and does not dwell on the emotional aspects of war. However, at home it is a different story. Kyle’s wife Tara understandably wants him home and safe but Kyle continues to feel obligated to serve his country deployment after deployment. This conflict is one of the central parts of the book and Tara’s letters to Chris demonstrate the raw emotion and concern they have for one each other. The book is told very factually and straightforward, which helps the reader understand the nuances of war. He goes into great detail describing his gear including all of the snipers he used.
The book certainly does not lack action, as Chris faces life or death situations page after page. Some of his fellow Seals are not so lucky to get out of Iraq unscathed. Chris’s compassion for his fellow servicemen is truly inspiring. He truly feels like they are family and the tight knit community of Seals seems to be unbreakable. If you are looking to learn about warfare and one of America’s greatest heroes, I highly recommend this book.