American Sniper was one of the best military biographies I've ever read and it really captured the unique perspective of America's most hardened and trained warriors and the complexities of the war in Iraq. Clint Eastwood has adapted the best seller for the silver screen and Bradley Cooper is cast in the leading roll. I have a very good feeling that it will be a massive hit.
From my previous review of the New York Times best seller American Sniper:his is a nonfiction biographical account from America's most successful sniper, SEAL Team 3 operator Chris Kyle. This heart-pounding story of a man turned into a trained killing machine is one of the best books on the realities of modern warfare I have read in some time. What is most interesting is that the story of Chris Kyle's 255 kills (the Pentagon puts the number as 160 confirmed) is really not the most intriguing aspect of the book. What stood out the most to me was his strange accounts of the complexities of warfare, much of it up close and personal, and the inconsistent effects it has on the psyche of even America's most highly trained super soldiers.
This book is seems absolutely honest in it's narrative and incredibly controversial at times. After being walked through this man's memories of his four deployments to Iraq, and let me tell you none of them were to pull gate security or chop potatoes, you realize a few things- war is incredibly violent, numbingly terrifying, ridiculously dangerous and at times darkly humorous.
I recommend this book to anyone who has the stomach to digest a no bullshit view of life at the tip of the spear, and in many ways it is required reading for anybody who wants to better understand not just America's endeavors abroad but also our soldiers we send into such hell holes to do the unthinkable. A fantastic read, that like Mr. Kyle's and his Sniper rifle, you will have a very hard time putting it down.
It is unclear how the strange and heartbreaking death of Chris Kyle will be dealt with in the film, or if it will be featured at all. Regardless of this sad detail, it looks like the amazing things he accomplished on the battlefield will be brilliantly depicted in this film. Hopefully Eastwood will have the good sense to stick closely to Kyle's own account so that American Sniper does not end up as a dumbed down reel of half truths as this year's very disappointing, if not insulting, Lone Survivor did.
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer that maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com