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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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June 16, 2024

Straight from the pages

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When I saw the trailer for the “American Sniper” movie and heard there was also a book, I knew it was one I wanted to read. True stories are by far the most interesting, and this one looked particularly fascinating: a tale about an American, Texas-born hero. So I went straight to my Kindle and downloaded it.
The book starts slowly and Chris Kyle doesn’t seem a natural-born writer, which shows in the book. However the book picks up pace as it hones in on him finding purpose in life once he drops out of college to become a Navy SEAL.
Some major differences in the book versus the film is that Kyle hardly, if ever, talks about his post-traumatic stress disorder or his fear in the book. All emotional areas, even scenes that describe his PTSD, are usually told through italicized paragraphs his wife wrote.
Another big difference is Kyle wasn’t originally trained to be only a sniper. He mentions in the book he becomes a full-time sniper in the field on his first tour once his commanding officer saw how skilled he was.
At times in the book, Kyle seems to be almost hateful toward all Muslims, a characteristic obviously resulting from his time at war. This was a little uncomfortable to me for that reason, and I sometimes found myself getting confused that he condemned all Muslims, going as far as calling them “savages.”
Kyle is undeniably a die-hard American patriot, and his PTSD is played up a lot in the movie compared to the book. Kyle always says in the book how excited he was to go on another tour, another tour, another tour. He wanted to be in the field because he felt — perhaps rightfully so, with his kill record — he could protect his countrymen better than anyone else.
Although the book is sporadic and unorganized at times, it is captivating for its action-packed scenes. I did find myself occasionally having to look up the definition of certain military terms, but overall the book is a fascinating window into the mind, pride and purpose of an American Navy SEAL.
I’d only say I liked it and not loved it, because although it was enjoyable it was just a little too unorganized for my taste.
Lindsey Gawlik is a telecommunication and media studies junior and news editor for The Battalion.

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