Monday, September 29, 2014

The Devil of Ramadi

American SniperAmerican Sniper by Chris Kyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ghost-written books are always a bit awkward. The writer tries to create structure without losing the voice of the author. In this case it made for a fast (if disjointed) read.

Chilling. Were I to describe this book in a word, that would be it. Often humorous, often moving, informative throughout, all these are overshadowed by the story continued beyond the book, by the life and death of the man, the hero, the legend, the devil. Why the hell did the flag fly full-mast that day? It's almost enough to make me get a flag solely to fly it low in memorial, were that not something that would infuriate him were he still alive.

I simply have to say that despite the language, despite the occasionally dubious morality, everyone ought to read this book. We too rarely bear in mind that the luxury of family is provided for us by those that give up theirs; the luxury of ethical discussion is safeguarded by those who do not discuss, but obey; the luxury of life is ensured by those whose instinct is to jump upon a grenade instead of out of a door, whose very reaction is to die so that others can live.

It is not a job, it is a calling. They are not merely soldiers (as if there were such a thing as a "mere" soldier), they are the wall between us and the world that we don't have or want to face.

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