Bob Lee Swagger


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lksseven
October 11, 2008, 04:14 PM
Anybody who loves guns, and loves great novels, should check out Stephen Hunter novels. The protagonist of many of his novels - Bob Lee Swagger, Marine sniper from Arkansas - is just a superb character, and the plots are riveting.

I would recommend in this order, to start ...
Point of Impact
Black Light
Time to Hunt
47th Samarai
Night of Thunder.

He also has novels that deal with Bob Lee's dad, Earl Swagger, and they are also excellent novels.

You won't be disappointed.

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ilbob
October 11, 2008, 04:15 PM
+1 lots of good gun stuff in them

texfed
October 11, 2008, 04:16 PM
Didn't they make a movie out of one of those books recently?

wbwanzer
October 11, 2008, 04:31 PM
The movie was 'Shooter' based on 'Point of Impact'.

Vegaslaith
October 11, 2008, 04:32 PM
I knew the name sounded familiar. That's right, its from "Shooter."

gripper
October 11, 2008, 07:05 PM
"Night of Thunder" and "47Th Samurai"???I need to find those two...plot synopsis;please??

Atla
October 11, 2008, 07:53 PM
Shooter wasn't a bad movie at all, as far as Hollywood goes. (Okay - Michael Mann should have directed it!)

Just ignore the few bits and pieces that are dumb.



EDIT

The 47th Samurai was a crap book. There is no shooting involved.

drgrenthum
October 11, 2008, 08:20 PM
started point of impact last night, a must read if you liked the movie. Enough differences between it and the movie that it will keep you on your toes.

spuscg
October 11, 2008, 09:26 PM
didnt know there was sequels gotta check that out. do any other characters like memphis return?

Ignatius
October 11, 2008, 11:14 PM
Great Topic!
I hadnt heard of Stephen Hunter but did buy "Shooter" when I saw it on DVD at Target...plus it has Kate Mara in it and she is an eyefull. I did like the fact that the movie was pretty accurate in the weapons, no one was using a Mosin Nagant to represent a Rem 700 ( dont get me started on Sniper 3 w Tom Berenger...grrrr)
A coworker who is also into guns handed me a copy of "Black Light" and told me I would like the book, so I just realized when I started it there was more then one Bob Lee Swagger story. I finished Black Light about 2 hours ago and will check out Point of Impact next...thanks.

MIL-DOT
October 11, 2008, 11:44 PM
Not trying to be a jerk, but I read a couple Hunter novels and thought his stuff was weak,predictable,implausible and stupid.
But for a few notable exceptions, the stuff from Michael Conelly(sp?),James Lee Burke,and David Lindsey are among the best to be found in contemporary popular fiction.

cpermd
October 11, 2008, 11:50 PM
Hunter is a very good author.
And I am right between Blue Ball and Ft Chaffee.:)

CP

Blacksmoke
October 12, 2008, 12:00 AM
Hunter's novels are a good entertaining read not great literature. He does a lot of research and I have not noted more than one or two goofs.

I thought Pale Horse Coming was a over-the-top although I admire his efforts at bringing real historical shooting giants into his tale. The characterisations he created seemed real enough. Too bad he couldn't fit Alvin York into the story....

lksseven
October 12, 2008, 11:38 AM
the movie, Shooter, was "ok". Some typical liberal Hollywood b.s. preaching in it. Please don't judge the book by the movie - the book, Point of Impact, is a superb story, and Bob Lee just comes alive as a hero who doesn't want to be a hero. His character just gets richer and more interesting as the story (and the subsequent books) develop.

Night of Thunder - just released in September - has Bob as a 63 year old husband and father, who owns some layup horse barns out West. His oldest daughter, Nikki, is a reporter in Tennessee, and is run off a country/mountain road one night and is in a coma. Bob flies out immediately to be with his daughter and, as he's always distrustful of the competence of authorities, he begins to nose around a little on his own to learn what happened and why. His nose is twitching and his savvy hunter/sniper's instinct is starting to do the math.

lksseven
October 12, 2008, 11:43 AM
some of the novels are homeruns, some triples, and some doubles. I agree Pale Horse Coming was a pretty ambitious 'yarn'. But Point of Impact, and especially Time to Hunt, are as good as story telling gets.

I've also got Time to Hunt on cd, with Beau Bridges narrating the 6 hour book. It's the best performance telling the best story I've ever heard in an audio book. His fight with the VC division in the Kham Duc valley on disc 2 is as good as it gets. Great gun stuff, great tactics stuff, gritty and also intelligent stream of consciousness.

throdgrain
October 12, 2008, 11:54 AM
I've read Point of Impact and Black Light, about to start on the next one shortly, once my son (who bought it ) has finished reading it :)

Flashman
October 12, 2008, 01:01 PM
I am surprised that no one has mentioned "Spartan," an excellent David Mamet film starring Val Kilmer.

paintballdude902
October 12, 2008, 08:54 PM
nice i saw shooter but didnt know there were books

Atla
October 12, 2008, 10:55 PM
For 'Point Of Impact' you have to skip the first few pages regarding him hunting the deer.

That's where most people, who never finished the book, put it down.

Logan5
October 13, 2008, 12:55 AM
Forget the deer hunting, you kind of have to skip the whole pretending this guy exists... If he were out there, deer would kick down your kitchen door and poop their livers into your frying pan as soon as you threw an onion in there. After Pale Horse, I'm kind of sick of hearing about how this guy teamed up with Lucky Lindy to wrassle the kaiser into a paper lunch sack...

JT in VA
October 13, 2008, 12:58 AM
Go Bob the Nailer.

lksseven
October 13, 2008, 09:41 AM
Well, live and learn. I'm genuinely surprised to see even a few 'gun' people here that didn't care for the Bob Lee Swagger stories. To each his own!

The beginning of Point of Impact, about hunting the deer, I thought was excellent. It gave you a sense of the essence of the man, both his current state of mind, after a lifetime of being a warrior, and a glimpse at his once-in-a-generation skill (think Babe Ruth, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jordan)

doubleh
October 13, 2008, 12:05 PM
I've read all of Hunter's novels except his newest and it hasn't made out here to the sticks yet. I enjoyed everyone of them a great deal with the exception of "47th Samurai". It was an OK story, just a little too far off the Bob Lee genre to appeal to me.

lksseven
October 13, 2008, 10:04 PM
47th Samurai was not my favorite, either. Quite frankly, I found it difficult to follow the action and get a mental visual 'fix' about which stroke was switch and how the action unfolded.

RobMoore
October 13, 2008, 10:24 PM
I am surprised that no one has mentioned "Spartan," an excellent David Mamet film starring Val Kilmer.

Weak dialogue. Cheesey interaction between Val Kilmer's character and his "trainees" in the later parts of the movie.

Awesome plot. Awesome cinematography. It had a very "Ronin" feel to it (for obvious reasons), but the writting just wasn't there.

ETA: Why would you be suprised nobody mentioned a David Mamet film in a thread about Stephen Hunter novels?

Stevie-Ray
October 14, 2008, 02:39 AM
Not trying to be a jerk, but I read a couple Hunter novels and thought his stuff was weak,predictable,implausible and stupid.A bit strong, but I can agree after reading Pale Horse Coming with the idiotic renaming of all the historical figures in gun lore. But, I like the first couple of the Bob Lee stories and a couple of the Earl books. The Master Sniper and The Second Salidin both sucked. Actually, one of his best is Dirty White Boys, and it was my wife's favorite as well.

Catherine
October 14, 2008, 03:23 AM
I like Bobby!

I just got another book from the library too. POINT of IMPACT. It finally came back in for a check out.

I liked the movie called "The Shooter" although the book will be better - I am sure.

I liked the end of it when he got the bad politicos and TRAITORS.

Kill them all and let God sort them out. The men in the cabin so full of themselves and SMUG.

Go Bobby!

Don't mess with Bobby - they LEFT HIM and his partner... mighty fine, eh? NOT!

Catherine

Japle
October 14, 2008, 10:50 AM
The tattoo parlor shootout in "Dirty White Boys" was one of Hunter’s best scenes.
Confusion, noise, pain and tons of unexpected, uncontrollable crap. Just like real life!!

Ramone
October 14, 2008, 11:35 AM
I actually just started Point of Impact, and managed to hack my way through the 'non-lethal special delrin bullet deer hunting' horsecrap, and have made it up to the point where the author reveals his complete ignorance of USMC Sniping training and Ballistics.

in taking SA Memphis's shot, he adds extra hold over because when shooting down hill, 'bullets impact lower'...
Sheesh.

but, yanno? I still kinda like it <g>.

Ramone

Dean Speir
October 14, 2008, 12:02 PM
.

.

Pale Horse Coming with the idiotic renaming of all the historical figures in gun lore. Someone… no names, please… seems to be unfamiliar with the issue of intellectual property as it relates to individual identities.

Pale Horse Coming (http://www.amazon.com//dp/1416593640/sportsreccommuni) is a work of fiction, and while the six figures who join Earl Swagger in their mission against the Thebes penal colony (hint: research "Seven against Thebes") are all based on historical figures immediately recognizable to anyone over the age of 30 in what John Ross terms "the gun culture," though most of them had already passed on at the time it was first published, a writer of fiction simply cannot play fast and loose with real personages in a fictional setting… Ross himself had to revise some names of real people in second and subsequent printings of Unintended Consequences (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1888118040/sportsreccommuni)… even though those characters don't have anywhere near the sizeable roles in the narrative as Hunter's half-dozen do.

Also, Hunter so completely nails the miserable nature of the character of "Charlie Hatchison" that had he used the man's real name, the estate of the "unrepentant sinner" probably could have gone to court and collected as much in damages as the royalties of any three of Hunter's books!

More than any of the Bob Lee stories, I like the one's about Earl. Hunter has a great feel for the times and places in which they are set, and Pale Horse Coming is a very clever (and compelling) combining of the roman à clef literary convention and the updating of a classic Greek myth.

Joe Gunns
October 14, 2008, 03:22 PM
Master Sniper (1980) and Second Saladin are Hunter's first two novels. Next came The Spanish Gambit aka Tapestry of Spies , followed by The Day Before Midnight, and then Point of Impact in 1993. You can see his skill as a novelist improve from book to book.

Very prolific writers tend to hit a peak about five to ten years into their career, then their writing tends to become either more predictible or outlandish. Continued sales become more dependent on fan expectations than on strength of story. You can see it with Grey, Christie, Spillane, L'Amour, John D. MacDonald, Sanford, Deaver, Connelly, even Burke, who is probably the best mystery/action writer today at setting a mood with a minimum of words.

Werewolf
October 14, 2008, 04:58 PM
Very prolific writers tend to hit a peak about five to ten years into their career, then their writing tends to become either more predictible or outlandish. Agreed and I'd add "more artsy fartsy" for the ones that have acquired the most fame.

It's the guys that start out writing really good stories that are entertaining, make a lot of money and then go all artsy fartsy that tick me off the most.

mljdeckard
October 14, 2008, 05:09 PM
Point of Impact is the only book in 20 years I have read more than once. I watched the movie, and while I was impressed by how much detail they crammed into the movie from the book, and Fuqua's directing, it was tainted by Mark Wahlberg. He's an anti-gun felon. When he met Charleton Heston in conjunction with re-making "Planet of the Apes", he told him, "It's very disturbing to meet you." I just kept thinking, he shouldn't be allowed to handle a gun, he doesn't represent RKBA in any way.

Halffast
October 14, 2008, 06:15 PM
I also think Dirty White Boys is one of Hunter's best. It has one of the best antagonist ever written, IMHO.

The Lone Haranguer
October 14, 2008, 08:39 PM
I also think Dirty White Boys is one of Hunter's best. It has one of the best antagonist ever written, IMHO.
Bigboy (the guard sergeant in Pale Horse) was my favorite. ;)

jmontgomery
October 14, 2008, 09:03 PM
Point of Impact is the only book in 20 years I have read more than once. I watched the movie, and while I was impressed by how much detail they crammed into the movie from the book, and Fuqua's directing, it was tainted by Mark Wahlberg. He's an anti-gun felon. When he met Charleton Heston in conjunction with re-making "Planet of the Apes", he told him, "It's very disturbing to meet you." I just kept thinking, he shouldn't be allowed to handle a gun, he doesn't represent RKBA in any way.


That wasn't Mark Wahlberg, that was Tim Roth. Mark won an award for a film the year after Planet of the Apes came out, started his acceptence speach "God bless Charleton Heston".

Joe Gunns
October 14, 2008, 09:11 PM
BTW in regards to my earlier post about a writer peaking:

The Day Before Midnight came out in 1989. What most folks consider his two best followed four years later: Point of Impact in 1993, Dirty White Boys in '94. Then Time To Hunt in '98 followed by the Earl Swagger trio of Hot Springs, Pale Horse and Havana from 2001-2003.

Next book was the non-fiction American Gunfight (2007) about the attempted Truman assassination, which he cowrote (and which I found disappointing as it lacked the zip of his novels. But I can overlook that as doing non-fiction with zip is a tough row.) Also in 2007 was 47th Samari then this year's Nights of Thunder.

lksseven
October 14, 2008, 10:59 PM
Time to Hunt was my favorite. Such a big story, with some twists, and some unforgettable scenes and lines ("Daddy's home" ranks up there with the all time best - imo, of course).

Dirty White Boys was also a superb book. Brutal.

Beagle-zebub
October 14, 2008, 11:23 PM
My mom called me recently, and told me how pumped she was about the movie "Shooter," especially after watching the extras detailing how some Marine non-com sniper made the ghillie suits for all the different locations, and how Marky Mark did all sorts of preparation. Her interest was undoubtedly magnified by her nephew having been a Marine Scout/Sniper, and to a lesser degree by the other one being a Marine CWO.

Stevie-Ray
October 15, 2008, 02:59 AM
Someone… no names, please… seems to be unfamiliar with the issue of intellectual property as it relates to individual identities.

Pale Horse Coming is a work of fiction, and while the six figures who join Earl Swagger in their mission against the Thebes penal colony (hint: research "Seven against Thebes") are all based on historical figures immediately recognizable to anyone over the age of 30 in what John Ross terms "the gun culture," though most of them had already passed on at the time it was first published, a writer of fiction simply cannot play fast and loose with real personages in a fictional setting… Oh please......
Hunter was so blatant in his portrayals that the most casual observers with a modicum of gun knowledge, simply skimming the book in an airport, would know immediately who the characters were. They were, in fact, so obvious that any lawsuits or backlash that might otherwise have been in the offing, could probably still be. He could have easily come up with his own characters and the book wouldn't have been so "cheapened" to me. Simply not up to the standards of some of the others.

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