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1980: Master Sniper

Dustjacket from hardcover book

Hunter’s first – and most sought after by fine book collectors – novel dealt with World War II. This book was published by William Morrow and Company, then re-released as a paperback in 1996 by Island Books. From the dust jacket:

London, 1945. It has become evident to an office-bound American intelligence analyst, James Leets of the OSS, that deep within the Third Reich one last operation is being planned. Leets doesn’t know much but what he does know terrifies him: it will involve a special man and a special rifle.The man is Repp, of the Waffen SS, of Totenkopf, the Death’s Head Division – Repp, whose bravery and resolve are legendary, and who is called the “Master Sniper.” Repp is the very best in his profession. But the stakes involved are huge, even for Repp.”He’s going to kill somebody. Somebody big,” Leets tells his boss, Tony Outhwaite of British Intelligence. “He’s going to snipe him.”But who?Thus begins an extraordinary suspenseful journey across the face of a war and into the deep part of the human heart where the will to murder lurks…

You can help support my volunteer website to chronicle Stephen Hunter’s writings by buying Master Sniper from You pay the same – but I get a small commission. Click the image at left to buy the paperback, and thanks for your support!

11 Responses to “1980: Master Sniper”

  1. Georgiana Says:

    Suggest you put your Amazon link(s) on the front page of the site. I ordered “The Master Sniper”–from Amazon earlier today–but did not find the link that would have earned you a few rupees until many hours later.

  2. Brian Lee Says:

    The original title for this book was “The Anger of the Sniper”, as can be seen from uncorrected proofs.

    For awhile there was controversy over primacy of publication: some book-sellers touted the UK edition as the true first. This appears to no longer be the case, as the US edition is recognized as having been published prior to its UK counterpart. Nevertheless, the dust-jacket for the UK book is more attractive than that on the American publication, in my opinion.

  3. Timon Says:

    This is a very good book and a lot of the ideas seem to of been ‘borrowed’ in the film ‘Enemy at the Gates’. Nonetheless it’s an interesting debut novel that (I daresay) shows the influence of Thomas Harris (who Hunter admitted he used to be a fan of). A lot of pedants on seem to take issue with a number of historical/technical points but they seem to missing the point of this book-which is that it is a well crafted and engaging thriller.

  4. charlie piercey Says:

    would like to have a printable list of all novels.i am a collector

  5. Zach Says:

    Just finished this book and I’ve gotta say that James Leets was probably my favorite hero that Hunter has written. I could connect to him the most because he was such a deeply flawed and almost anti-heroic character. Repp was also amazingly well constructed for a villain. This battle of wits was a great read. Can’t wait to read the short story about Leets because he’s a great character. This is definately an underrated novel and it’s one of Hunter’s finer works.

  6. Zach Says:

    I also noticed some influence on this novel from The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway especially in the female charcters(plus Hemingway has a cameo). It seems plausible since it’s one of Hemingway’s more well known works and Hunter has admitted his childhood hero was, in fact, Hemingway. Both great reads.

  7. Peter Says:

    The first Hunter novel I read and I think it’s his best. ‘Point of Impact’ is a close second.
    The reason I like ‘Master Sniper’ is because of the way its events seem to just happned, one small pebble rolls down the hill and suddenly you have a landslide.
    I don’t think Cpt. Leets had any idea what he was getting himself into when he was handed the first queery and since he had ‘served his time’ he didn’t have to bother with it. But he did.
    I don’t think Repp was as well developed as Leeds, although he was as important. A pretty stereotyped Nazi with a special talent as a sniper.

  8. Eric Harper Says:

    “Casey at the Bat” is a great short story and excellent prequel to The Master Sniper. I would LOVE to see more WWII action thrillers featuring Leets and company. There aren’t enough books in that genre being published anymore, and Hunter clearly has a grasp on what it takes to write a good one.

  9. Gwynne Krenek Says:

    I would love to purchase this and other Stephen Hunter books for my kindle. Can you tell me which ones are available?

  10. rob sawyer Says:

    tried repeatedly to get this book read all the others ! ideas please

  11. Lawrence Braden Says:

    This is actually a comment or two about The Third Bullet. What an amazing plot! His best yet! It is so refreshing to read a thriller written by somebody who actually knows guns! All others pale before Hunter!

    There is a typo on page 108: “nonplused”. The word is spelled correctly later in the book. And the woman on p. 13, I would imagine, would describe herself as “Filipina” rather than “Filipino”.

    What a genius Hunter is.

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