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1993 – Point of Impact

  • Book of the Month Club Selection – Reader’s Digest Condensed Books selection
  • Foundation of 2007 movie “Shooter”

1993 – Point of Impact (Bantam)

This book rocketed Hunter to critical and commercial bestseller stardom, and introduced readers to Bob Lee Swagger – the very embodiment of a deep and powerful national pride. it was made into a movie in 2006 – “Shooter” starring Mark Wahlberg as Bob Lee Swagger. Point of Impact can even be found on the reading list of the occasional leader of the free world.

From the hardcover dustjacket:

He was one of the best Marine Snipers in Vietnam. He can hit you from three-quarters of a mile away before you even hear the shot. Some call him the most dangerous man alive. Now if he can just stay alive…

Bob Lee Swagger lives in a trailer among his native Ouachita Mountains above the town of Blue Eye, Arkansas. Back in the jungles of Vietnam he was known as “Bob The Nailer” for his eighty-seven kills. Today, twenty years later, disgruntled hero of an unheroic war, all Bob wants is to be left alone. But he knows more about killing, one-on-one, than any other individual in America, and that makes him the perfect man for the job.

The job has been designed by RamDyne Security, a shadowy organization with ties to military intelligence and the CIA. With consummate psychological skill RamDyne seduces Bob into leaving his hills for one last mission for his country, unaware until too late that the game is rigged. The plan is executed to perfection until the final moment: Bob Lee Swagger, alleged lone gunman, has come out of the operation alive – and on the run.

The headlines proclaim him national hero turned murderer, and he is targeted by every law enforcement agency in the country and by RamDyne’s own killers. In this ruthless manhunt has has only one ally, FBI agent Nick Memphis, of the New Orleans office. But Bob is out of his shell for good now, the pursued turned pursuer – and a man who has discovered a capacity for loving that he did not know he had. As wily as the mastermind who set him up, he is fiercely intent on revenge; as single-minded as ever, he alone sets the terms for that revenge.

You can help support my volunteer website to chronicle Stephen Hunter’s writings by buying Point of Impact 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!

54 Responses to “1993 – Point of Impact”

  1. webmaster Says:

    I went back and reread this masterpiece. One of my favorite passages, from chapter four:

    It was a bolt-action Model 70 target, pre-’64, with a fat bull barrel and a Unertl 36x scope running nearly along its entire barrel length. Its dark gleam blazed out at him in that high sheen that was now a lost art but had reached its highest pitch in the great American gunmaking days of the 1920s and ’30s. It was almost pristine, too, clean and crisp, well tended, much loved and trusted. But it was the wood that really hit him. The wood, in that slightly thicker pre-’64 configuration, was almost black; he’d never seen a walnut with such blackness to it; but it wasn’t like black plastic for it had the warm gleam of the organic to it. Black wood?

    “That’s a hell of a rifle,” he said. He bent quickly to look at the serial number: my God, it was a one followed by five beautiful goose eggs! 10000. The hundred-thousandth’s 70! That made it infintely desireable for a collector and marked it as having been made around 1950.

  2. ditchdoc Says:

    Ive read this book so many times and given away copies to friends. I have yet to find someone who does not become a Hunter addict after reading Point of Impact.

    I’m kind of leary about the movie though. The trailer doesn’t improve that feeling. Why can’t they just follow the book? It’s a good story. Don’t screw it up! Anyway, I hope Mr. Hunter makes some money on it. I hope it doesn’t turn out like the film version of Robert Heinleins “Starship Troopers” What a waste. It could have been good.

    Read Unintended Consequences by John Ross

  3. NinjaFlash89 Says:

    I just read Point of Impact last summer and it was awesome. Are all of Hunters’ books this good? Nothing in the book is better than when Bob Lee blasts Schrek’s arm in half at point blank range with a shotgun, just when he thinks that he has the situation under control.
    I don’t see how the movie can equal the book, but I hope they stick to the story and don’t try to get cute with it. As long as they leave Bob Lee as a hard-nosed patriotic country boy with nerves of steel that doesn’t mind splittin’ your skull from 1000 yards or tearin’ a hole through your chest with a sawed of shotgun at arms length if you mess with his dog or his girl (in that order), the movie should keep me satisfied.
    Anyway, I just want to say thanks to Mr. Hunter for writing a great story. With such a politically correct culture it’s tough to find a story that just plain kicks *** from start to finish.

  4. Bob The Nailer Says:

    Having read all of his books, and enjoying them all, but primarily the Bob Lee series, and liking Mark Wahlberg as an actor ok, I can only say that the only person I would have cast as Bob Lee Swagger is Tommy Lee Jones.

    Here’s hoping they don’t mess it up. ;)

  5. kerrit Says:

    I’m a bit of a Mark Wahlberg fan (not a screaming teeny bopper from his Marky Mark days, in fact, nearly old enough to be his mother, but I digress…) and so became aware that Shooter is being released in March of this year. It sounded like the kind of movie I enjoy seeing, and when I learned it was based upon Point of Impact, I had to get the book.

    I am so very glad I did. Read it all in one sitting. Almost burned the beef stew! From the opening sentences in the middle of Arkansas to the swift moving waters of the Mississippi to the grueling heat of the Arizona desert surrounding the trailer park, that book sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. Good solid characters with great story lines and some good twists and turns. Action with a little romance, my kind of story! I’m looking forward to reading more of Mister Hunter’s books now.

    In addition to Bob Lee, Nick Memphis and a few others, Hunter’s main characters in the book seem to be the weapons. I’m thinking that’s extremely difficult to convey in a movie. How in the world would you incorporate all the ballistics and logistics, and the love of a good weapon? Every man needs a good weapon to back him up. Haha, used to be the love of a good woman. In the book, it appears to me that Bob Lee gets more aroused from something like the Tenth Black King than from anything else. :) But the movie must deal with characters, so he gets the love of a good woman.

    FYI, The Shooter website has been updated, and there are more stills from the movie that can be found at

    I do not look for this movie to follow the book religiously. Liberties are taken to adapt a story to fit. Ludlum’s Bourne series was reworked entirely. I thoroughly enjoyed the books, and thoroughly enjoyed the movies, each in their own right. So much more can be conveyed in a book that would take way too much dialogue to explain. I am looking forward to Shooter. I realize a trailer does not a movie make, but it looks to me like they bring Bob Lee into the 21st century – getting him out of Vietnam, and into more counter-intel and experience with explosives. Is that a good thing? Quien sabe? It will be interesting to compare the book and the movie after its release.

  6. anuschka Says:

    i doubt donny will be in the movie OR viet nam flashbacks.
    there’s the age factor. my husband is a viet nam vet and
    he’ll be 61 in august. the movie would have to be LONG to get
    in all the details. who is SARAH Fenn (in the cast listing)? a
    combined character…bob lee’s girl and nick memphis’ girl? i think
    ‘time to hunt’ is almost as good as ‘point of impact.’

  7. jmorga11 Says:

    I’ve also read the book multiple times. When I first saw a commercial for this on tv I thought to myself, could it be!. After watching the trailer though, I have some reservations. It looks like it isn’t at all true to the novel except for the bare outline. Mark Wahlberg can act and Antoine Fuqua can sure direct (i.e. Training Day) so the movie hopefully will be good. From the trailer, it doesn’t look like they followed the book. I would like to see Stephen Hunter in some kind of supervisory role.

  8. cfsi85 Says:

    I agree with jmorga11 I would like to see Stephen Hunter have more of a say on how his books are made into movies like Stephen King has. When I read this novel I thought this would make a great movie, if written as close to the book as possible but alas Hollywood must change it completely. What’s gonna happen if someone wants to make a movie about a Earl Lee Swagger novel, are they gonna to screw that up too by changing the time line?

  9. seal6 Says:

    I just fell into this book like most of you apparently did. I’ve probably read all of it 10 times and parts of it dozens of times. And I do a lot of other reading.

    Ninja – I gotta tell you that was a great situation, but Payne-O took the double-ought in the elbow. Schreck just got a couple of deer slugs through his heart. He deserved better … :-)

    I always knew this might be a movie someday, but I just couldn’t see them casting Bob Lee right. Clint Eastwood in his “Heartbreak Ridge” period might have been perfect, but nobody today could fit in Bob Lee’s size 11, triple-A Noconas [I may have disremembered that statistic]. In my mind, everyone looks up to Bob Lee [literally as well as figuratively] and unfortunately the only person I know who would look “up” to Mark Wahlberg would be my 9-year-old son [apologies to Marky-Mark, who I think made a fantastic cross-over from "music" to the big screen].

    I imagine I’ll wait awhile before seeing the movie to hear and read about it from those who “know” Bob Lee. I couldn’t stand sitting through what I think it’s going to turn out to be.

  10. brianbr Says:

    I just got back from seeing Shooter. Aside from sliding it forward in time so Mark Wahlberg could reasonably be the star, they really did follow the book even down to many of the subtleties. I, too, have read the back countless times and given copies away and I was very happy with it. the only thing missing was the great line from Bob Lee’s ex-wife in the book; “Bob Lee didn’t do it … if Bob Lee shot at the President you would be burying a President” or something along that line!

    Now maybe you purists may have a point that a Barrett gun is more a machine and doesn’t have the soul of a finely crafted M70, but in this day and age the Barrett gun would be the gun to use

  11. ditchdoc Says:

    I am pleasantly surprised. My fear ,of an earlier post was, apparently, unfounded. Mr. Fuqua and Mr. Wahlberg did a creditable job of interpreting the book. I hust saw the movie and enjoyed it a lot. Wahlberg was almost Bob Lee–tough, taciturn, tactical, tenacious. No pretty-boy here. I’m sure other fans of the books have imagined different people playing Bob Lee. If the moveie had been made at an earlier time, I could have seen Sam Elliott playing the roleAnyway–I recommend the movie and I’ll probably see it again myself.

  12. G00k Says:

    Just saw Shooter yesterday, immediately after finishing POI again (homework?).
    (possible Spoiler warning – unless you read the book)

    The changes made in the story make enough sense, bringing it up to date, etc., and the casting choices were interesting. However, I’d never imagine Bob Lee with a ponytail and ragged facial hair. His daddy and the USMC would have had him as self disciplined with his appearance as he is with his shooting tools. Maybe updating the movie to a more modern time would necessarily require a loosening of discipline (damned kids, these days! ;)). I would have thought Tommy Lee also, except he’s a bit long in the tooth now. Memphis was also a surprise, since I imagined him to be like Dylan Bruno (Numb3rs – Colby Granger). Michael Pena was fine, and then Rona Mitra (Alourdes) was logical.

    I guess one needs explosions to signify to the non-reading audience that this is an exciting movie. Having just re-read POI, I noticed the various small plot points that hit back-story just enough (if you read the book) to keep closer to the novel than I would have expected (if you disregard one thing, why bother with another?). I particularly enjoyed the scene with Levon Helm (Mr. Rate? The old gun guru.) I think he (and Fuqua) nailed that one.

    I was a little bit disappointed with the ending, except that the bad guys in the book all died, some “off-camera”, and I wondered if the movie ending was mostly eye-candy.

    I guess if they did Gone With The Wind, it’d have to be set in 2007. It might kill off direct connections with the rest of the books (sequels/prequels) as they did Shooter, but who knows? I still enjoyed the movie immensely.

  13. Keith Crow Says:

    I first read this book in 1994 and have read it countless times since then. I got my wife to read it and she couldn’t put it down. We really looked forward to the movie but were extremely disappointted. The movie plot strayed so far from the book I can understand why it did not do well at the box office. The only thing that I really liked was the development of FBI agent Nick (Pork) Memphis and Danny Glover as the colonel.
    Bob Lee Swagger is a hard-nosed marine that still wears his hair short and dresses in out-dated cowboy attire when he goes to the “city”. Showing a scruffy looking guy with a pony tail had me laughing. The movie did not build Donny’s character and the depth of their friendship. It completely left out the attorney (Old Sam) and the court room scene. It also left out FBI supervisor “Howdy Doody”. In the end it makes Bob Lee a murder by killing a room full of un-armed men. In this book and all the others that followed, he never did that.
    It struck me that the book was converted into a California “cool” movie… U.S. military leaves combat team in desert to die, the U.S. government is murdering entire villages for the oil companies.
    Bottom line; the movie messed up a really great book.

  14. WIN2535 Says:

    The movie was a sham compared to Stephen Hunters book. Political attacks at our standing President make me feel like Michael Moore directed this movie.
    Due to this absolute trashing of the original text and story I can only say that I will not see another one of Stephen Hunters books made for the screen by anyone attached to this last film.
    To Mr. Hunter. If what was made into the movie was agreed on by you, I will not invest anymore time with your books.

    What a complete waste of time and money.

  15. ditchdoc Says:

    Well, let’s all hope that Mr. Hunter does not give up writing the Swagger novels just because WIN2535 didn’t care for the movie adaptation. I can guess that Mr. Hunter did not have much input into the final cut of the movie.We never get everything we want. You’re out a few bucks and a couple hours of your life. Live with it.

  16. WIN2535 Says:

    I never asked Mr. Hunter to give up writing his books.

    I think he is a great writer and has kept me up passed my normal hours because I was unable to put the book down. Earl and Bob are two fantastic characters. How Mr. Hunter writes, has drawn me into every book, so far.

    My main comment was that due to the political BS placed in the made for movie adaptation of one of his very good books, I was completely disappointed.

    It’s a comment, negative but still valid unless we are dealing with censorship here?

  17. ditchdoc Says:

    No cencorship intended. But, honestly, how many movie book adaptations have you EVER seen that were as good as the novel? It’s pretty much impossible to get the depth of character or plot nuance accross in a movie. People would be a lot less disappointed if they went to see movies for entertainment and not some redeeming social value or personal expectation. I’ve always had a problem with critics, in general, whether they are book or movie critics. They are invariably people who cannot act, cannot write, cannot direct or produce. So what do they do? They criticize people who do. Just listen to them. They regularly pan very popular action movies or popular fiction, and talk-up some highbrow, boring, period piece. They, like a lot of us, miss the point of movies and books. Escape and entertainment.

  18. hazmat Says:

    Ditchdoc.. I find your double standard humorous. It’s not okay for a fan of a well-loved book to express their negative opinion(valid opinion, positive OR negative.. it is an opinion, after all) without it being considered as follows:

    “They are invariably people who cannot act, cannot write, cannot direct or produce. So what do they do? They criticize people who do. Just listen to them. They regularly pan very popular action movies or popular fiction, and talk-up some highbrow, boring, period piece.”

    However, it’s quite fine for you to pan and criticize that opinion. Interesting. I’m not trying to start an argument, just give the folks who have read and love Hunter’s books the same consideration you’re willing to give the Hollywood types who took far too many liberties in the creation of this movie.

    Sure, books and movies are intended for escape and entertainment, that’s fine. We all were entertained by the exploits of Bob Lee Swagger and escaped into his world while we read the books… this is why we all have read them multiple times and were jiggling in our seats when the movie was announced. We wanted to go back there, see it live and in our faces. Instead we were given a worked over treatment of Point of Impact that stayed tight to the plot for the most part but deviated terribly from the picture Hunter painted for us all in the book. Loved it, hated it, enjoyed it for what it was… that’s all fine and good, to each their own. Nobody’s wrong and nobody’s right. Personally, I prefer my Bob Lee Swagger as a veteran of Vietnam, hard-nosed Blue Eye, Arkansas boy. Instead we got a pony-tailed Boston Swagger fresh out of Afghanistan… with a COMPUTER in his shack!!!! It wasn’t true to the character that first got me hooked on Hunter’s writing and I was disappointed. Without having read the book(the case with several of my friends) I would possibly have loved this movie. As it is, it could stand on its own without being directly connected to a fine novel. I just wasn’t satisfied. Pardon me for being a fan.

    Haz… who cannot act, write, direct or produce, but who can have an opinion of a beloved work of fiction that has been “given the bid’ness” by Hollywood

  19. ditchdoc Says:

    First of all: My first sentence in my last post said “no censorship intended” That should have been enough for most people. Some just want to argue. Secondly: I said “critics” and by that I meant the professionals (Mr. Hunter excluded, since he CAN, obviously, write). Those of us who pay our hard-earned cash for books and movies are not the ones I’m speaking of. Thirdly: Mr. Hunter sold the movie rights for HIS book to the film company. I’m pretty sure he knew what he was getting into. If he doesn’t have heartburn over the final movie–I don’t either. Finally: “Hollywood types”?? What OTHER kind of movie makers are there? Gee. I wonder who I’ll piss off next.

  20. Trixie6 Says:

    My Dad recommended Point of Impact & I’m so glad he did. I loved it! I’ve decided against seeing the movie, though, because I just don’t think Mark Wahlberg is a good Bob Lee. In the book, Hunter writes that Bob Lee was 26 in 1975 when he left the military. That would make him 44 in 1993. Mark Wahlberg is just too young & not quite rugged enough to pull off Bob Lee. I’m curious as to what those who have seen the movie think of him as Bob Lee?

  21. ian Says:

    I found a copy of this in a hospital library many years ago.
    Point of Impact may not be the greatest novel ever written. Tolstoy? Steinbeck?
    But for me it is arguably the most entertaining book I’ve ever read. Just about the only book I’ve ever read more than once. The only one I’ve read three times. And I’m about ready to give it yet another perusal. Bob the nailer. This guy is truly one of the great American heros of our time.
    The movie didn’t work at all, but then I knew it wouldn’t long before it came out. Wahlberg? Gimme a break. Tommy Lee Jones or Clint Eastwood when in their late 30′s to early 40′s. Maybe Tom Beringer or Nick Nolte.
    The 47th Samurai?
    Bob Lee Swagger with out a firearm in his hand is a concept almost too ludacris to even mention. The idea he could learn how to handle a katana in a few short weeks, months, even years also seems a bit loco. Plot wasn’t bad.
    characters well fleshed out. But Bob the nailer trying to be samurai? Mr. Hunter,
    if I had a son I wouldn’t love him the way I love you, but gee whiz. Come on now,really!

  22. HammerNH Says:

    I just finished 47th Samurai & have to agree with Ian. Oh, it was a good read. And it ended with the bad guys dying and good guys winning. But Bob the Nailer not shooting? That, as Mr. Spock would say, is not logical.

    And no, Marky-Mark cannot be considered cloe to right as Bob Lee Swagger, especially with gratuitous shots at the Bush Administration as part of the re-write.
    For that reason alone I skipped a movie that otherwise I would have liked to pay for. I hope the check cleared Mr. Hunter.

    Now if there are to be more faithful (ie patriotic, country boy) versions in the future, why not try Viggo Mortensen as Bob Lee – or as Earl in some of the other books? Timothy Olyphant could pull it off too, I think. Or possibly Thomas Haden Church.
    Make a true-to-the-plot & action version of these books and Steven Hunter’s name will become like Ian Fleming’s (yes I know most Bond movies are nothing like the books). I am talking about creating a folowing for the movie versions – something the lefty hollywood treatment cannot do.

  23. Ben Knorr Says:

    Like many, it was Point of Impact that was my introduction to Stephen Hunter’s works. Bob Lee Swagger is imo the very definition of a classic American hero. Having just finished The 47th Samurai, I want to thank Stephen Hunter for yet another book I just could not put down. I had been looking for a good Samurai book to read for awhile, I never imagined it would involve my hero Bob Lee. Risky, but it was still a great read. I’m still waiting for the book that surpasses the one that got me hooked but have thoroughly enjoyed all of Stephen Hunters novels. Shooter was good and did well but like most movies adapted from book, it was enjoyed more by those who had not already read the book.
    I hope Bob Lee Swagger has many more adventures to come. Thank you Stephen Hunter and thanks to Bill Ott for providing a place to express my thanks.

  24. Mike Cook Says:

    in june of 2004 i was working at my Grandmothers used furniture store. occasionally she would buy furniture with random items in them and on the particular day I open the drawer of a dresser and i find the hardback book Point of Imapact bu stephen hunter. i took it home not thinking much of it and sat down and began to read it. ( now i must say that if a book does not grab me within the first 5 pages i put it down and may never touch it again.) but as i began to read about bob lee sitting calmly in the woods waiting for the deer my intrest began to grow. as i kept reading and the discription of shot made was laid before me the more i was drawn in. and as he cut old tims antlers and the majestic beast rose and the description of the load he used was laid before us i knew i would be intrested.
    as i continued reading i was drawn in so deep that i couldnt put it down. as memphis was brought in. and the way he wrote about how they fell in love. i was dumbfounded with such a great twist. and the whole time i read i knew that this book needed to be made into a movie. imagine my surprise as one day i was in a video store (as i do not watch tv just movies.) when i came across a movie named shooter with mark whalburg. i turned the dvd over to read about the movie and three words or rather names leaped from the cover. BOB LEE SWAGGER. my goodness i knew i needed to purchase it as the begining credits rolled and the based on the book point of impact by stephen hunter arose my heart leaped. but i was saddened by change in plot. the lack of memphis’ character. and the fact that i had imagined some one like billy bob thorton as bob lee. i know that the book is far greater than that of the movie. but as it is i cannot get enough of the the swagger clan and i will continue to read the books of an author that i discovered in the drawer of a unwanted dresser.

  25. dj rogers Says:

    point of impact is the best book i have ever read,and i have read thousands.i have since read all of hunter's books and he quickly became my favorite author.i hear rumors of his next work harkining back to point of impact,can't wait.

  26. MarkF Says:

    "but does it shoot?"

    I couldn't put Point of Impact down.

  27. Mike J Says:

    Your Honor it wasn't no dummy. I could point out the dummies in here, but this cartridge isn't one of them.

  28. mwaura karagu Says:

    i have read two steven hunter's books; point of impact and pale horse coming and i know he is the best. he is even better than sheldon and ludlum combined……

  29. Richard Says:

    i decided to check out mr. hunters books after reading a great interview with him in this last months NRA magazine. i finished the book in a week. fastest i have ever read a book. now i have the rest of his books on the way to my door. i look forward to each of them.

  30. Chris Symonds Says:

    I first heard of Stephen Hunter when i watched the movie Shooter. when i found out this movie was based on the novel Point of Impact, I immmedately went in search of the book. now i have read 5 of his novels. so far i have loved them all. I cannot wait to read his upcoming books

  31. Bob Says:

    The Swaggers! Like father…like son!

    Great reads!!!!!!!

  32. KC Says:

    The book is great, the movie stinks. This movie is so far from the book it’s ridiculous. Almost nothing is left as it was in the book. Wahlberg and Pena do NOT cut it as Bob Lee and Nick Memphis. Why would I want to see a movie that screws up the heroes and rewrites the story? Thumbs up on the book, two thumbs down on the movie!

  33. Bob Lee Swagger Says:

    I’ve read “Point of impact” three times in russian( I’m living in a post Soviet Union country), and after that I have read that book in english(I couldn’t find it anywhere). The book is fantastic! I liked it very much! And I liked Bob Lee Swagger.(In fact, my name is also Bob).
    After reading this book I’ve read 8 other Stephen Hunter books!!!

  34. Clancy Says:

    Having just seen “Shooter” and being a Stephen Hunter fan for many years, I am sure that another movie version of “Point of Impact” was already made several years ago….does anyone know the name of the other version?

  35. Mike Says:

    I read Point of Impact years ago, found it at a garage sale and couldn’t put it down. I’ve read many of Steven Hunter’s books since. I think a better movie would have been Dirty White Boys.

  36. Jeremy Says:

    i am very happy that i watched the movie before i read the book, for the simple fact…. the movie didnt follow the book at all theres a couple parts that are the same and the charitiors (sorry for the spelling) were a lil off. but i love the movie and i’m completely in love with the book i just finished it las night and i am reading it again already, untill i get the next on stephen hunter my hats off to you man… you made this guy actually believe he was behind the rifle you made me think that i was right there with bob lee and nick, and i felt the hatred of payne and colonel towards swagger, i just cant believe what this book has done…. i hate reading but this book hooked me to this series and i cant quit not i’m like a addict now….. ppl say that sappy love storys moved them this book opened my eyes and moved me thank you Mr. Hunter……

  37. jerry heiteen Says:

    I finished POINT OF IMPACT 9/27/10 and rented THE SHOOTER on 9/29. Half way throughthe C.D. I hit the eject button and took it back to the library. BOY !!!can they screw-up a great book. I am going through each of
    your books in rough chronological order and have enjoyed each and every one of them. Clint Eastwood was born to play Bob Lee, maybe even Bruce Willis, certainly noT Mark Wahlberg who is too short as well as too young. Awaiting your next, best regards……………..Jerry HEITEEN

  38. Steve Hilton Says:

    I actually saw the movie first, and it interested me enough to see if my local library had the book. I live in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas, a small retirement community. Amazingly, they had the book. Even more amazing was the copyright date of 1993. The most incredulous thing, though, was the EXCESSIVE LIBERTIES that were taken in turning the book into a movie. Poetic license is one thing; ripping a story from its context, culturally, physically, and socially speaking, is another. What, I ask you, is wrong with setting a movie in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas? What, not SCENIC enough? And I suppose that they had to translate the atrocities to South Africa, in order to be POLITICALLY CORRECT in the eyes of Central and South America, eh? Ok, it’s a work of fiction . . . but it’s such a well-written work of fiction that it ought to stand on its own, including setting and culture. Poetic license notwithstanding.

  39. dave Says:

    a guy who can do anything, including solve life’s problems, with a gun

    dozens of bad guys with machine guns can’t hit anything but a single guy hits everything he wants and never makes a mistake.

    We have never seen that before in any movie

    except every Western ever made, every Dirty Harry movie

    if your morals or your politics are based on superman with a gun, I hope you come to realize there is no such thing

    in the movie —- how did he prove he was innocent – the gun would not fire — wasn’t that true from the very beginning — did he have to kill 50 people — if he surendered right away he would have gone to FBI not Dannny Glover contractor —-

  40. Dwight Thompson Says:

    My wife turned me on to I, Sniper and I was hooked. Have a library of biographies and fiction stories about snipers. Went back to the start with Point of Impact and was drawn in to the detail. Went out and rented the movie. Had to put the book’s story aside and just enjoy 2 hours of smooth transition. I have the next 3 in the series and looking forward to Dead Zero when it’s released.

  41. Terry McDaniel Says:

    dave, why do I get the feeling you’d like to eliminate private ownership of firearms in the US?

  42. Aaron Says:

    Amazing book!
    I read it when it first came out in paperback, and at least 3 times since!
    My all time favorite action novel, followed by Richard Marcinko’s Violence of Action!
    Point made me a big time Hunter fan!

  43. Jack Says:

    Dave, I also hope you realize that nobody here considers themselves superman with a gun. We read and write and enjoy these things because they are much more entertaining then say…the meanderings of a crazy Russian, Raskolnikov who kills people because of his morally relativistic b.s. (not to trash Dostoevsky, but would you consider basing your political/moral views on even one of the greatest works of F-I-C-T-I-O-N?)

  44. Richard Douglas Says:


    I’ve really enjoyed all the Bob Lee Swagger novels, even the ones about his father!

    I’m hoping there’ll be another Bob Lee Swagger movie, starring Mark Walberg…

  45. Dave Says:

    I too thoroughly enjoyed this book…you might want to have a look at “RED STORM RISING” by Tom Clancy, another fantastic book that is very hard to put down.

  46. Sadia Merchant Says:

    Point of Impact is an awesome book!!! Just couldnt wait to reach the end of it…really enjoyed reading it.

  47. Cheatum Casey Says:

    Let’s face it, “Shooter” is not “Point of Impact”. This book is in my top twenty-five of good reads, and I love the premise that Good triumphs over Evil. Of course it doesn’t hurt growing up in Oklahoma, and Arkansas in the 70′s and having some of the good old boys as your heros. My hat is off to Mr. Hunter for his creation of the rank and savvy Bob Lee Swagger.

  48. stephen Says:

    I have read lots of novels in my time Point of impact was by far the best book I have ever read.I am heavy into the mechanics of the rifle. And found that even though this novel was a work of fiction that at least the writer took his time to get some of the ballistics close to accurate.Bravo

  49. john mackereth Says:

    I first read ‘point of impact’ over a decade ago and was literally blown away (excuse pun) by this – and I’ll stand by it – masterpiece.Mr Hunter’s Bob Lee Swagger was as note perfect a character as could be imagined and a new – if a John Wayne/Dirty Harry paradigm could be considered new – American hero was born.Like many readers I awaited a film version knowing full well that disappointment was inevitable yet as an unashamed Americaphile, in this post ’911 world almost needed a genuine cinematic retort to all the morally relative multi-cultural rubbish served up to us by Hollywood, and alas that is what they gave me — 5ft nothing Boston hood Wahlberg?! Relocated to the rocky mountains?! Known America hater Danny Glover again biting the hand that feeds him, involved!? Not so subtle insults at Bush and the government in general? I could go on but I’ve made my point and the opportunity to make a slam-bang classic American action/thriller was lost, unless it can be remade from the start for an epic TV series or a longer more fleshed out film where Bob’s character,demeanour,and actions can be felt by the viewer.Is this too much to ask of entertainment? One hopes Hunter gets cast and script approval next time.l agree that ‘Dirty white boys ‘would make a great film especially with the Swagger tie in and the novel was brilliant as Hunters characters once again grab you by the lapels and drag you into their world and good vs evil can actually be distinguished!Anyway,looking forward to the next Hunter book as I would Christmas. I have a list of who I think could have played B.L.S and also who should if any more films are planned -see if anyone agrees or can add some one from outside the square.

    Clint Eastwood -height,demeanour,could also direct (pre unforgiven) hair? accent?
    Sam Shepherd ”
    Levon Helm – my first choice on reading book – Perfect except for height
    Nick Note – could still play older Bob
    Sam Elliot – the voice of Bob and could still play him
    Tommy Lee Jones – obvious and could still play older

    Lyle Lovett – from left field but think about it…
    Christian Bale – ticks all the boxes
    or – Hollywood has to find its Bob Lee like Scarlet O’Hara – America and the western world needs a cowboy to ride into town!!

  50. Ted Montour Says:

    I read “Point of Impact” (in hard-cover borrowed from my local public branch here in Ottawa, Ontario Canada), about a year after its original publication. I am a loyal Stephen Hunter reader and fan to this day.

    Being a movie fan since I was a child, I immediately saw a movie, and I almost as immediately saw the actor whom I believe, to this day, is the best choice to play Bob Lee Swagger — Sam Elliot.

  51. Ed Says:

    In one of the earlier Hunter /B L Swagger books, reference is made to a gun show, where an older (Mk 1) Ruger 220 swift rifle might be found.
    Can anyone tell me which book, and possibly where in the book?

  52. Joe Says:

    Hey Dave (response#39) They killed his dog!!

  53. Elizabeth says... Says:

    I am in total agreement with post by ditchdoc – Jan 6th, 2007 “I have yet to find someone who does not become a Hunter addict after reading Point of Impact.”
    I ran into a friend at the book store last October 2012 and she said her husband reads Stephen Hunter. After she left the store I looked for Hunter’s book, because I seen Bob Lee Swagger Novel on the book she had. My first purchase was “Point of Impact.” I so enjoy reading this book, that I went back and picked up a few more. I feel disappointed when I can’t find a book I am looking for, written by Hunter.
    Bob Lee Swagger…”Well you Just got to love the guy!”

  54. Steve Says:

    I think Sam Elliott would play the best part of an older Bob Lee.

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