Kyle Rittenhouse’s New Book Bombs on Kindle

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Kyle Rittenhouse’s new book Acquitted, which he has described as a “story of survival, resilience, and justice,” has been doing poorly on the Amazon bestsellers list.

Rittenhouse, 20, gained notoriety in August 2020 when, at the age of 17, he shot and killed two men—Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26—at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse, who was using a semi-automatic AR-15-style assault rifle, also injured a 26-year-old named Gaige Grosskreutz. He said the three shootings were in self-defense.

Rittenhouse’s trial was divisive but on November 19, 2021, he was acquitted on all charges. Since then, Rittenhouse has become a poster child of right-wing media and released his book on Kindle on November 19.

“I never wanted to be a public figure. I was homeless as a small child and raised in government-subsidized housing. My goal was to be a cop or a paramedic,” the blurb on Amazon reads. “I went to Kenosha to help my community—not become a whipping boy in the national debate. In less than three minutes, the direction of my life was horribly altered when I was forced to defend myself with deadly force. So much was said and written about me that was not true.

Kyle Rittenhouse is seen at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on November 12, 2021. His book was recently released on Kindle but it’s performing badly.
Sean Krajacic-Pool/gett

“Now, for the first time, I want to tell my story. My name is Kyle Rittenhouse. I was attacked. I defended myself. I was prosecuted. I was acquitted.”

Rittenhouse may be disappointed because according to figures from Amazon, the work is sitting at #9,569 in the Kindle Store sector as of Tuesday. It also ranks 510 in Nonfiction in the Kindle store.

Newsweek reached out to Rittenhouse for comment via Instagram on Tuesday.

Despite its underwhelming reception, at the time of writing the Kindle version has four out of five stars after 36 reviews.

“Well done book about someone forced to defend themselves and what that means in America now. Well done. Highly recommend for everyone, especially now,” one reviewer wrote.

“This was a great book that sheds some light on how the media and people in general can formulate an opinion before gathering information. Case in point, any of the 1 star reviews are from people who have not read the book. Kyle is not a hero, by his own admission, but he did do the right thing. Everyone has the right to defend themselves from violent thugs. Hopefully the world can relearn this basic concept,” said another.

A third added: “Kyle did such a good job with this. The book doesn’t sugarcoat anything and I wish him the absolute best and a life of anonymity that he so desires.”

However, not everyone is impressed with his book, with some leaving one-star reviews.

One reviewer, who admitted to only reading the sample, wrote: “Rittenhouse went to Kenosha to ‘help my community’ and ended up killing 2 people from that community and 1 from a neighboring state. Legal issues aside, it seems much more likely that no one would have been killed if Rittenhouse had stayed home that day. In the end, that would have helped the community a lot more. The media, legal, and political aspects of this incident are controversial and (to me) sickening. In the end, the victims were blamed for their own deaths.”

Read More About Kyle Rittenhouse

“The foreward [sic] remarks by Kyle’s attorney do not match Kyle’s on-line persona that I see on Xwitter,” another wrote. “That tells me this book is a sob story for garnering sympathy and more grift. The first 2 chapters tend to ramble and go back over and over how Kyle’s parents were failures. I’m feeling lied to already..not going to waste more time and money to support Kyle.”

A third person wrote in their one-star review: “Waste of money and time. Rittenhouse had no business being there that night, with a gun he was only legally able to have in order to hunt, given to him by a friend.”

On Goodreads, the book is rated 3.38 out of five after three reviews and eight ratings.

When Rittenhouse announced to his 1.1 million followers on X, formerly Twitter, that he would be releasing a book, it caused an uproar.

“Karma is gonna snatch your a** up and most of us can’t wait to see it,” one person wrote.

“So is now the time to get my republican on and support book burning,” said another.

A third added: “Oh wow ! Now you published a book. Hope you’re ready for judgement [sic] day!”

“I don’t care,” another X user wrote.

After the shootings, Rittenhouse was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and two charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

Race played a core role in Rittenhouse’s trial, even though the three men he shot were white. This was because the protest he attended was in response to an incident involving 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake, who was shot by white police officer Rusten Sheskey in August 2020 and was left paralyzed from the waist down.

After his acquittal in November 2021, Rittenhouse said he supported the Black Lives Matter movement, saying he was at the demonstration to “protect businesses and provide medical assistance.”