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Edward

Waynesboro, VA, United States | Member Since 2005

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 638 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Gun

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By C. J. Chivers
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (131)

    It is the world's most widely recognized weapon, the most profuse tool for killing ever made. More than fifty national armies carry the automatic Kalashnikov, as do an array of police, intelligence, and security agencies all over the world. In this tour de force, prizewinning New York Times reporter C. J. Chivers traces the invention of the assault rifle.

    Edward says: "A compelling book about much more than guns!"
    "A compelling book about much more than guns!"
    Overall

    This book is a compelling review of how man's technology for killing each other has shaped history over the last 140 years, and how entrenched thinking has been far more deadly than the weapons of war. As a hardcore firearms enthusiast, I hoped the book would be a history of the most influential gun of all time, the AK-47 family of shoulder-fired military arms. What I found was much, much more, including a commentary on how the development and deployment of the weapons of war reflect the best and worst of human nature and our institutions of government. Has there ever been anything so deadly as short-term thinking, greed, and manipulative self-interest? Not according to this book, which weaves history, biography, political commentary, and philosophy into a single retrospective on political history over the last 140 years. Always thought-provoking and even-handed, the author neither glorifies nor villifies the guns in question. Rather, he examines the development, use and deployment of guns as the tangible extension of political and economic influences that shape the course of history.

    This book was certainly not what I expected. It was much, much more. I was unable to put it down. Having come of age in the Viet Nam era, I was horrified to learn of how the badly-flawed M-16 was developed, marketed, foisted upon the US military by Robert McNamara and his chronies, even though it was wholy unsuited to the work at hand. It was chilling to read how many lives were lost because our troops had been equipped with guns that would jam and fail with terrifying predictability. I was outraged to read of the political cover-up that blamed the problems with the guns on the troops in the field, whose lives depended on them.

    While the legend of the AK 47 is shown to be at least as much PR as history, it nonetheless showed that the smug, self-congratulatory attitude of superiority we cultivate in the West, is not so well-deserved. A great read; highly recommended!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Hoot

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Chad Lowe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (576)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (159)

    Roy's family moves a lot, so he's used to the new-kid drill. Florida bullies are pretty much like bullies everywhere. But Roy finds himself oddly indebted to the hulking Dana Matherson. If Dana hadn't been sinking his thumbs into Roy's temples and mashing his face against the school-bus window, Roy might never have spotted the running boy. And the running boy is the first interesting thing Roy's seen in Florida.

    Native Texan says: "Clever and surprising!"
    "Get back Harry Potter"
    Overall

    Here is the quintessential normal kid hero doing his thing in a world full of weirdos. This is a great book for kids and a pretty good book for adults. The outcome is telegraphed as soon as you know who the characters are, and what they do, but it was a fun listen. In a way, it's a kids book, but just like Harry Potter, only adults who have lost sight of what it was to be a kid will not enjoy it too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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