This is a typical Stephen Hunter/Bob Lee Swagger story with plenty of twists and turns. And like the other stories of the series it is peppered liberally with unnecessary detail about the firearms and ammunition while getting some basic facts wrong. Others have noted the South Carolina/North Carolina problem; let me remind Mr. Hunter that a brick wall does not provide cover from a .50 cal round. The bigger problem, though, is Buck Schirner's narration. Schirner has the perfect gravel voice for Bob Lee Swagger. But that's the extent of his value. He can't do accents or dialects well or consistently but he constantly tries to do them, and he has problems pronouncing some less common words in the English language. He also has a problem with phrases that break across lines, leading to odd inflections in many cases. He needs an editor or producer to smooth over these issues with his delivery, and Mr. Hunter needs to focus on telling the story and not on educating his readers - many of whom are probably more familiar with firearms than he is -- about guns and ammo.
This second volume of Eire's account of his experiences as one of the Operation Peter Pan children takes him from arrival in Miami in 1962 up to the recent past, the death of his mother in Chicago, the decline of his brother Tony and his own reconciliation with who he is - not Charles, not Chuck, but Carlos. The quick cuts in timeline between past and present and in-between can be somewhat confusing since there is no printed page to refer back and forth, but it comes together well as an experiential whole. More than a history of a child and a man, it is the story of the survival of a soul repeatedly transformed through death to self and past, a survival that is often in doubt over the nearly 50 years covered by the book.
Narrator Robert Fass has an excellent facility with switching between languages, accents and voices and really delivers the non-fiction story with all the vocal color of a good novel.
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