I don't ask for a lot from this genre of fiction, but there was just too much in the way of implausible plot, and particularly inaccurate gun lore, in this one, and I just could not make it through the whole book. Also, I have already read one of the author's other books that contains the same plot in the last half of the book. I don't know which of the books was published first but the author just wholesale lifted a big chunk of the story from one and pasted it into the other. Once you have read all L'amour's works, its hard to find good books in this genre, and Mr. Rhodes does better than some I have read, but I still find his books to be "hit or miss."
I have read all of this series so far. For me this series is like the old westerns relocated to the 21st century. The story is all black and white, good guys and bad guys, black hats and white hats, no thought required. The author does not commit any glaring non-forgivable "technical" errors that so often ruin these kinds of novels. But, in each subsequent book the author seems to be struggling to keep the story going and has gradually slipped too far into wacky conspiracy land and away from the basic survival challenge plot.
This is not one of Heinlein's juvenile books. The book addresses adult themes in classic Heinlein fashion. To me this book is right up there with "Moon is a harsh mistress" as a story about the defeat of institutionalized tyranny by those victimized by it.
For me, this was another one of those "classic, must read" books that I could not finish. The characters were all uninteresting, dullards, the story uninteresting, IF there actually WAS a story. Perhaps, once again, I am the REAL dullard, but I still suspect many "classic" books are like the wine tastings where if you remove the labels, the finest vintages are often beaten by the local "box" wines, "great" just because of the label?
I have seen this book compared to "The Prince." I suppose that is a fair comparison in some ways. But, this is basically a short "letter," and without the depth of "The Prince." But, I enjoyed the opportunity of a glimpse into the daily lives of the ancient Roman.
I often enjoy these old, dated stories. But I found that I could not in this case. In general its not a bad story for its genre. In fact the story seemed to me in some ways better than many that came along to copy it decades later, but the characters are so much the stereotypical arrogant British colonials and the superstitious, humbled, grovelling, childish African "natives" that I could not get through the entire book. If you can tolerate these stereotypes, by all means give the book a chance.
I often wonder when I read some of these “must read classics” if it’s just me? This book struck me as the literary equivalent of Warhol’s soup can. You’re supposed to praise it because it’s “great” art. But, reality is, it’s just a ten cent can of soup. Maybe a “classic” but I found it was uninteresting, empty characters, stumbling along through a story that doesn’t have a story; a hodgepodge of the antics of characters living on the fringes of the social order. I could get all that from modern “reality tv,” but you wouldn’t call it classic. I am terribly disappointed that I could find nothing of value to me in this book. Even in the worst of books you can generally take away something, but not this time.
Facts presented in this book may not be "exactly" accurate, but its from "Cracked" so what did you expect. You won't find anything new and extraordinary that you have not heard before. But, it IS an entertaining presentation that the narrator delivers like a stand up routine.
Many of the old stories from the early 1900's are too dated even for fans revisiting an old book. This story was not like that. Of course, it is over 80 years since it was published I think. It is dated, simplistic and predictable like any of those old westerns, but not to the point that you can not enjoy it still.
No glaring errors in historical space, time, physics or gun lore.
The narrator succeeded in making the story painful to listen to. Way over the top dramatization that had more the flavor of an actor reading for a part in a play rather than a narrator reading a book.
I picked this up on the daily deal or some other sale and decided it was worth the risk of a couple of dollars. I think any book has to be worth a couple of dollars, but even at that, this one was pretty borderline. The author provides a lot of general hints and everyday "common sense" but mostly unrealistic suggestions about things like buy bulk grain and store your bulk grain so that rodents can't get to it. Be careful with guns and sharp objects, and try not to get hurt. I had hoped for some tidbits of interesting information about water or power systems or something, but there seemed to be little of that in this book. If you just won the powerball and want to use your new found millions to buy a retreat and become the new Howard Hughes then this book might be for you. Otherwise, unless you really do not know where corn and wheat and eggs come from or that its a good idea to have as much Red Cross training as possible for emergencies, I don't think most people are going to get much of interest out of it. I just did not get a lot of real information/content out of this book.
I don't always agree with PZ but I do respect and enjoy his work. This book is no exception.
I really prefer books that are read by the author. But if PZ wasn't going to read it, you couldn't do any better than Aaron Ra.
Report Inappropriate Content