Entertaining and alarming in equal parts, this is a true account of the US military's experimentation with the supernatural.
In 1979, a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the US army. Defying all known accepted military practice - and, indeed, the laws of physics - they believed that a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them. Entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries, they were the First Earth Battalion. And they really weren't joking. What's more, they're back and fighting the War on Terror.
©2004 Jon Ronson; (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.
"Simultaneously frightening and hilarious." (The Times)
"Few more earnest investigative journalists would have had the brilliant bloody-mindedness to get what he has got and hardly any would have the wit to present it with as much clarity." (The Observer)
"A hilarious and unsettling book." (Boston Globe)
This book was very dry. It reads like it really happed but of course it is fiction.
The narrator did a good job but the story was not enjoyable to listen to.
Having listened to other Ronson books, I could not listen to this one since I love Ronson's delivery. Sorry. The website forced me to rate the story, which I really am not qualified to do since I did not read the book or see the movie. Going by Ronson's other books, however, I'm sure it's a good story.
If this tale were spun first within the context of fiction and then released as documentary evidence, it would be thought to be a hoax. Who would believe an institution such as the US Army would have invested in research of this nature?
I think Mr. Mangan's performance missed much of the humor of Jon Ronson's reading of his other work. Very odd choice for a narrator.
Eclectic tastes. Love anything thought provoking. Especially if its blended with some from of humour.
Unbelievable story of just how far the military goes to try to secure an "edge"
Absolutely wonderful characters you will always remember
No. This would have been much stronger if read by Jon Ronson
Made me laugh and shake my head in disbelief!
The reason I call this a profoundly underrated book is because within it lies the truth of how the various secret agencies of our government have used their carte blanche finances and veils of secrecy that are intended to defend us to devise unbelievable ways to control and manipulate our minds as well as the enemy's.
This book is not like the silly little movie. This book contains the real players real names. I think the movie was a deliberate attempt to poo poo this book to the degree that people poo pooed the movie. So that we don't read the book and open our eyes to what has really been happening. The names and stories in this book are all real. As unbelievable as that may seem, these things really happened. I know this for a fact.
The information in the book itself will show you how the absurd comical twists of its presentation, and our perception that it is a silly little expose, lead us to disbelieve, or worse, believe and then be entertained by the criminal abuses that have been going on behind the door of classified secrecy. This traces connections of the people involved in the abuses of the illegal tests of LSD on the public from the early Bush CIA all the way through to the Bush torture and other abuses of power after 911 and during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. And it still goes on today.
Hidden behind the unbelievability of the absurd ideas presented here lies the truth about the human impulse to "do good" and how the fruits of those impulses can be twisted by ignorance, fear, military power, blind order following, mistakes and human failings, so that the very opposite of what was originally intended happens instead. War instead of peace, suffering instead of freedom.
I began being entertained by this book and ended with a huge knot in my stomach after absorbing the reality of what this story is about and how the very fact that I was entertained by it scares the @#%* out of me. What does this say about me? What does this say about us?
In order to really get this, notice how the names all tie together to create a constant command of psychological control. Also, if you choose to read this book, relax and enjoy it's entertainment value. Then think about that after you know the end outcomes of the story.
Sean Mangan did a fine job of narrating this fascinating & utterly bizzare true tale.. yet.. i would love to hear Mr Ronson read it in his own unique way.. having all Jons' other audio books.. i have grown quite fond of his style.. his writting comes across wonderfully.. though i would hate to miss any slight nuance of inflection intended.
Lots of information.
Like always Ron Jonson does a great job investigating and following down leads and getting information. He does jump around a bit and doesn't tie some loose ends together, but with this kind of information I'm not sure if anyone could tie all the loose ends together.
I missed the author reading his book, knowing that an English speaking person wrote the book puts you off with an American reader. Plus there were gross mispronunciations of words that can distract from the information.
I love learning about the dirty little secrets of the American military/industrial complex. It usually takes about 40 years for info to get out and by then they can just say, "Well, we no longer do things that way." This is even though every few decades something else is found out. When are people going to realize that the secrecy of 'classified' allows them to do whatever the hell they want to do with no consequences later except for a slap on the wrist.
I never read the book so I can't say. But, I did enjoy it thoroughly.
The mix of crazy characters.
Hard to say, there were so many,
Zen and the US Army
I guess I will have to see the movie but I doubt it will live up to the book.
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