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The Men Who Stare at Goats | [Jon Ronson]

The Men Who Stare at Goats

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Britain's funniest and most insightful satirist reveals extraordinary military secrets at the core of George W. Bush's War on Terror.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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    Amazon Customer Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA 06-02-11
    Amazon Customer Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA 06-02-11 Listener Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Hard to Listen to"

    Is this really a person reading this book? It sounds like a computer generated voice - and just as compelling. The book itself seems to have some interest, if I can just get past the monotone inflictions of the reader.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 01-04-11
    Chris 01-04-11 Listener Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I feel like the only person who doesn't "get" the joke. I mean, I "get" it, in the sense that I understand how it is intended to be funny. I just don't get how its funny. It was trying to be over-the-top funny and came off trying entirely too hard.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer the High Desert 02-20-10
    Amazon Customer the High Desert 02-20-10 Member Since 2012

    patroo

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Potentially a great subject,.."

    This book goes fairly quickly, thank goodness, because I wouldn't want to spend any more time than necessary on it. The psychic warfare researchers did some interesting things, and perhaps we'll eventually know more. Meanwhile we have the true books by Joe McMoneagle and Lyn Buchanan. This...the goodies could be distilled into about fifteen minutes. I cannot believe that anyone thought this was movie material. Do not evaluate the research based on this book alone. It will be a long time before I listen to this book again - if ever.
    I agree that the reader had a lot of trouble pronouncing some pretty straightforward words, plus the exotic names of McMoneagle (Mick-moniggle) and Maryland. Renaissance was another tough word. His voice was excellent, and he did manage the tongue-in-cheek aspect of the book quite well.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gert Glenden, Australia 01-13-11
    Gert Glenden, Australia 01-13-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    40
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    1
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    "Watch the movie!"

    Not worth the time to listen to this, get the movie, sit through it, wonder what it's about, then forget it. That is what I have done, not saying you should!

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 03-07-10
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 03-07-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dumb..."

    I thought the book was dumb. It jump about like the ramblings of a conspiracy nut...sorry...I had wanted it to be good...

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Sewell, NJ, United States 07-19-10
    Thomas Sewell, NJ, United States 07-19-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    322
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    0
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    "I tried. But I couldn't finish it."

    I generally listen to the self help series and tried to diversify. With these stars I figured the movie would be kewl enough. So, what the heck, I'll try some light listening for a change. Well, I guess I'm additiced to what I listen too. I just couldn't finish it. Hey, its just not the movie with the famous stars. I think its a light harded book, and if that is what you want then def go for it.
    PS. I fell asleep watching the movie on cable. When its free I'll watch it again.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    11-19-09
    11-19-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Not worth the time . . . ."

    I can't believe someone bought the film rights to this book.

    0 of 6 people found this review helpful
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