NOTE from Claire: Okay, I'm breaking down and doing it. After two years of having people ask, "Don't you know about Unintended Consequences?" or "Why don't you recommend Unintended Consequences," I'm giving in. Bruce Elmore upped and sent this review, and here it is. A pretty good one, too. Myself, I'm not a fan of UC, mostly on the grounds of literary merit and logic (lack thereof). But it is an important book within the freedom movement, and I realize I'm distinctly in the minority in my view of it. I completely agree with Bruce's conclusions about the impact of Ross's work. So now I'll just shut up, step aside and let Bruce have his say.
I have just finished this book for the second time, which is no mean feat considering its 861 page length. I simply must say that this book had me firmly in its grasp after the very first page.
To my mind, this novel reads a lot like something from Tom Clancy. It weaves a large number of seemingly unrelated characters, subplots, and highly technical firearm and reloading information together in a way I found highly readable and thoroughly entertaining. It manages to combine some serious history lessons about a number of events including the American Bonus Army after WWI, to the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934, to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in WWII, to Mafia white slavery in the present day. It also details in almost painful detail some of the more recent outrages perpetrated against American citizens like the murder of the Branch Davidians and the Ruby Ridge outrage perpetrated against the Weaver family.
The “hero” of the book, Henry Bowman is a man totally immersed in the “gun culture”. His hobby since childhood in the early 1960’s has been shooting. Everything from wingshooting with .22 caliber rifles, to long range handgunning, to VERY large caliber rifles and machine guns are his passions. We follow almost every step of Bowman's life from childhood to adulthood. We see his attempts to jump through every hoop set up by a government increasingly hostile to his hobby.
The final outrage occurs when Bowman and a number of his friends are set up by the BATF in a blatantly illegal raid, including the use of blank search warrants and the planting of illegal drugs in a friend's home. Not to give away too much of the plot, suffice it to say there are significantly fewer BATF agents after this event.
Things soon spiral almost out of control, and a genuine Second Revolution starts to occur. A large number of Statists end up where they belong, in a number of interesting and believable ways.
I can’t say this is a “libertarian” book. Libertarians aren’t even mentioned at all. But Mr. Ross certainly doesn’t spare criticism of Statists in either of the major parties either.
Some will find this book entirely too technical in spots. Mr. Ross's knowledge of firearms and reloading is indeed impressive and he doesn’t spare the reader any of his expertise. But if you can read a Clancy novel, you will certainly be able to work your way through this one, and maybe learn a thing or two as well.
The bottom line here is that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you really want to piss off a pro-government law and order type you know, give them a copy of this book.
This novel has been on Amazon's best seller list for almost three months running, and is on the FBI and BATF’s lists as a “subversive book”. That fact alone should be enough for any freedom lover to find it, buy it, and then get a couple of copies for Christmas gifts. I know I have. Finally, I have already noticed the price of Browning .22 caliber Buckmarks rising in my local gunstores. I am willing to bet that is a result of this book.
Caution, this book contains scenes of graphic violence and kinky sex. The violence is in my opinion completely necessary to the plot. The kinky sex is just a bonus.
This book is Mr. Ross's first novel, so cut him some slack and enjoy.
© Bruce Elmore 1998.
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