Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Read: "Battlelines: the last good war" by James Reasoner.

Read: Battlelines: the last good war by James Reasoner, 2001, 031287345X.

I do not recall why I grabbed this one. This the first of three novels in a series. I'll likely read the next two.

Reasoner does not skimp on sex scenes. There were several in this one. Slightly graphic but not like those goofy vampire books that pass through.

Three dudes, one gal, and the gal's brother in 1939 and 1940. All three dudes are college-age with one in law school. Joe and Dale are brothers from a poorer family and are about 3-4 years apart in age. Adam is also poor and lives with his mom in an apartment and is dating the wealthy WASP Catherine. Catherine is the daughter of a physician and well-known isolationist. Her dad is privately an an anti-semite who forbids her relationship with Jewish Adam. Catherine gives Adam a handjob in a outdoor alcove of her parents' house anyway. Catherine's brother, Spencer, is a 17 year old layabout who is kicked out of boarding school for running a gambling ring. Spencer ends up screwing a local high-class, but sleazy, acquaintance of one of his high-roller gambler friends. He then has to steal cash from his father when the floozy extorts money out of him for a (false) abortion. Joe and Dale (I kept thinking of Chip 'n Dale) don't always get along and their father is turned a drunkard since an injury keeps him from work. Dale ends up screwing a banker's wife - he did not know she was married - and in revenge the banker starts putting hte screws to the family. Catherine marries Adam on the sly and they engage in lots of sex scenes.

All five join the service to escape bad situations. Jim and Dale join the Army to get out of Chicago as a way to satisfy the cuckolded husband. Adam joins the Marines for several reasons. Catherine joins the Navy as a nurse to try and be near Adam. Spencer joins the Navy after his father kicks him out of the house. Adam goes to the Pacific and is upset because he is all set to kill Hitler. Catherine is posted to Hawaii and witnesses the attack on Pearl and her brother's death. Joe and Dale end up in Texas and are assigned to mechanic and radio specialties. Joe and Dale are assigned to a armored unit that is testing tanks destined for England under the lend-lease program. They deploy as trainers to England.

Great job showing the build-up to the war. The importance of lend-lease and guarded supply convoys bringing the country to a war footing. The inevitable feeling of war with Germany but no concern for Japan's aggression. The draft implementation and attempted build up of forces. The reluctance of being drafted. Good descriptions of life as a new soldier and the rapidly built camp in Texas. Texan and pulp aficionado Reasoner finds a way to stick Robert E. Howard's name in there.

I must have liked this more than I think because I sure wrote a lot about it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Read: "Killing Floor" by Lee Child

Read: Killing Floor by Lee Child, 1997, 0515123447.

Very

good. This is the fourth Jack Reacher book I've read. Two of those

novels were so-so. Some of the mystery aspects were good in those two

books but the stories ended up blah. I suppose Reacher himself is the

real draw for readers anyway.

Reacher

is eating breakfast in a small town Georgia diner when four cops burst

in and arrest him for murder. Several hours before, and a few miles up

the road, a guy had his face shot off and was kicked to a pulp. The

usual happens: Reacher does really smart things, Reacher out thinks

people, Reacher draws on his extensive experience, Reacher wears the

same clothes, Reacher pours the pork to a gal cop, Reacher uses his

bulk and muscle to kill without remorse.

The

plotting was good. Of the four Child books I have read there are one or

two things that are a real stretch. This one has the town being paid

off at $1,000 to each shop owner with the town leadership not only

rotten but viciously violent. I liked this one though. It was fun to

read.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Read: "Long Road Home: one step at a time" by G.B.Trudeau

Read: Long Road Home: one step at a time by G.B.Trudeau, 2005, 0740753851.

That was quick.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Flipped Through: "Ditch Medicine" by Hugh L. Coffee

Flipped Through: Ditch Medicine: Advanced Field Procedures for Emergencies by Hugh L. Coffee, 2002, 1581603908.

Read about this online and reserved it.

An introductory technical guide. More for third world, and disaster medicine. Made me think more of medics or special forces soldiers out in the far boonies without hospital care.

Interesting to look through because it goes beyond first aid or advanced first aid. Has instruction on field techniques for intravenous therapy, decompression and drainage of the chest, infected wounds - including photos of a gun shot wound through the foot, small wound repair - with illustrations of a buttocks injury opened up and bandaged. The amputations section is gruesome, "The PCHP holds the amputation knife firmly in his hand ans starts the incision at the side of the extremity opposite to where it stands...after the deep muscles have been retracted, the periosteum of the bone is incised and the femur sawn through flush with the retracted muscle."

TO GOOGLE SEARCHERS: I read several good comments about this book and that is why I took a gander at it. But, I cannot vouch for the authenticity of those reviewers or their training or skills; my experience is limited to very basic first aid instruction. If you search through some of the online forums for guns, police, or survival you'll likely find more information on Coffee's book and similar books.