–August 26, 2016–
Look at me, lazing in these dog days of summer, reading one book after another but completely neglecting this blog. Then again, what am I going to expound about, the Afghan War or the ISIS skirmish? Yeh right, like anyone cares. And even though Obama keeps ratcheting up the number of troops in the “rear” “non-combat” areas of both battlegrounds, as long as the American KIAs are kept down to one or two a month, again, fact is, nobody here on the home front wants to even think about it.
What, should I be expounding on the presidential election? You’ve all got your opinions on Trump and H Clinton, and you don’t need me to spout off with mine. As if what I have to say’s any better than anyone else’s or is going to change anything.
As I say above, I’m reading a lot, as usual, but you never see me writing here about books. There are good reasons for that. First, because I recommend books on a personal basis, directly in-person to individuals, knowing that we all have different tastes and it’s not my usual way to tell people who I don’t know what books they’d be wise to invest their time and money in. Secondly, I’m not going to be pushing other books when you should have read or be reading my own book before you dare to open any other.
(Okay, time out, I’ll wait here while you click on over to Amazon and order yourself a copy or two of Tattoo Zoo.)
Done? Good, welcome back. Now we can talk briefly about someone else’s book. One that I only a few months ago discovered and read, and that I’ve been meaning to mention here on the blog, but, you know, what with these lazy dog days of summer…..
I’m not touting this book because it’s another Zoo, it isn’t. Just the opposite. Its purposes are not those of TZ; it may be a war story, fiction, like TZ, but it’s a whole ‘nuther ball of wax.
The book is The Last Centurion, by a prolific author, John Ringo, who I had never heard of until a fan of my own book put Ringo’s Centurion on his Three Best Novels list in a review along with mine, (found here). The reviewer loved Tattoo Zoo, he made Centurion sound intriguing—what the heck, why wouldn’t I give it a shot?
I wish I’d discovered it years before.
You don’t need me to tell you about the book. Here, get an idea from the rear cover.
And you can read the reviews on Amazon. Better still, open it up on Amazon and start reading, and if you can’t stomach the earthy tone and hate the flippant voice and really don’t want to read politics that by page 2 clearly labels a future Prez Hillary-type a “whiny bitch”, exit the preview and consider yourself lucky to have been warned ahead of time and been saved the money and aggravation of the read.
Sure, the story is a one-sided polemic, which will have “Kumbaya-singing tofu eaters” throwing it against the wall, but land sakes, it’s an indispensable primer on modern farming, failed government disaster response, Western vs Islamic warfare, desert armor battling, man-made climate change and whatever other politically charged national issues are right down the road in our near future. Here’s a pdf (Trust pages )of a few pages from it about Societal Trust that are a good example of the learning to be had in this otherwise blisteringly original war story.
The themes are so spot-on that you might be surprised that the book was written a good ten years ago, with the story taking place a few years from now in the near future, and Ringo is way before his time in his thinking. Again, as I say above, I wish I’d discovered it years ago.
One more thing. Because of its extreme political incorrectness and anti-coastal-elites philosophy the book was all but ignored by the mainstream publishing houses and the mainstream media who could have made it an international bestseller and a hot topic nationwide. It is published by a small publisher, Baen Books, which is a science fiction and fantasy house. Don’t let that put you off. This story is anything but science fiction/fantasy, and ten years from now people will be saying, “You should have read Ringo’s The Last Centurion back when.”