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review 2018-01-27 15:49
Moving, must-read memoir.
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black ... When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir - Patrisse Khan-Cullors,Asha Bandele,Angela Y. Davis

The story of Black Lives Matter has been unfortunately rather horribly distorted and lost in the media. People call it a terrorist organization that should be subject to monitoring by the FBI (maybe it is...), see it as a bunch of angry black people who feel entitled to reparations and free stuff, that it was actually founded by a white man (!?), etc. This book is the memoir of Patrisse Khan-Cullors, one of the founders of BLM and how she (and others) came to BLM and this moment in history.

 

It's a story of her life and family. Her brother's struggles with mental illness and law enforcement and the justice system. How the author herself came to eventually identify as Queer. Her relationships with others and growing up in a system and a country that doesn't care for her or her family or others like her. 

 

It's a painful and sometimes harrowing read. Other topics that are covered include sexual assault, drug abuse, poverty, domestic violence, homophobia/queerphobia, death at the hands of the state and law enforcement and more. It is not extremely detailed but these topics and others do get discussed in the text and it's unavoidable. Unfortunately the audience that really needs to read this book won't, not because of the subject matter itself but it's because they're not willing to look at why there is the need for Black Lives Matter.

 

I think some of the criticisms of the book have merit. Initially, I was under the impression that this was the story of BLM itself and how Cullors came together with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi. There is some of that towards the end but this wasn't quite what I thought it would be. And tied to that it's important to remember that this is just one person's story. It's probably close to impossible to capture *the* story of BLM given the history, political/social context, etc. but this book also made me curious to hear Garza's and Tometi's (and the stories of others) if they wish to share.

 

But overall it's a must-read. It's flows very well despite stuff that normally really bothers me (lack of quotation marks, sometimes what felt like moving back and forth in time, a co-writer, etc.). I found it to be a quick read despite the subject matter and while it's early I would call it the best book I've read so far. It wouldn't surprise me to see this nominated for awards and popping up on reading lists (which it should). It's definitely a title I'd recommend if you want to learn more about Black Lives Matter, what black people go through in the US and more.

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review 2017-11-29 10:20
Die Zukunft ist eine Sardinenbüchse
Future - Dmitry Glukhovsky

Dmitry Glukhovsky ist für mich kein Unbekannter. Der Lieblingsmensch ist ein enthusiastischer Fan der „Metro“-Reihe, bisher steckte mich seine Begeisterung jedoch nicht an. Ich schleiche schon lange um „Metro“ herum, konnte mich aber noch nicht zur Lektüre überreden. Als meine Mutter mir mitteilte, dass Glukhovsky einen dystopischen Einzelband veröffentlicht hatte, ergriff ich meine Chance. Ich beschloss, den russischen Autor durch „Futu.Re“ erst einmal kennenzulernen, bevor ich es mit „Metro“ versuchte. Ein sanfter Einstieg erschien mir erfolgsversprechender.

 

In der Zukunft wurde das Altern bezwungen, abgeschafft, aus der Gesellschaft getilgt. In der megalomanen Metropole Europa wird jeder Mensch mit dem Recht auf Unsterblichkeit geboren. Um die Überbevölkerung unter Kontrolle zu halten, unterliegt die Fortpflanzung strenger Richtlinien. Das Gesetz über die Wahl fordert für das Leben des Kindes das Leben eines Elternteils. Illegale Schwangerschaften und Geburten sind keine Seltenheit. Jan Nachtigalls Aufgabe besteht darin, diese Verbrecher aufzuspüren und das Gesetz zu vollstrecken. Er ist stolz auf seinen Beruf. Wenn diese Systemgefährder keine Verantwortung für ihre Zügellosigkeit übernehmen wollen, muss er es eben tun. Eines Tages wird ihm von einem einflussreichen Senator ein Spezialauftrag übertragen, der seine Karriere entscheidend vorantreiben könnte. Er soll einen bekannten Terroristen und dessen schwangere Freundin ausschalten. Doch während des Einsatzes kommt alles anders als geplant und plötzlich findet sich Jan in der Gesellschaft der jungen Frau wieder, die er umbringen sollte. Sie stürzt sein Leben ins Chaos, stellt alles infrage, wofür er steht und weckt in ihm tiefe Zweifel: ist die Menschheit für die Unsterblichkeit geschaffen?

 

Okay, das lief nicht wie erwartet. Ich möchte nicht behaupten, dass mein Versuch einer Annäherung an Dmitry Glukhovsky durch „Futu.Re“ vollkommen in die Hose ging, aber als erfolgreich kann ich dieses Experiment ebenfalls nicht bezeichnen. Ich fühle mich genauso schlau wie vorher. Meine Motivation, die „Metro“-Trilogie zu lesen, ist noch immer überschaubar. Tatsächlich verunsicherte mich „Futu.Re“ zusätzlich. Wäre das Buch einfach schlecht, hätte ich keinerlei Hemmungen, Dmitry Glukhovsky in das Nirvana der enttäuschenden Autor_innen zu verbannen. Dummerweise sind lediglich einige Aspekte fragwürdig – andere dafür jedoch hervorragend. Ich bin zwiegespalten.
Das Design der Dystopie beeindruckte mich nachhaltig. Glukhovskys beängstigend vorstellbare Zukunftsvision stützt sich auf zwei korrelative Säulen: der Sieg der Wissenschaft über das Altern und die daraus resultierende Überbevölkerung der Erde, die ihrerseits verschiedene Modelle zur Populationskontrolle (z.B. das Gesetz über die Wahl) erzwang und eine unermesslich erweiterte und verdichtete Besiedlung des Planeten zur Folge hatte. Die Weite der Welt ist passé. Die Zukunft ist eine Sardinenbüchse, die Menschen stapeln sich buchstäblich. Die klaustrophobische Atmosphäre übertrug sich intensiv auf mich. Ich fühlte mich körperlich unwohl, erdrückt, eine Empfindung, die durch die dargestellte Sinn- und Ziellosigkeit der menschlichen Existenz verstärkt wurde. Niemand wird mehr von der eigenen Sterblichkeit gejagt; es fehlt die Triebfeder, die heute fieberhafte Forschung und den Wunsch, die Welt für die nächste Generation zu verbessern, befeuert. Wer denkt an die nächste Generation, wenn man ewig leben kann? Die einzige Ausnahme in diesem Sumpf der völligen Abgestumpftheit sind die wenigen Menschen, die das Funktionieren des Systems gewährleisten, obwohl der Protagonist Jan Nachtigall belegt, dass auch diese berufliche Befriedigung oberflächlich ist und keinen wahren Lebenssinn stiftet. Für mich ist Jan der Übeltäter, der eine durchgehend positive Leseerfahrung mit „Futu.Re“ verhinderte. Dmitry Glukhovsky entschied sich für die Ich-Perspektive, ergo befand ich mich während der gesamten Lektüre in Jans Kopf – ein Ort, an dem ich keinesfalls sein wollte. Während der ersten Hälfte des Buches konnte ich mich überhaupt nicht mit ihm arrangieren, fand ihn aggressiv, hasserfüllt und gewaltbereit; ein von Komplexen gequälter Junge im Körper eines Mannes mit minimaler Frustrationsgrenze. Rückblenden in Form von unrealistisch strukturierten Träumen sollten seine Persönlichkeit erklären und rechtfertigen, doch ich konnte trotzdem nur wenig Verständnis für ihn aufbringen. In der zweiten Hälfte ertrug ich ihn besser, da Jan eine berechenbare und durch die gekünstelte Handlung unausweichliche Wandlung durchlebt, aber beste Freunde konnten wir nicht mehr werden. Glukhovsky nahm mir die Möglichkeit, mich von Jan zu distanzieren und mich an anderen Figuren zu orientieren, weil es neben ihm keine nennenswerten Handlungsträger_innen gibt. Eingesperrt in den Gedanken eines misogynen Schlägers hatte ich kaum Freude an der Lektüre und musste mich voll auf die Dystopie konzentrieren, um durchzuhalten.

 

Ohne die logische, realitätsnahe und atmosphärische Dystopie würde „Futu.Re“ auf meinem Stapel der durchgefallenen Bücher landen. Die Handlung wirkte allzu konstruiert, der Protagonist war eine Zumutung. Hoffentlich begegnet mir nie wieder eine Figur wie Jan Nachtigall. Wie konnte Dmitry Glukhovsky ein Buch schreiben, das sich völlig auf einen permanent unsympathischen Hauptcharakter verlässt? Meiner Meinung nach war ich nicht die einzige, die sich auf die pervertierte Version einer globalisierten Welt fokussierte. Ich glaube, dass sich Glukhovskys Augenmerk ebenfalls auf seine Zukunftsvision richtete, weshalb ihm offenbar nicht auffiel, dass sich der unausstehliche Jan durch eine unnatürliche Handlung hangelt. Ich zögere daher, ihm genug Vertrauen zu schenken, um die „Metro“-Trilogie zu lesen. Angeblich soll diese frei der hier benannten Mängel sein – aber was, wenn nicht?

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/dmitry-glukhovsky-futu-re
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text 2016-09-02 03:28
Did you find your second novel, Loving the Terrorist, restricted by genre?
Loving the Terrorist: Beyond Eagleridge Bluffs (ECO-WARRIORS Book 2) - Rod Raglin

QUESTION: Did you find the plot and the characters in your second novel, Loving the Terrorist, restricted by the confines of this genre?

 

Despite the lack of success of my first novel, Saving Spirit Bear, my publisher was still keen on publishing two more novels as part of the Eco-Fi series, Eco-Warriors, and I was still keen on writing them. The plan (remember the plan?) appeared flawed, but perhaps not fatally.

 

As a journalist I'd been following and commenting on a local protest where residents and hardcore environmentalists had joined forces to boycott the development of a highway bypass that would destroy Eagleridge Bluffs, a very rare eco-system, home to migratory birds and at least one endangered species.

 

Despite a number of other viable options the government was intransigent. In frustration the protestors set up a blockade and eventually were arrested and literally dragged off to jail.

 

I've spent the best part of my life climbing and hiking in the local mountains. I've seen some awe-inspiring scenery, moments when I truly felt if I died in the presence of such magnificence, well, that would be just fine. But Eagleridge Bluffs was the best.

 

These ancient rock faces, carved by eons of Pacific storms roaring down Georgia Strait, and decorated by gnarled Arbutus Trees emanated a benign energy that soothed and uplifted the human spirit - no kidding.

 

When they dynamited The Bluffs they destroyed something very special and to this day I feel guilty. I should have done more to save this wonderful wild place that I loved.

 

But what could I have done? Loving the Terrorist - Risking it All, is that story.

 

Miriam is forty and frustrated. In an attempt to enhance her living-just-to-breathe life she joins some neighbours protesting a highway bypass that will destroy Eagleridge Bluffs. Not only are the Bluffs her special sanctuary, they’re also the beautiful home of rare and endangered plants and animals.

 

The protest gains the support of environmental organizations including the attention of a group of eco-radicals lead by an enigmatic younger man named Zaahir.

 

Miriam is mesmerized by this charismatic leader and sees him as someone that can save her as well as the Bluffs. But is Zaahir just using Miriam to help him further his radical political agenda?

 

As legal channels fail and civil disobedience falters, Miriam is seduced into the murky world of eco-terrorism.

 

The plot of this story follows the actual events that took place over three months that summer - up to a point. I literally lifted dialogue for my characters from news clips and stories. Then I took it further.

 

I wanted to explore the theme - can violence be condone on behalf of a just cause? Furthermore, is violence effective?

 

I wanted a sympathetic villain because as an author if you have a political agenda (and boy, did I) the only way to keep from sounding didactic is to also present it from the point of view of the anatgonist - and do it fairly. I gleaned this from Robert Boswell's book, The Half-Known World: On Writing Fiction. Not only does this approach work, it was a good idea since I wasn't quite sure where I stood on this issue myself.

 

I took the criticism of my first novel to heart and "sexed up" this one. This presented a challenge and I wondered how I could write explicitly about sex without it being gratuitous? I decided to make Miriam a virgin, her lover fifteen years younger than her, and she white and him brown. My idea was to let my readers discover sex along with my heroine.

 

I hit most of the points including a "Happy Ever After" ending but even as I was writing the novel I could tell I was straying beyond the confines of the romance genre. Despite the ending, this wasn't a happy story, how could it be - innocent creatures were wiped out, a beautiful, spiritual place was destroyed, and for no good reason (as if there ever is one).

 

I couldn't help it, I couldn't change it. It bombed, but I felt better.

 

By the time Loving the Terrorist was published I was well into the third novel for the Eco-Warriors series. By now I'd learned quite a bit about writing and publishing and even more about myself. This would be my last romance.

 

I knew I was leaving genre even as I was writing Not Wonder More, Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients. I was also becoming increasingly dissatisfied with my publisher (and no doubt, she with me) and had begun exploring other options.

 

Next Question: Did your third novel Not Wonder More, Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients resolve the issue of whether to write genre or literary fiction? And what about your publisher?

 

 

 

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review 2016-08-26 00:13
Terrorist Summit (The Executioner #44)
Terrorist Summit - Don Pendleton,Steven M. Krauzer

This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.anobii.com by  Bookstooge's Exalted Permission.

Title: Terrorist Summit

Series: The Executioner

Author: Don Pendleton & Steven Krauzer

Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: Action/Adventure

Pages: 184

Format: Kindle digital scan

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

 

A maniacal American kidnaps the daughter of a Tech Contractor, who has figured out how to make suitcase nukes. He uses her to get a prototype which he then plans on selling to a disparate group of worldwide terrorists.

Everyone is in one place and it is up to Mack Bolan to rescue the girl, kill the terrorists and put the fear of God into the organizations which they are all from.

If there is one man who can do this, it is The Executioner!

 

 

My Thoughts:

 

My final Mack Bolan book.

 

In some ways it was a good book. Tons of action and bullets and splatterings of scumbags. I really like seeing Final Justice dispensed to those who deserve it. In other ways it was very disappointing. The descriptions of the kidnapped girl were simply lascivious and not appropriate at all.

 

That made this an uncomfortable read for me. However, I'm sure this type of thing continues so it makes even more sense for me to stop now. I do think that next year I will pick up the latest Mack Bolan just to see how the series has progressed over the years. To put this in perspective, this book was written in 1982 and the series is still ongoing.

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review 2015-12-24 20:52
Seized
Seized (The Profiler) - Elizabeth Heiter

By: Elizabeth Heiter

Series:  The Profiler #3

ISBN:  9780778318620

Publisher:  MIRA

Publication Date: 12/29/2015

My Rating:  4 Stars  

 

A special thank you to MIRA and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Elizabeth Heiter returns with her third installment in the Profiler series (nicely researched) with SEIZED -Evelyn Baine, profiler for the FBI – finds herself in one of the most dangerous situations yet, with what appeared to be "survivalist cult" holed up in the mountains—turns deadly.

Evelyn is sharp and she knows how to think like a killer – whether a serial killer, arsonists, bomb-maker, child abductor or terrorist, as she has crawled around in all of the twisted minds. She had learned their fantasies, and figured out their next moves and chased them down. But no matter how many she found, there were always more. She is a non-conformist and does not always follow the rules. (I like this).

Having read the previous books in the Profiler series (highly recommend) in order to learn more about Evelyn and the motivation behind the woman-- both personally, and professionally:

In Book # 1 HUNTED , we meet Evelyn Baine, a profiler for the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit. She has wanted this job since she was a child, when her best friend disappeared. She is sent to Bakersville, Virginia and comes head to head with a serial killer who is hunting her. She tracks down a deadly serial killer known as the Bakersville Burier and learned just how deadly it can be to get inside the head of a killer.

In Book #2 VANISHED she returns to her home town for another child abduction case in Rose Bay, South Carolina for a suspense psychological mystery thriller with a mixture of light romance and intrigue. Evelyn has waited for this case her entire life after the disappearance of her best friend—when the Nursery Rhyme Killer resurfaced after eighteen years of silence.

In Book # 3 SEIZED, the intensity heats up! Evelyn returns with fellow agent Kyle McKenzie taking them to a remote area of Montana wilderness.

Lee Cartwright had been convicted of bombing two black churches and one mosque. People had died and dozens were injured. He was seeking notoriety. Evelyn is profiling him in the Montana State Prison. He was an anti-federalist. He had told officials he had a copycat, and the FBI wanted to find out if it was true.

Dan Moore, FBI had sent her, because she is on his shit list. A suitable punishment for not following orders on her last case. She was not a team player. Now she has to determine if this guy is telling the truth.

From brain washing, cults, survivalists, home grown terrorism-----Evelyn is sent to check out a dangerous cult of survivalist in the Montana mountains in a compound. What appears to be a routine investigation lands her on the wrong side of a hostage situation and in the middle of an emerging terrorist threat. The cult leader Butler has a score to settle with the FBI. A terrorist.

In addition to the physical dangers, Evelyn has her own internal decisions and crossroads. Does she continue with her position at the FBI or is something else on the horizon?

The one driving force in her career had been her need to solve her friend’s case. However, she learns there are a lot of people out there with their own Cassie's. People with someone dead or missing from their lives, people who needed closure, and Evelyn would give it to them.

It was nice revisiting with Granny Mabel, the woman who had stood behind her, now in a nursing home in SC.

 

Fans of Allison Brennan, Tami Hoag, Catherine Coulter, and Lisa Jackson will enjoy the gripping series.

Sounds as though Evelyn will return for #4 for a brand-new adventure and more to come with Kyle! Recommend reading all the books in the series. Can’t wait to see what’s next!

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Seized/cmoa/5615cd930cf2a7bb74cd37ec
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