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review 2017-03-14 21:56
Scars of the Independence
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth - Holger Hoock

I received this book via LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.

 

The quaint, romanticized version of the American Revolution that many have grown up with through popular history and school curriculum is not the real life story that those living during those years experienced.  In Scars of Independence, Holger Hoock looks past the good versus bad and underdog narratives so prevalent today to reveal the multifaceted struggle and very violent history of the American Revolutionary War from all its participants.

 

Hoock frames the American Revolution as not just a colonial rebellion, but first and foremost a civil war in which the dividing line of loyalties split family.  The Patriot-Loyalist violence, either physical or political, began long before and lasted long after the military conflict.  Once the fighting actually began, both the Americans and the British debated amongst themselves on the appropriate use of the acceptable violence connected to 18th century warfare and on the treatment of prisoners.  While both sides thought about their conduct to those in Europe, the Native Americans were another matter and the violence they were encouraged to inflict or was inflicted upon them was some of the most brutal of the war.  But through all of these treads, Hoock emphasizes one point over and over, that the American Patriots continually won the “propaganda” war not only in the press on their side of the Atlantic but also in Europe and even Great Britain.

 

One of the first things a reader quickly realizes is that Hoock’s descriptions of some of the events of the American Revolution remind us of “modern-day” insurgencies and playbooks of modern terrorists, completely shattering the popular view of the nation’s birth.  Hoock’s writing is gripping for those interested in popular history and his research is thought-provoking for scholars.  Another point in Hoock’s favor is his birth outside the Anglo-American historical sphere in Germany, yet his background in British history and on-off research fellowships in the United States has given him a unique perspective to bring this piece of Anglo-American history out to be consumed, debated, and thought upon.

 

Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth is a fascinating, intriguing, thought-provoking book on the under-reported events of the American Revolutionary War in contrast to the view of the war from popular history.  Holger Hoock gives his readers an easy, yet detailed filled book that will help change their perspective on the founding of the United States by stripping the varnish away to reveal the whole picture.

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review 2017-02-03 00:00
Something Violent
Something Violent - Kristopher Rufty **SPOLIER WARNINGS AHEAD**

NOTE: Once the synopsis is up here on GR, this really won’t be a spoiler at all, but since I didn’t hide it, use caution and read further at your own risk.

Ron McClure, marriage counselor to the stars, just got roped in to do a little pro bono therapy work. It is an offer he can’t refuse, if he wants to live thru the session. He better be damn good at his job too. His life just may depend on it.

Jody and Seth were madly in love. Bathing in the glow of one another, drenched in blood. Some of the ole spark is gone, however, and the sex and murder just isn’t enough anymore. Time for some counseling. They know just the guy.

This was a well written, quick and enjoyable serial killer romp with a True Romance / Natural Born Killers vibe to it. I don’t know why, but I am a little surprised that I liked it as much as I did. It could have been a hot cheesy mess, but it wasn't. Kudos to Rufty for pulling it off.

*As a member of the DarkFuse Readers Group, I received an advanced copy of this title thru NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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review 2016-11-01 19:35
Sad tale about an ex-con trying to lead a normal life
The Violent Volume 1: Blood Like Tar - Ed Brisson

 

 

In Vancouver, Mason, an ex-con, is trying to lead a normal life but money problems bring an unwelcome return to criminality, involving his partner and his baby daughter. Drug use and selling also features prominently along with a good deal of bloodshed and death.

 

Not very uplifting although there is a little hope expressed at the end. Well-told and clearly illustrated, it is “enjoyable” and worth a look.

 

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text 2016-09-04 04:54
I'm Not Guilty
I'm Not Guilty: The Development of the Violent Mind: The Case of Ted Bundy - Al Carlisle

The majority of this book is made up of a fictionalized interview with Ted Bundy. I find such speculation inappropriate at best, skirting unethical at worst, considering the author is a psychologist. If he's such an expert on the man, it would behoove him to present the information in a straightforward fashion instead of indulging in this sort of wankery

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review 2016-02-29 04:23
Messy Odds and Ends
Violent Ends - Shaun David Hutchinson,Neal Shusterman,Brendan Shusterman,Beth Revis,Cynthia Leitich Smith,Courtney Summers,Kendare Blake,Delilah S. Dawson,Steve Brezenoff,Tom Leveen,Hannah Moskowitz,Blythe Woolston,Trish Doller,Mindi Scott,Margie Gelbwasser,Christine Jo

An uneven collection of stories detailing the events leading to a school shooting and exploring the psychology behind the shooter, Kirby Matheson. Unfortunately, the least successful of the bunch (including one from the perspective of the gun itself as it opines about purpose and morality while making the shooter sound like some put upon martyr) drag everything down to where the better ones can't salvage the tone. Some stories are only the most tangientally related, and the ones that focus on the victims keep them passive or, worse, tonally indebted to the shooter for not killing them.

 

If you are interested in the collection, the two that produce a more nuanced view of it, I would recommend Beth Revis' tale about the boy who was once rescued from bullying by Kirby and reconsiders the act as maybe something selfless and self-seeking, and Courtney Summer's from the perspective of one of Kirby's tormentors who survives and deals with the complicated fallout while maintaining his previous characterization as a monstrous asshole but fleshed out in motivations. 

 

Otherwise I would recommend Hate List  or Silent Alarm for stories that deal with this unfortunate phenomenon. They focus on one perspective but show a more in depth view to all parties involved than the mixed bag of this collection.

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