Wednesday, April 17, 2013

'3rd Bullet' hit low with a 6 rating

Finished Stephen Hunter's The Third Bullet last night, and it was a struggle.

I don't mean struggle in the sense that I didn't enjoy the book. In fact, when I finish a tougher read, I often ask myself if the book was worth it. Was it worth the time spent? Would I have enjoyed watching Seinfeld reruns better? With The Third Bullet, I'm glad I spent the time reading it.

The struggle came in the details. Hunter is a guns and ammo nut. You can tell he's an expert in that, and he expounds on his interest in the afterword to the book. Me, while I enjoy my guns, about all I know is the difference between a .22 short and .22 long, that you can get them in hollow point, and that 12-gauge shells are bigger than 20-gauge shells. So I got a little bored with the guns-n-ammo over-kill. But I know a lot of gun people, and probably most Hunter fans, do enjoy that. So they'll love this.

Others who would enjoy it are people like my late father, who was a JFK assassination nut. I have probably 15 of his tomes on the JFK shooting. I think it was a generational thing - how, obviously, JFK touched a lot of people (and not just hotties in the White House). In this book, Hunter took the Warren Commission Report and made his conspiracy theory fit within the bounds of the facts presented there. That's probably the most impressive thing about the book - how he made that work.

One negative: I can't say I particularly like Bob Lee Swagger getting old. I think he's 65 in the book, getting slow, getting cranky. Some of the "swagger" was missing from this book.

All told, if you are a gun nut, JFK nut or Swagger nut, you should read the book. Just be prepared for some heavy lifting.

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