Thursday, October 18, 2012

'One Bullet Away' by Nathaniel Fick

I'm reading 'One Bullet Away' by Nathaniel Fick. It was recommended by Nancy Pearl so I had it put on hold for me at the library. It's a good book, an adrenaline pumping book. I keep wanting to read sections of it to my son, Jack, who loves anything military, anything historical. Isn't it funny how history for a boy begins just a few years ago? 'One Bullet Away' is a book for an adult, but I think he would like it anyway.

Here's what is driving me nuts about this book - somebody edited the pages. I'm not kidding. I just want to ask this person, "Who are you that you have the right to edit a library book, a book that someone else wrote?" I guess that begs the question as to whether Nathaniel Fick has the right to mark up a book of his that is owned by the library. I seriously doubt it was him, so it just pisses me off to no end.

There are lines through words and other words inserted. I want to say, "Fine, buy a copy and write all you want in it. Just don't muck up a copy from the library that a bunch of other people will be reading. I have no interest your opinion of the words Nathaniel Fick used. You are not a better writer or more knowledgable than he is. You have a lot of gall. If it's so important to you, then write your own damn book."

Okay, I feel better now. I'm going to go back to reading. I'm up to the part where Fick's platoon is headed to Kandahar in a helicopter. Even that ride is not ordinary. Fick describes the sights, sounds, even smells so that I can have an experience I never had and never will. I wonder if i would have been at risk of not being alert and walking into the tail rotor blades as i exited the bird. Fick writes about real military people in comparison to great leaders in history. His commanders are not what I expected.

He's so deft with his characterization that I've populated his book as if it's a movie. I think I would have him played by Bill Pullman, an actor who can carry off leadership and humor but show a bit of vulnerability as well. I guess my choices show my age, don't they?

So if you have the slightest inclination to read about what it's like to lead a platoon into war in Afghanistan, possibly to their deaths, then maybe you should check Fick's book out from the library too. Just watch out for kamikaze editors.

Thank you for listening, jules

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