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John Ross reviews Freeper Travis McGee's "Enemies Foreign and Domestic"!
Official EFAD Site ^ | January 15, 2004 | John Ross

Posted on 01/16/2004 6:51:55 AM PST by Jeff Head



John Ross, Author of, "UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES",
reviews Matt Bracken's "Enemies Foreign and Domestic"
I have several complaints about most thriller novelists. First, their protagonists are too often 100% virtuous with no humanizing flaws. Second, the protagonists let their enemies live when you KNOW the bad guys are going to come back and murder their kids etc. Third, everything the government does (hi-tech weapons, military & police tactics, criminal investigations, etc.) functions flawlessly. Fourth, too many stories have all the brilliant thinking and brave actions done by government employees (Special Forces, policemen, Intelligence operatives, etc.) Lastly, some novels have a basic premise that is just not believable. (Clancy's RAINBOW SIX is a prime example.)

Novelist Matthew Bracken has avoided these sins almost entirely in his excellent debut novel ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC.

It is a challenge for any writer to come up with a plot that is at once plausible enough to have the reader accept it but also unlikely enough that it has not actually happened yet in real life. EFAD's dramatic concept is this: Wally Malvone, a lone mid-level ATF executive, engineers (with one accomplice) a long-range shooting into a football stadium and successfully arranges for an addled, destitute veteran to take the blame and be killed in the process.

Malvone does this because he needs an emergency that will encourage the President to embrace a plan he has put together: Forming a secret "hit squad" comprised of overaggressive ATF agents with disciplinary problems. This squad's duty is to be proactive: identify domestic terrorists ("militia members") and kill them during raids. The trial is in the media, when the cameras see the (planted) contraband retrieved from the slain terrorist's dwelling. Malvone wants to have this hit squad for the obvious reasons: funding, power, and prestige.

Naturally, some of the victims drawn into Malvone's web of treachery decide they have no choice but to fight back.

At each point in the storyline, as the good guys and bad guys acted and reacted, I kept asking myself if what was happening was plausible. How would *I* rewrite it to make it more believable? In some cases I thought that I would have had the parties react a bit differently, but I had to admit my alternate scenario was not necessarily more likely.

The fact is that when you get into the realm of serious, institutionalized government abuse of power in an environment with lots of resourceful, angry, well-armed people and the near-instant information flow of the Internet, you're in uncharted waters.

One critic said the female lead was an adolescent fantasy (21 yo, beautiful, motorcycle rider, expert shot, virgin) and I would have given her more edginess, but hey, a lot of readers like their heroes untainted.

Anyway, EFAD is an action-packed read, with most of the skill and creativity being demonstrated by the private sector, which is IMO 100% realistic.

Send a copy to your favorite Senator or Congressman...

EFAD is also good inspiration for me to get back to work on DETOUR, the sequel to UC. No promises, except there should be something in it to offend just about everyone.

By John Ross, author of "Unintended Consequences" January 2004



TOPICS: Announcements; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Free Republic; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 2ndamendment; banglist; bookreview; cwii; efad; feedthehogs; firearms; freeperauthors; freepertravismcgee; johnross; mattbracken; rkba; unintendedconseqnces
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This is a GREAT review by John Ross and I am glad to see it. Congratulations Matt!

EFAD is a GREAT novel that is well deserving of this level of attention and much more, as attested by John Ross and many others.

EFAD is also good inspiration for me to get back to work on DETOUR, the sequel to UC. No promises, except there should be something in it to offend just about everyone
...and with the above quote, it is apparent that Author Matt Bracken's writing is getting the creative juices flowing and inspiring John Ross himself to continue with his own writings. Great, it's just another testament of the effectiveness of EFAD!

The more forthright and compelling writing regarding the second amendment and its importance, the better.

Jeff Head

1 posted on 01/16/2004 6:51:57 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: JohnHuang2; Travis McGee
JH2, I believe this news and review of FR Travis McGee's novel is worthy of a Mega-Ping!

Again, congratulations Matt!

2 posted on 01/16/2004 6:53:15 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: joanie-f; Dukie; Squantos; JohnHuang2; k.trujillo; Travis McGee; Critter; Lurker; harpseal; ...
FYI...great review of EFAD and great news for Travis McGee!
3 posted on 01/16/2004 6:54:42 AM PST by Jeff Head
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Travis McGee
Here's the EFAD flag...


5 posted on 01/16/2004 6:58:41 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Travis McGee; Jeff Head
Wonderful review Matt. WhooHooo and YeeeeeeeHaaaaaaawwwwww.

Sorry for sounding so unenthusiastic ;o)

6 posted on 01/16/2004 6:59:48 AM PST by 4CJ (Dialing 911 doesn't stop a crime - a .45 does.)
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To: Jeff Head
Ross kind of answered my initial question when I read the title of this thread. "I wonder if when he reads books like EFAD if he judges them against his work or as a story in general?"

It looks like a little of both.
7 posted on 01/16/2004 7:00:04 AM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig ("That is the widsom of the past, for all wisdom is not new wisdom")
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To: Jeff Head; Travis McGee
I would have given her more edginess

She offs a guy with a TC on the golf course and she's not "edgy" enough? :)

8 posted on 01/16/2004 7:02:52 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim (Death before dhimmi.)
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To: 4ConservativeJustices
LOL! If that is unenthusiastic...please try and show us real enthusiasm with your next post.

Just give me fair warning and I'll put my ear plugs in and my shades on so as not to be blown away.

9 posted on 01/16/2004 7:03:20 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Tijeras_Slim
hehehe...Ranya can be a little edgy I'd say...but then she had plenty of reason to.
10 posted on 01/16/2004 7:05:10 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: big ern
Ross's words about the novel inspiring him to continue his own writings says it all IMHO, and it is another strong testament about Matt's book.
11 posted on 01/16/2004 7:06:22 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head
Good for you.
I've had dreams the last two nights with last nights dream actually picking up where the other left off. Strange!
I wrote the following line this morning while thinking about what a great book it would make.

From a dream comes creation and imagination gives it life.

I'll stick with keeping it in my head, for now, with all of the rest of the ideas I've got.

12 posted on 01/16/2004 7:06:26 AM PST by philman_36
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To: .30Carbine
Spirit of liberty bump.
13 posted on 01/16/2004 7:07:17 AM PST by TigersEye ("Where there is life there is hope!" - Terri Schiavo)
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To: philman_36
Good for you.

That congratulations is directed towards Freeper Travis McGee.

We can never stop dreaming about what might be.

Dreams turn to goals and goals, pursued with faith, become reality.

14 posted on 01/16/2004 7:10:51 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: TigersEye
Indeed...and the spirit of Liberty is what EFAD is all about.

I can hardly wait for Matt's sequel.

15 posted on 01/16/2004 7:12:00 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head
ping for a great freeper and great american
16 posted on 01/16/2004 7:16:48 AM PST by OldCorps
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To: Jeff Head
That congratulations is directed towards Freeper Travis McGee.
True enough. I figured he'd see it and understand the intent.

We can never stop dreaming about what might be.
Ahhhhh, when dreams turn to nightmares...
Dreams turn to goals and goals, pursued with faith, become reality.
Damn, that's the same thing the gun grabbers said!

17 posted on 01/16/2004 7:19:49 AM PST by philman_36
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To: OldCorps
Amen...Travis McGee (Matt Bracken) is indeed bot a great Freeper and great American as his bio page on his book site makes evident.
18 posted on 01/16/2004 7:20:43 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head
One critic said the female lead was an adolescent fantasy (21 yo, beautiful, motorcycle rider, expert shot, virgin)

Hey! If the sticklers for detail in the Trekker community can buy into the idea that Major/Colonel Kira Nerys was a girl for seven seasons, Ranya is a piece of cake.

19 posted on 01/16/2004 7:21:13 AM PST by Woahhs
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To: *bang_list; AAABEST; wku man; SLB; Travis McGee; Squantos; harpseal; Shooter 2.5; ...
"I believe this news and review of FR Travis McGee's novel is worthy of a Mega-Ping!

I concur!

Click the Gadsden flag for pro-gun resources!

20 posted on 01/16/2004 7:22:22 AM PST by Joe Brower ("The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." - H.L. Mencken)
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To: philman_36
Ah...but the gun grabbers lack true faith...at least according to my definition, because in that definintion true faith is based on what is right before God in Heaven.

Otherwise, it's just conviction.

IMHO, the Hand of Providence honors and supports true faith and that is where the gun grabbers and any other totalitarians who would destroy liberty will find their undoing.

21 posted on 01/16/2004 7:23:54 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head
Thanks for pinging me! I've been wondering how Tavis was coming along with his novel.
22 posted on 01/16/2004 7:28:58 AM PST by Space Wrangler
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To: Jeff Head
Dreams turn to goals and goals, pursued with faith, become reality.
Off base and a little dated, but backs up what I said...
WHAT WAS ONLY A DREAM TEN YEARS AGO CAN BE REALITY AS EARLY AS THIS YEAR!!!
23 posted on 01/16/2004 7:29:30 AM PST by philman_36
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To: Jeff Head
My husband will love this book.
24 posted on 01/16/2004 7:30:48 AM PST by RightWingMama
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To: Jeff Head
I like it!
25 posted on 01/16/2004 7:33:07 AM PST by B4Ranch (Wave your flag, don't waive your rights!)
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To: Jeff Head
Otherwise, it's just conviction.
And then there are those pesky contentions constantly hammering away at their simple convictions!

Aren't you considered a contention too? /Dr. Pepper theme song /humor

26 posted on 01/16/2004 7:34:20 AM PST by philman_36
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To: philman_36
The gungrabbers and totalitarians have their convictons and are dedicated to them... I will grant them that.

But those convictions are based on lies, power mongering, greed, and immorality (among other things), none of which have anything to do with true faith.

In the end...those things will be their undoing.

27 posted on 01/16/2004 7:34:27 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: B4Ranch
Now we need them printed up by the hundreds of thousands and displayed on cars, bulletin boards, in front yards, in windows of homes, on flag poles, etc., etc.
28 posted on 01/16/2004 7:35:56 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head
The premise is too far fetched to be believed. What next? A government sniper shooting a woman with a baby in her arms? No one can stretch their imaginiation that far.
29 posted on 01/16/2004 7:35:57 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: Jeff Head; Travis McGee
Let's have some fun blurbing the review for your next book cover:

"100%...brilliant. Excellent debut novel. Dramatic concept. EFAD is an action-packed read, with...skill and creativity...100% realistic. An inspiration."

-or-

"I have several complaints about...a basic premise that is just not believable. Matthew Bracken...sins almost entirely in his...debut novel. It is a challenge for any...reader. Unlikely...concept. An addled...process....with...problems...dwelling...[on] the obvious...storyline. Bad...rewrite. Abuse of...readers. Untainted...[by] skill and creativity. Should...offend just about everyone."

;-)
30 posted on 01/16/2004 7:36:06 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed
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To: RightWingMama
...and so will you. Please get one, read it and pass on word of it.

Matt's not only done a great job with an entertaining and compelling read...he's done a service to our Republic with this novel.

31 posted on 01/16/2004 7:37:33 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: RightWingMama
It is a book that once started, you don't want to put it down. So, don't give it to him if you are expecting chores to be done the same weekend. He'll curl up in a chair and you will have to bring food to him.

My wife didn't like that part. LOL But I loved the book.

32 posted on 01/16/2004 7:38:02 AM PST by B4Ranch (Wave your flag, don't waive your rights!)
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To: Jeff Head
Has anyone considered bumper decals?
33 posted on 01/16/2004 7:39:56 AM PST by B4Ranch (Wave your flag, don't waive your rights!)
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To: Beelzebubba
People can and will parse words so that they read however thay want them to read I suppose.

But, for me, clearly the first parsing in your post is pretty much right on the money...the second, IMHO, is more of a wresting of the words.

34 posted on 01/16/2004 7:40:09 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Travis McGee
I'm proud of you TM and glad that you are making some headway hear. Ross is a heavy hitter too.

Good luck sir.

35 posted on 01/16/2004 7:41:05 AM PST by AAABEST
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To: AppyPappy
You forgot the [/sarcasm] tag.
36 posted on 01/16/2004 7:41:19 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: B4Ranch
Talked about...but no one has done anything with it yet. I'd buy them.
37 posted on 01/16/2004 7:42:10 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: AppyPappy
You sound refreshingly non-conformist this morning. I like it.
38 posted on 01/16/2004 7:42:45 AM PST by AAABEST
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To: Jeff Head
C'mon Jeff. Next you will tell me that government agents would attack a church building full of men,women and children with machine guns in a search for a possible illegal gun. Get a grip.
39 posted on 01/16/2004 7:44:14 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: AppyPappy
Careful...you'll soon be understandably questioning the way the columns fell in the Murrah building in OKC.
40 posted on 01/16/2004 7:46:06 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head; Travis McGee
Jeff - thanks for posting this phenomenal review; it is always good to see praise given where it is due. The only problem is that now I have to go crazy for a while wondering about the plot of John Ross' book, and then salivating uncontrollably until he comes out with it.

Matt - renewed congrats on your book. This excellent review is very well deserved, and I hope that it brings you a lot more sales. Oh, yeah, and don't forget to hurry the Hell up with EFAD's successor!
41 posted on 01/16/2004 7:46:08 AM PST by Ancesthntr
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To: Jeff Head
Talked about...but no one has done anything with it yet. I'd buy them.

If someone will do the footwork, I might fund the initial printing.

42 posted on 01/16/2004 7:46:41 AM PST by B4Ranch (Wave your flag, don't waive your rights!)
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To: Jeff Head
I'm not that weird. I've been to Jacksonville, NC
43 posted on 01/16/2004 7:47:47 AM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

To: Travis McGee; Jeff Head
Wow. Great review.

To EFAD's success ~ with thanks for your continuing service, Travis.

You, too, Jeff.

45 posted on 01/16/2004 7:56:07 AM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl
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To: yarddog
Me too...it was quite the shocker...but then, that's what makes Matt such a good author. He pulls off those shockers (which really do happen in real life) and then is able to keep you riveted to the story. I can't wait for the sequel, which he is working on now.
46 posted on 01/16/2004 7:57:25 AM PST by Jeff Head
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To: Jeff Head
Great Review from Ross. Deservedly so. It's a great book.
47 posted on 01/16/2004 8:04:17 AM PST by spodefly (This is my tagline. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: yarddog
You shouldn't post spoilers like that. Not everyone has read the book yet.
48 posted on 01/16/2004 8:05:12 AM PST by spodefly (This is my tagline. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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To: Jeff Head
BUMP
49 posted on 01/16/2004 8:06:16 AM PST by Centurion2000 (Resolve to perform what you must; perform without fail that what you resolve.)
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To: B4Ranch
It is a book that once started, you don't want to put it down. So, don't give it to him if you are expecting chores to be done the same weekend. He'll curl up in a chair and you will have to bring food to him.

When he is reading the house could be on fire and he would not notice. LOL

50 posted on 01/16/2004 8:11:35 AM PST by RightWingMama
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