Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Book Review: The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson

Reading this directly after finishing Closing Time, it was sometimes easy to forget this book was not set in the same Crazy General infested world-gone-mad of the Heller's novel.

Nope, this is a journalistic effort, describing a world that is, well, infested with Crazy Hippy Generals, willing to try just about anything to gain an edge, win wars and win hearts and minds: Wearing a beatific smile while carrying a lamb, walking through walls, remote viewing, Uri Geller... Truly the stuff of a million conspiracy websites (but with added citations).

Of course, dabbling in this kind of claptrap has to end in tears. So the story hurtles headlong into the all-to-familiar modern world of suicide cults, apparently suicidal scientists, novel new forms of torture and, sadly, a distinct lack of lambs cradled in soldiers' arms.

Ronson's Give-em-Enough-Rope style of exposition is always worth reading. So read this.

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