Ranger Games

Ranger Games

A Story of Soldiers, Family and An Inexplicable Crime

Book - 2017
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"A gloriously good writer... Ranger Games is both surprising and moving...A memorable, novelistic account."-- Jennifer Senior, New York Times

Intricate, heartrending, and morally urgent, Ranger Games is a crime story like no other

Alex Blum was a good kid, a popular high school hockey star from a tight-knit Colorado family. He had one goal in life: endure a brutally difficult selection program, become a U.S. Army Ranger, and fight terrorists for his country. He poured everything into achieving his dream. In the first hours of his final leave before deployment to Iraq, Alex was supposed to fly home to see his family and beloved girlfriend. Instead, he got into his car with two fellow soldiers and two strangers, drove to a local bank in Tacoma, and committed armed robbery...
The question that haunted the entire Blum family was: Why? Why would he ruin his life in such a spectacularly foolish way?
At first, Alex insisted he thought the robbery was just another exercise in the famously daunting Ranger program. His attorney presented a case based on the theory that the Ranger indoctrination mirrored that of a cult.
In the midst of his own personal crisis, and in the hopes of helping both Alex and his splintering family cope, Ben Blum, Alex's first cousin, delved into these mysteries, growing closer to Alex in the process. As he probed further, Ben began to question not only Alex, but the influence of his superior, Luke Elliot Sommer, the man who planned the robbery. A charismatic combat veteran, Sommer's manipulative tendencies combined with a magnetic personality pulled Ben into a relationship that put his loyalties to the test.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780385538435
038553843X
Branch Call Number: 364.1552092 BLUM
Characteristics: x, 412 pages ; 25 cm

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A guy is brainwashed by his Army training, and falls under the sway of a psychopath. Together with some other guys, they rob a bank. They are arrested quickly, and jailed. The guy's cousin tries to understand what went on in the minds of those involved, with little success. That's about it in a nutshell.

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Activevoice
Apr 16, 2018

The world of the military is revealed through this excellent book; I was absolutely enthralled. The more interesting aspect is the way Chilliwack, Peachland, and other local BC spots are identified by the author as troubled communities with disaffected young men prepared to wreak havoc for no real reason other than the thrill of adventure. I think any young person who is interested in joining the military should be required to read this book.

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yorkiebj
Mar 13, 2018

A disturbing but accurate portrayal of the destruction of a young man’s personality and moral compass. Alex embraces a Ranger’s fantasy only to discover he is betrayed by the ideal that does not exist! The army transforms a kind, warm and humorous fellow to a man whose only focus is to obey and please his superiors devoid of ethical conduct. A tragic and difficult read, this book reveals the caste system within the army and the purposeful intent of the army to reduce a person to an unthinking automotan.

VaughanPLDavidB Oct 10, 2017

This is an excellent account of one man's search to find the truth of a seemingly inexplicable crime that shattered so many individuals and families. There is a theme running through the book that the author does not address, nor would I expect him to: the cult of militarism that pervades so much of American society, that sucks young men and women into a physical and psychological meat grinder and spits them out on the other side, discarded. The cult also exists here in Canada, but to a much smaller extent. Fortunately for this country, Canadians generally have a much healthier skepticism of the military, and view it as a necessary, but not dominant part of our society.

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