Book Review: "Enemies Foreign and Domestic"


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Dave Markowitz
June 2, 2004, 08:10 AM
Last night I finished reading Enemies Foreign and Domestic by Matthew Bracken (who posts on THR as Travis McGee). This is a novel in a newly-emerging genre: the Second Amendment thriller.

The first Second Amendment thriller to come out was John Ross's Unintended Consequences, several years ago. (John Ross is also a THR member.) EFAD is naturally going to be compared with UC, but is an excellent book in its own right and can stand on its own.

Without giving away too many details, EFAD is about a mass shooting in a stadium and the aftermath: draconian new gun control laws and the responses thereto. The background to EFAD is the War on Terror, and how it gets perverted from the stated goal of protecting the USA against terrorists into a means of repressing the American people. Bracken makes it clear in the book that while many Americans are not willing to roll over and take oppression easily, many "sheeple" who rely on and trust the government will.

The protagonists are ordinary people and very believable. Although they come from a variety of backgrounds, they share one common belief, i.e., that the Second Amendment preserves and individual's right to keep and bear arms as a bulwark against government tyranny.

The bad guys in the book are all too believable as well. It's an unfortunate sign of the times that the deeds and conspiracies committed by the antagonists in EFAD are perfectly believable to any member of the "gun culture."

EFAD mostly takes place in and around the Chesapeake Bay. Much of the book takes place on the water, and as a former SEAL, Bracken knows his way around boats. He also knows his way around firearms, and when he discusses technical features or the aspects of firearms use, he's spot on.

Aside from the gun-related content, Bracken does a good job of highlight serious privacy issues facing Americans today. The ability to locate and track users of cell phones (even when they're off), databases holding personal details about one's financial transaction and consumer purposes, and street pole-mounted facial recognition cameras are all mentioned in this book, and they are all very real.

I read EFAD over the course of two nights. At 568 pages it's no lightweight tome, but it is well-written and reads easily. Bracken gets you to feel for his characters and knows how to drag you into the book. There were several action scenes during which I was so engrossed I
could feel my heart thumping in my chest, something that's rare for me when reading.

EFAD was self-published, so it does have a few rough edges, e.g., "and" in a couple places instead of "an." That being said, they don't overly detract from the book.

As you can probably guess, I highly recommend Matthew Bracken's Enemies Foreign and Domestic. There's more info on how to buy, and sample chapters available online at his website:

http://www.enemiesforeignanddomestic.com/

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Evil_Ed
June 2, 2004, 11:23 AM
I second the recomendation for the few on this forum that haven't read Enemies Foreign and Domestic , I finally got my copy of it on Friday and read it over the weekend. I had trouble putting the book down. Great story and I can't wait for his next book!

BHPshooter
June 2, 2004, 11:31 AM
I'm getting very excited. :D Amazon says that Unintended Consequences and Enemies Foreign and Domestic should be here either today or tomorrow. :D

Thanks for the review. I've got ants in my pants to read both of these.

Wes

brookstexas
June 2, 2004, 05:22 PM
that as you read "Unintended Consequences" as you encounter historical points, trials, shooting contests etc. you do a search on Google.
There are so many things in the book of great historical importance and to go a little further in discovering them is a great learning experience.
BT

spartacus2002
June 2, 2004, 06:01 PM
The first 20 chapters have me hooked. What is the total number of chapters?

Dave Markowitz
June 2, 2004, 06:52 PM
There are 51 chapters plus a short epilogue. Total page count is 568, and it's trade paperback-sized.

PaladinX13
June 3, 2004, 10:52 AM
How "family friendly" is the content? I know this was controversial for Unintended Consequences (heck even the cover is for some people), which some considered depraved even before the McVeigh issue. Not that I blush at more "mature" subject matter, but some levels one can do without. I'm not condemning those who have no problem with certain content, but I'd like to make an informed opinion on what I'd be putting on my shelves for others to read. Thanks!

jwmoore
June 3, 2004, 03:32 PM
PaladinX13,

IIRC, adult content is refered to, but in no way graphic. You know it's going on, but without the details.

~W

Dave Markowitz
June 3, 2004, 03:44 PM
There's no overt sex, although as you'd expect, there is violence.

Zak Smith
June 3, 2004, 03:49 PM
"PG13"

-z

PaladinX13
June 4, 2004, 09:30 AM
Thanks! I've read the first two chapters online and will buying this over the weekend.

Kreed
June 4, 2004, 10:08 AM
Add my voice to the chorus of accolades for Matt's book. May there be many more!

Read it. Study it. Learn from it. There will be a test afterwards, sooner or later.

http://www.joebrower.com/images_RKBA/Gadsden_flag.gif

Travis McGee
June 4, 2004, 07:21 PM
Thanks Dave! I appreciate the mention and the kind words.

Matt

Michigander
June 4, 2004, 07:24 PM
I've read UC, excellent page burner.

Gonna have to get a copy of EFAD. You guys got me pumped!

Valkman
June 4, 2004, 07:28 PM
I met Matt at the THR dinner in Vegas during the SHOT Show, and he's a great guy who's done some very impressive things. I bought my copy from him there and had him sign it, then I ran home and read it. Very good!






(See Matt - buy me dinner and I'll say this stuff for another year! :D)

Travis McGee
June 5, 2004, 03:22 AM
Valkman: the Vegas SHOT Show was a total blast, and the THR dinner was the highlight of the whole thing. What a riot! Great putting faces onto screen names too, finally. The only disappointment was that Oleg couldn't make it.

I can't recommend the SHOT Show highly enough to anyone who can possibly make it! Just don't be a chump like me: get your hotel WAY in advance!

http://matthewbracken.web.aplus.net/bookcover.jpg

No4Mk1
November 17, 2004, 12:21 AM
I finally made the time to read this book and finished it a few hours ago. I was up 'till 2am trying to finish it last night and finally gave out, but went back to it as soon as I got home tonight. Well done Matt!! It was an enjoyable read. :D Just thought I would tag my kudos to this thread.

So how is #2 coming along?

SnakeEater
November 17, 2004, 01:10 AM
I completely agree that UIC and EFAD are excellent books. Now to form a trio I highly recommend Patriots: Surviving the coming collapse.

0007
November 17, 2004, 05:26 AM
TM - what are you doing surfing the net again? Don't you have a second book to be finishing? :D :D

Taipei Personality
November 17, 2004, 09:01 AM
Now to form a trio I highly recommend Patriots: Surviving the coming collapse.

Agreed; it's entertaining and contains a wealth of info besides.

Werewolf
November 17, 2004, 10:36 AM
I am reading EFAD right now and am enjoying it immensely. So far some of the things the BATF nut jobs are doing seem a bit over the top and not terribly believable but all in all it is a good story that has definitely captured my attention. I put the quality of EFAD right up there with Tom Clancy's work. :D

That said - the cover art and choice of colors leaves much to be desired and hardly indicates the quality of the work within. It is sad but many books truly are judged by their covers. :banghead:

When I received mine in the mail from amazon my wife's first impression upon seeing it and based purely on the cover art thought it was some kind of terrorist training manual. :what: She was not pleased to say the least. :( It took a few minutes to convince her otherwise.

I read EFAD every day at work during lunch. A co-worker upon seeing the cover art asked why I was reading a militia training manual. :eek:

Both my wife and the co-worker have attended gun shows. Most of the whack job, right wing nut case books for sale at gun shows have cheesy artwork and yellow covers. Both my wife and co-worker put two and two together and came up with five - "you know what I mean Vern - huh? Do ya?"

Surely the cover art could be changed to something a bit more polished that says this is a novel not a right wing whack job instruction manual.

Carlos Cabeza
November 17, 2004, 11:06 AM
Most of the whack job, right wing nut case books for sale at gun shows have cheesy artwork and yellow covers.
Now I must run out and buy this immediately ! :rolleyes:

What's your definition of whack job, right wing, nut case ? :barf:

No4Mk1
November 17, 2004, 11:10 AM
I completely agree that UIC and EFAD are excellent books. Now to form a trio I highly recommend Patriots: Surviving the coming collapse.

Funny you should say that.... I closed EFAD, and immediately picked up and started Patriots... :D

Insectguy
November 17, 2004, 11:11 AM
I have to admit, when I saw the cover, I really did not want to read it for that very reason.

Of course, now that THR people have given it great reviews, I'll just have to find a copy.

BTW, Since the author posts here, and we post here, wouldn't that provide an impetus for a THR discount? :evil:

Werewolf
November 17, 2004, 12:50 PM
Now I must run out and buy this immediately ! :rolleyes:

What's your definition of whack job, right wing, nut case ? :barf:

4F classified, camouflage wearing, tobacco chewing, Rambo wannabees running around in the woods on the week ends playing army man with their SKS', AK's and AR's all the while not just thinking the government is out to get them but actively hoping it is so. When/If they ever get their wish they'll crawl so far in a hole to avoid the gunfire it's doubtful they'll ever be able to crawl out.

And that - my friend - is my definition of a whack job, right wing, nut case. :neener:

HEiST
November 17, 2004, 01:35 PM
4F classified, camouflage wearing, tobacco chewing, Rambo wannabees running around in the woods on the week ends playing army man with their SKS', AK's and AR's all the while not just thinking the government is out to get them but actively hoping it is so. When/If they ever get their wish they'll crawl so far in a hole to avoid the gunfire it's doubtful they'll ever be able to crawl out.


Quoted for emphasis.

ObeOne
November 17, 2004, 02:53 PM
Couldn't put it or UC down. Have lent both out right now so I couldn't reread them now even if I wanted to! Highly recomended to anyone who has not read them.

Carlos Cabeza
November 17, 2004, 04:47 PM
I suppose that is my definition also Werewolf. I liked the cover art of EFAD.
The snake coiled around the EBR certainly makes a statement regarding any 2A issues in the book. Hell, it would make a great tattoo for some real hardcore types. Regardless of the cover art or the work contained therein, the comparison to various "how to" manuals struck me as odd. You know, knowledge is power and some folks don't care much for fiction. Give me something I can use, whether it be on a sunday morning easter egg hunt or in the hottest depths of hell.

Faithless
November 17, 2004, 05:44 PM
I liked the set up.

The frothing at the mouth ATF agent, and All round gunny dream girl (TM) charecters seemed cliched to me though.

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