Unintended Consequences

John Ross, Author, Timothy Mullin, Foreword by Accurate Press $28.95 (863p) ISBN 978-1-888118-04-9
The dust jacket of this first novel nearly sums it up: a storm trooper-like American federal agent holds an automatic weapon to the throat of a semi-naked, buxom young woman as a giant copy of the Constitution burns in the background. What's missing is an illustration of a hero, but some readers might settle for the adjacent photo of author Ross, smiling and holding a rifle while the copy below the photo points out that ``he fires upwards of 20,000 rounds of ammunition a year.'' Ross's own hero, or at least protagonist, is Missouri weapons dealer and geologist Henry Bowman, a self-styled ``member of the gun culture,'' who fires on intruders at a friend's Indiana home, mistaking them for terrorists. When the men turn out to be federal agents carrying out a raid on suspected firearms violators, Henry learns that he himself is a target of federal assault. He responds by killing 10 agents, butchering them and feeding them to hogs. Henry is soon joined by others, including his A.A. friend Cindy Caswell, formerly the kidnapped sex-slave of a Las Vegas mafioso, who sets about killing congressmen while having sex with them. This action-packed, overlong fiction-as-manifesto is a hotbed of pulp melodrama, enhanced with photos of-and reproductions of ads for-guns. Ross works a wealth of anti-government, pro-gun polemic into the narrative, and eventually, the president capitulates entirely, granting amnesty to the rebels and calling for the repeal of all anti-gun laws. In a preface, Ross states that he hopes ``this book will reduce the likelihood of armed conflict in this country.'' It seems disingenuous. This whole story seethes with a grudge against a government that is portrayed as having persecuted praiseworthy citizens who merely want to exercise their civil rights. Like the notorious and paranoid The Turner Diaries, this novel may speak to readers on the fringes of American society-but it misses the middle, both artistic and political, by a long shot. 10,000 first printing; $15,000 ad-promo; author tour. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1996
Release date: 01/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
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