Ranger Games

Ranger Games

A Story of Soldiers, Family, and An Inexplicable Crime

eBook - 2017
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In the tradition of Truman Capote and Jon Krakauer, a brilliant exploration of an inexplicable crime and its devastating consequences for the author's family .

As a child Ben Blum was a math prodigy adrift in a family of alpha males, foremost among them his first cousin Alex, an immensely popular high school hockey star who had one unshakeable goal in life: endure a brutally difficult training course, become a U.S. Army Ranger and fight terrorists for his country. He succeeded, but on the last day of his leave before deployment, Alex 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 Ben, the entire Blum family and even Alex was: Why? Alex didn't need money--his family was well off. He had never had the slightest trouble with the law. He believed passionately in the Ranger's creed, which emphasized honour above all.
At first, Alex insisted he thought the robbery was just another exercise in the famously daunting Ranger training program. His attorney presented a case based on the theory that the Ranger indoctrination mirrored that of a cult. Or was it the influence of the soldier who planned the robbery, Alex's superior, Luke Elliott Sommer, a charismatic combat veteran full of swagger and grandiose schemes?
Facing his own personal crisis, and in the hopes of helping both Alex and his splintering family cope, Ben delved into these mysteries, growing closer to Alex in the process. As he probed further, he also came to know Sommer, whose manipulative tendencies, combined with a magnetic personality, lured Ben into a relationship that put his loyalties to the test.
Intricate, heartrending and morally urgent, Ranger Games is a true crime story like no other. Ben's enormous compassion for his cousin deepens and complicates his search for the answers to profound questions of guilt and innocence, conformity and free will, truth and lies, right and wrong, and how far crisis can stretch the bonds of family.
Publisher: New York :, Doubleday,, 2017
ISBN: 9780385681438
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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s
stedder
Jun 22, 2018

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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