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Lotus Eaters, The (Carrera) MP3 CD – MP3 Audio, June 21, 2016
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Sometimes paranoia is just a heightened state of awareness.
Carrera's won his war, and inflicted a horrific revenge upon his enemies. But there are wars after wars. The Tauran Union is planning an attack. The criminals of neighboring states are already attacking, and threatening to embroil him in a war with the planet's premier power. His only living son is under fire among the windswept mountains of Pashtia. An enemy fleet is hunting his submarines. His organization has been infiltrated by spies. One of the two governments of his adopted country, Balboa, is trying to destroy everything he's built and reinstitute rule by a corrupt oligarchy. Worst of all, perhaps, he, himself, bearing a crushing burden of guilt, isn't quite the man he once was.
Fortunately, the man he once was, was lucky enough to marry the right woman....
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- Publisher : Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (June 21, 2016)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1522672079
- ISBN-13 : 978-1522672074
- Item Weight : 3.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 0.63 x 5.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #9,115,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top reviews from the United States
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My only complaint comes from the short passages at chapter beginnings of his world's version of R.A.H.'s fictional "History and Moral Philosophy", featured in 'The Lotus Eaters' with a title in Spanish.
I really, really don't understand his insistence on including Ayn Rand in the same 'millennial' category as Karl Marx. His specific complaint is that her solutions to national defense and plague prevention amount to 'wishful thinking'. And my reply to this is "Where the f*^& do you get that from?"
If anything the very Legion el Cid itself is very similar to the kind of solution that she envisioned to the problem of national defense, albeit one voluntarily funded by the population rather than by foreign governments (the latter being a solution that could only exist so long as other governments did not follow her political model, a fatal weakness that would put it on par with Marxism). And since he presents and advances nothing in the novel to compare with Rand's ideas about public health vis-a-vis plague protection, I don't have anything to offer there.
The actual Legion story is very interesting, and some of the other passages in the History and Moral Philosophy excerpts that we get are interesting themselves, although some of Jorge Mendoza's difficulties in writing his thesis become much easier to understand when what are clearly later passages come to the fore. Given their inclusions, we can reasonably expect that Mendoza's ideas reflect author Kratman's, and Kratman's lack of the more technical academic skills becomes clear here, because where he grapples with issues of morality. More specifically: he fails to identify that there ARE, in fact, multiple basic moral theories, and that he has problems with the one that he has formulated rather than with morality in general.
Claiming as he does that there may not be a permanent solution to man's moral problems is not very convincing when you have quite clearly never stopped to re-examine the moral theory you are working with for contradictions and flaws, or even to identify that you are using a particular moral theory rather than another one. The moral theory described clearly has both elements of utilitarianism and altruism, along with some others.
Perhaps it simply never occurs to Kratman that the problem may be in his theory? It's often said, after all, that what works in theory may not work in reality. This is said by fools. The more accurate version is "If it doesn't work in practice, the theory is bad". Kratman fails to divine a solution (admittedly through what appears to be honest effort), but condemns the materials (men) and the workers (politicians) instead of the blueprints (theory) when his building (political/social system) doesn't stand.
Heinlein understood this issue a little better, and this is reflected in many of the passages in the actual History and Moral Philosophy classroom lectures we get from "Starship Troopers". Neither author was sufficiently technically skilled to identify the flaws in their approach to moral study (a fault that Ayn Rand did not share, hence the more cohesive and complete moral theory presented in Atlas Shrugged), although certainly both men gave significant honest effort to the problem (for which I cannot fault them).
Aside from all that, the various swipes that Kratman takes at the Kosmos (the international leftist media), the Tauran Union (clearly the EU), and the Progs in the FSC are quite satisfying. I became aware of journalists with the AP manufacturing "military kills unarmed people" photos with regards to the Israel/Lebanon conflict of a few years ago, where one critic noted that a wounded man in one photo was clearly a medic in another photo, and the same man appearing as an insurgent in a third, along with numerous other photos that while emotionally poignant were clearly staged. Reading about the Legion standing these reporters against a wall and executing them was very satisfying. Reading further about the forced sex-change surgery inflicted on the jihadists was also viscerally satisfying.
So, a good story, and a good series. I can't leave off a star from this rating, although I want to, because I see what Ayn Rand described as the honest resignation of a man who has given his best effort and failed.
I like the major characters in these stories. All books must have characters we can relate to or appreciate at some level, otherwise, we just don't care if they get shot or blown up or otherwise creamed by the bad guys. But the brave soldiers of the El Cid Legion are people we care about.
Kratman has an underwater fight with submarines that is as good as anything that I have ever read. Technically detailed and correct with high tension. Top nauch.
I particularly like his work play with weapon systems. He has an invented country that borders on another invented country. They can be identified by the reader as Panama and Columbia. He has a pilot flying a fighter named 'Illusion'. In the real Columbia, the airforce flies fighters called the Kifr. The Kifr is a made in Israel jet based on the french jet called the Mirage. Mirage----Illusion, cool no? A long way of showing how deep Kratman's expertise is and how layered his work is. It is just fun to read on that basis. In addition to everything else good about this book.
Plus he has an important side story based on a real cult of Alexander the Great that still lingers in the Afghanistan area of Waziristan. He knows a lot of obscure stuff and works it into his story.
I intend to finish the series. I can recommend this book to sci-fi fans, military fiction fans, and to those interested in contemporary social affairs at the highest levels. And lovers of good writing.
Top reviews from other countries
Kratman again uses his skill and ability to captivate the reader as well as to titillate and shock in equal measure. The story is totally implausible and the plot has more holes in it than a Swiss Cheese but I find it as captivating as the previous two books in the series. You know the good guys will win but the knocks they take and the twists and turns on the way to that victory are the work of true expert.
Be warned that this is not a stand-alone book, you will get little out of it unless you have read the first two books in the series "A Desert Called Peace" and "Carnifex".