Similar to the last book I read, this book is about a boy from my home state of Nebraska who has some calling to violence. The previous book, Once an Eagle, was a fictional story of a soldier who goes to WWI and WWII and struggles with morality during it. This book, however, was the grim and factual recalling of the actual events that happened back in the 1950’s where Charles Starkweather and his 14 year old girlfriend did not struggle with morality at all as they killed 10 people.
Sam was easy to root for – an all American boy who was straight as an arrow morally and from my home state of Nebraska. He’s tough as nails when he needs to be and doesn’t have a lot of emotion – a sort of Rambo character. And just as Rambo had Colonel Trautman, Sam had his own mentor, Colonel Caldwell, to guide him when necessary.
Growing up as a young, black girl in the racist, early 20th century – during the Great Depression era would’ve been tough. Getting raped by your mother’s husband is obviously devastating. Getting pregnant as a teen as a result of questioning yourself and trying to prove something to yourself is traumatic.
This book was a little different than I was expecting, but all-in-all it was good. It had a LOT of different topics from evolution to religion to empires to economics to the future and beyond. So many different topics that it’s really hard to sum up and summarize and honestly, it might take awhile to process this book and I may need to revisit it at some point.
Regarding the story of Chris McCandless as told in Into The Wild – I can relate to some degree and I think we all can probably relate a little bit. I think Krakauer says it best when he’s comparing Chris’s story to his own – “I suspect we had a similar intensity, a similar heedlessness, a similar agitation of the soul”. An agitation of the soul. This kid wanted more than the “successful life” of getting a good job and making some decent money.
Before reading this book I knew that the Wright Brothers invented the airplane. I also knew that they ran a bicycle shop before that. I had probably heard of Kitty Hawk, but I don’t think I could’ve answered whether that was the name of their plane or what exactly it was. Otherwise, I was pretty clueless as to what these two brothers were about… and this was one of the reasons I started reading a lot more a few years back.
While watching The Last Dance, it was easy to see that the most interesting character from The 1990’s Bulls team was Phil Jackson. How did he keep all of these superstars in check and working together as a team? In Hoop Dreams, which was written after the 1st 3-peat and before the 2nd, Phil describes some of his philosophies on coaching and on life.
When I picked this book up I thought it would be so dry it would be a struggle to get through – and I was prepared for that when I began to read it. As I got further into it, I realized that – maybe it was dry, but it was written in such a way that, at least to me, was palatable.