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Looking For Trouble: Adventures in a Broken…

Looking For Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World (2008)

by Ralph Peters

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I had never read or even heard of Ralph Peters when I sat down to watch CSPAN's BookTV a couple of weeks ago. What I was introduced to was a fascinating writer and thinker, journalist and novelist, who retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel and has written nineteen books.
I was impressed by the interview and decided to read his latest collection of essays, Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World. This was a timely decision with Georgia and the Caucasus on the front pages this week, for the first essay in the book, June 1991: The Caucasus, describes the adventure of Ralph and his friend Captain Peter Zwack as they toured, illegally, through the then "Soviet" Armenia and into Georgia. The episode ends with an amusing but humane dinner with a Georgian named David who regales the two Americans with drinks, dinner, his mother and more in the capital city of Tbilisi. The rest of Peter's essay collection is just as exciting and fun with stops in Pakistan, the Kremlin, Mexico and elsewhere as he recounts dramatic escapades in this "Broken World". Any author who travels with a copy of Xenophon is likely to be worth reading: I'm glad I've added the writings of Ralph Peters to my library and I expect to read more from his works in the future. ( )
1 vote jwhenderson | Aug 14, 2008 |
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I flew to Diyarbakir late in the afternoon, drinking an Efes beer and reading Xenophon.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0811734102, Hardcover)

Ralph Peters--career soldier, controversial strategist, prize-winning, best-selling novelist, erstwhile rock musician, popular columnist, and old-fashioned adventurer--has always been good for a surprise. Now, for the first time, Peters recounts the personal experiences that shaped his views of the world, from the collapsing Soviet Union to the drug wars of the Andean Ridge, from quiet forays into Burma and Laos to military missions to Pakistan and the Caucasus--and on to the Southwest border of the United States and the meanest streets of Los Angeles. As the U.S. Army's chosen troubleshooter before he took off his uniform to write, Peters saw the greatest international dramas of our times and the personal tragedies they created from a truly unique perspective--and took advantage of every moment "outside of the wire."

The result is startling: the liveliest adventure memoir by an American in decades, a perfect balance of high drama and laugh-out-loud hilarity. Readers--among them his many devoted fans--will meet a faded beauty and former favorite singer of Josef Stalin's, now in her nineties and still a hopeless coquette; KGB officers who refuse to let go of the past in Moscow's back streets; a winsome princess adrift in a dying world; the corrupt Thai police general whose hobby was imitating Elvis to karaoke machines in rural bordellos; sentimental Caucasian gangsters; oblivious diplomats; wary Burmese colonels; doomed Mexican drug cops; Mennonite marijuana farmers; lonesome Nazi widows in Bolivia--and their Jewish friends; Muslim fundamentalists who write love poetry to imagined sweethearts . . . and, above all, the author's two loyal brothers-in-arms who sometimes shared the dangers and the wonder at the "back of beyond" and whose remarkable personal backgrounds, dashingly eccentric personalities, and appetite for adventure explode every cliche about military officers.

Beautifully written and hauntingly told, Looking for Trouble is simply the book Ralph Peters was born to write. We can all be glad that he came back alive to write it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:24 -0400)

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