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We the Enemy Paperback – April 15, 2011
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"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
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Top customer reviews
Read it for the distraction of a well-told action yarn - once. But you will find yourself thinking about one point or another and checking back to seek the clarity of the message - more than once. Don't just buy the book; make an investment and even where you disagree with a specific message, be inspired to clarify your own thinking.
I work with a writer, Mike Palecek, who also has radical ideas, and also uses novels to talk about them, Mike's books are a bit less structured, his characters are perhaps a bit less sane, and his vision of the future does not have as positive an outlook. It's a fascinating contrast and I recommend reading books from both writers.
But I digress. Ray's book "We The Enemy" is an adventure story with a high-profile characters in a story where a practical idealism has become an effective force for change in America. Its protagonist is a likable guy, and the supporting cast well drawn although perhaps a bit too predictable. That doesn't matter because the conflict resulting from the differences in ideology of the characters brings to life the two radical concepts that are central to the novel, the two ways of re-interpreting the rights written into the first ten amendments to the constitution.
Yes, Ray has come up with a new way of interpreting two fundamental rights: the right to bear arms, and the right not to testify against oneself. He introduces a set of non-lethal weapons that are extraordinary effective in the book; he envisions a state with the gumption to create very tough laws for those who possess any other kind of weapons. That state further creates a non-confrontational system of justice, with mental adjustment as an alternative to convicted persons being more or less cast to the wolves. The historical uses of Georgia and Australia as prison colonies came to mind as I read that part.
It's thought provoking and well worth reading. I don't agree with all of it but Ray Rhamey makes a strong argument for his case. I hope to interview him on an episode of The New American Dream Radio Show which I co-host on Thursday nights.
However, there is much more going on here. Into into his dark view of what our society could look like not long from now the author weaves ideas about re-interpreted constitutional rights that make it difficult for these rights to be ignored, twisted or used for ill. It is these ideas that make this book stand out. Not just another action story but a good story with compelling notions that stick in the mind. These ideas seem so reasonable (and yet not impossibly Utopian) that they keep coming back, teasing you to make you wonder why they couldn't be tried.
It's a good story full of interesting characters with some of the most interesting ideas of justice around. I recommend it.
Learn about the defensive weapons, nap, tangle, and whack. Experience the horrific brutality of The Keep--the place outside civil society where hardened criminals are disposed of and the only rule is might makes right. Consider the possibilities of the Alliance and its Promise. Watch the forces in the story converge for the final showdown. Rhamey pulls no punches. There are innocent victims here as in real life. This is a fast-paced yet thought-provoking book, muscular in style and ingenious in worldview.