READING WITH XIPHOS


EPISODE II:

Wherein the intrepid author takes a spin down tough guy street and comes back with a busted nose, three cracked ribs, a black eye and excellent books with tough guys in them.

I was looking at my book stack before I started this opus and I realized I read a ton of nonfiction and it’s great. Biographies, history, politics, philosophy, math and science are what I own the most of and as I noted above, those are great and interesting books to read and think about. That being said though, there are times when those sorts of books just flat out don’t get the job done. Instead I crave a different, more visceral experience from books and I need a special genre, the tough guy books. You know the ones I’m talking about. They are drenched in testosterone and are boiling vats of machismo. When the urge to read these books hit you, think about this post and you can’t go wrong.

gates_of_fire When I think of tough guys, I think of the scarlet clad, full panoply wearing, killing machines of Lacedemonia the Spartan Warriors. That thought inevitably leads me to Steven Pressfield’s Gate’s of Fire, the seminal work of tough guy fiction. Gates of Fire is what 300 wanted to be but failed at miserably. (And GoF should be a movie. DAMN IT! MAKE ME MY MOVIE HOLLYWOOD YOU SIMPERING ASS HATS.) The book tells the tale of the Greek resistance to the Persian advance at the pass at Thermopylae and a whole lot more. (Thermopylae is Greek for fire gate. There’s a hot springs there that has a gate leading to it. See? Book learnens is fun.) Not only is this book historically accurate, you also learn about how Spartan society operated, The strength and weakness of the Phalanx, what the Agoge was like and it’s chock full of tough guys from history like Dienekes, Leonidas, Polynikes and the rest of the doomed Greek warriors (there were close to 10,000 hoplites from various city states at Thermopylae) making an important symbolic stand and giving their lives for said stand. Read this book, it’s fantastic and I can’t recommend it enough.

afgan campaign Let’s continue with Pressfield and his books. (Get use to his name, you will hear it a lot on this list and future ones.) The next book of historical fiction based on real events Pressfield tackled is Alexander the Great’s invasion of Afghanistan  This book is called The Afghan Campaign and tells the story of two young Macedonian boys that join up with Alexander’s band of thugs just as that continuing criminal enterprise is about to invade Afghanistan. Here’s an observation for you, if you take away the swords and bows that the Afghans were armed with in the book and replace them with RPGs and AK 47s, not a lot has changed in 2500 years. This is a great read. It’s tough as hell, cynical, full of dark humor and it’s well researched and written and has ties to current events.

In the first episode of Reading With Xiphos, I mentioned Joe R. Lansdale’s series starring Hap Collins and Leonard Pine. Well, here they are again even though they defy the normal ‘tough guy” conventions, like all the characters in this article. I’m not going to single out one specific book they are all fun and you can start anywhere. There are references to previous events occasionally but you can get the gist of what happened and it doesn’t interfere with your enjoyment of the current story.

lansdale The thing about Leonard and Hap is that they are just two regular lower working class stiffs that keep getting caught up in escapades, hijinks and shenanigans. Hap Collins is a white, middle aged former hippie. Leonard is a former Marine combat veteran of Vietnam. Leonard is also black and gay and those two issues cause him no end of grief in the East Texas town of Laborde where Hap and Leonard live. Both men are martial artists and especially in Leonard’s case, they kick ass hard. The Hap and Leonard series, while funny and tough, also explores many different themes like prejudice, of and by all colors, creeds, religions, ethnicities, sexual preferences and national origins, privilege vs. working class, drugs, prostitution, sexual assault and all manner of big ticket ideas.

watchman Next tough guy to climb into the ring is from the Elvis Cole series by Robert Crais. Of course I’m talking about the taciturn, laconic, mirrored aviator shades sporting, former Fleet Force Recon Marine, Ex LAPD Officer and occasional merc, Joe Pike. I’m going to deal with the Elvis Cole books in a future column so today I’m focusing on Cole’s partner Joe Pike who has finally got his own book where he’s the main character and I say hallelujah and hosanna for that. Joe is an interesting character. He’s violent and uses violence as the first response yet he’s not evil, stupid (far from it) or uncaring. He’s just honest about himself and violence (it works and works well) and he’s mucho dangerous

Joe Pike’s break out novel is The Watchman. The plot is simple. Due to favors Pike owed to a merc recruiter, poor Joe ends up having to bodyguard a Paris Hilton like hotel heiress after she’s involved in a traffic accident and sees something she shouldn’t have. Joe Pike has to go off grid in order to do his job. LA bad guys and buildings come out the worst for it. Although in Hell A that’s kind of hard to tell since the place is a junk pile to start with.

point_20_pb Sticking with the hard core tough guy Marine theme, next up is retired Gunnery Sergeant, sniper and, as one “mercenary’ magazine glossed him, ‘the deadliest” alive, Bob Lee Swagger. The character has a series of I think 6 books but honestly the latter books are lacking. The first three books are as kick ass as can be imagined. I would like to suggest the first book, Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter, as the best book and tells the story of the manhunt for Bob Lee Swagger and the revenge Swagger extracts after being framed for the attempted murder of the POTUS and the death of a San Salvadorian Bishop. The funniest gag in the book is that Swagger is pissed that people thought he missed his target and took out the priest by mistake. The other point of the book is don’t murder a man’s dog. The bad guys did this and that made Swagger SUPER pissed, even more so than getting framed for murder and he’s not a guy you want mad at you. I don’t know who hunter talked to in the course of writing this book but he got the weapon use right and nailed the mind set.

399-9 Hunter’s third book, Time to Hunt, specifically the section titled Sniper Team Sierra Bravo Four: RSVN February-May 1972 is one of the most colon stompingest combat writing I’ve ever read in fiction. This section deals with Swagger and his spotter and friend Donny Fenn’s two day destruction of an NVA Main Force Battalion with nothing more than an M40A1 bolt action rifle, several dozen rounds of Lake City Arsenal boat tailed .308 match ammunition, claymores, an M14, excellent Marine Corps training and a pure mile worth of guts. You want more you bunch of pikers? How about later in this section you get a sniper duel with a Commie from the USSR. Still not enough for you? How about this? The book is one long mystery involving moles, spies, murders going back to the Vietnam War and a new Russian president.

dirty You know what you bag of bastards? I’m going to suggest you read anything by Hunter. It’s fun action adventure. The best non Swagger book of Hunter’s has to be Dirty White Boys. It’s about cons breaking out of prison and the hunt to get them back. It’s pure adrenalin and one of the few times you sort of root for the white trash. Sort of.

There you go, that’s a few suggestions and I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas in the ChangBack below. I could easily have made a dozen or more suggestions but I didn’t want to beat a dead horse and more importantly, now I can revisit the subject at a future date.

Mahalo,

Xiphos



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58 responses to “READING WITH XIPHOS”

  1. Continentalop says :

    I’ve got read more, especially more tough guy fiction. And those Lansdale books sound right up my alley.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      I forgot to put this in the article but Lansdale is a Martial Arts instructor. So when Leonard and Hap throw down it’s believably written.

  2. Jarv says :

    I was just thinking that-

    Have you ever read any of the Jack Reacher novels, Xi?

    • xiphos0311 says :

      I have not read the Reacher novels yet. People keep telling me they are good but I have never been able to find the first book. Amazon here I come.

      • lord bronco says :

        Its because people are buying and hoarding, plus most haven’t checked them out yet.

        Think Twilight for guys, maybe this helps.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Think Twilight for guys, maybe this helps.

        No no it doesn’t in fact it makes me break out in a noxious sweat.

      • lord bronco says :

        He he Xi-I was kidding. They are quite good manly man books-and I’ve gotten into tiffs at the used book store with cranky old dudes over used copies. Reacher deserves a proper review, which I will get around to soon enough. He’s the nicest/meanest sonuvabitch fictional character I’ve ever run across.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        meanest character in fiction is Burke by Andrew Vachss. Is he nice? well that is relative…

      • lord bronco says :

        I’ve read Burke in Sulla.
        Very tough-in a single-minded way. Way too predictable. the traditional pick for most tough fictional portrayal of a guy you don’t want to fuck with, and a classic for very good reasons.

        Quick picks of messed up tough guy protagonists which are less well-known.

        Pete Bondurant-Ellroy’s main man with a plan in his sequel series to the LA confidential Quartet. Cooks Heroine-kills political people.

        Hanson- Out of Kent Anderson’s “Sympathy For the Devil” and “Night Dogs”. i like these books, a lot of people do.

        Joe Kurtz-Out of Dan Simmons “Hard Freeze” series. A character so vile, the author actually assassinated him. literally.

        Daniel Edward Flowers Bunkowski-“Chaingang”-Idiot savant who weighs 500 lbs, snaps peoples necks with a 10 pound tire chain, and eats their hearts.

        And finally, Jack Reacher.

        Of all these twisted fucks, Reacher would wipe up the floor with them all-he’s the man.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I’ve read Burke in Sulla.

        Not sure what that is supposed to mean, could you elaborate please because there is no Burke book named Sulla. There’s a non Burke book called Shella. Could that be the book you are referencing? If you think Burke is predictable then you and I have a vastly different definition of the word.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Also Ellroy and his characters will be dealt with in the noir section.

      • lord bronco says :

        Shella was the name, you are correct sir.

        I read the first one, and dumped the series.

        Vachs is the man-I’m well aware, but it just seemed like wank, so I dumped it.

        It’s not that he’s not a mean bastard and all that, but I couldn’t even begin to imagine where the thing was heading.

        which is a problem with most or all of these series.

        Burke is one you haven’t read, but he’s a knockoff of Vachs guy.

        He’s arguably a better one, but what the hell. I haven’t been working on the list of best books of the decade-been finishing up Christmas shopping. and yes, I ordered an Ipod Touch.

        If you can’t beat them, join them.

        Cheers.

  3. Tom_Bando says :

    Sounds like Mack Bolen for grown-ups there Xiphos. Interesting.
    I was trying to find the novelization for Cloverfield-and you just Gotta know–they prob. went and cut out all the Giant Robot lion references THERE too. Damn You Alan Dean Foster!

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Ah Mack Bolen. I liked those books when I was like 13. The original ones that Pendelton wrote were much better then the later ones written by committee.

      The blatant specism towards giant robot lions must end!

      • Continentalop says :

        The first Executioner book was damn good (is it Mack BOLEN or BOLAN?). Totally ridiculously great pulp for teens to chew in. I also liked Nick Carter: Killmaster (Killmaster, so much cooler name than Punchmaster or Fleemaster).
        You ever read the really old pulp stuff Xi, like The Shadow, Doc Carter or The Spider? Some of them are pretty whacky fan.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I think you are right it is Bolan and not Bolen. Great over the top goofy fun

        yeah I’ve read The shadow and Doc Savage not sure what the Spider is or Doc Carter. Is Doc Carter a combination of John Carter(he will be making an appearance in a future column) of Mars and Doc Savage?

      • Continentalop says :

        Doc Carter is portmanteau of Doc Savage and John Carter.
        Kind of like Natalie Portmanteau.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Kind of like Natalie Portmanteau.

        Is she from Dirty Debutantes 187?

    • Tom_Bando says :

      Doc Savage was okay, I remember reading those in Jr. High for the most part. They have NEVER gotten it right w/ him onscreen for some reason. It”s a shame, it could be good.

      • lord bronco says :

        It’s Mack Bolan. Unfortunately, those books in “The Executioner Series” are low-brow Gun-Porn for newbs.

        Their combat depictions are sloppy. They are like crappy action scripts from the 1980s-which got rejected.

        I’ve been working on a best of decade book list, and Jack Reacher novels are number one on the list.

        how does one properly post a submission this this fine website?

        also-great list Xi-i have read *none* of these books-gonna be talking to the library post-haste.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        yeah if they ever could get Doc Savage right they could have a great franchise.

  4. Jarv says :

    Frank- put down the dark tower books at the half way point of number 4.

    Everything after that is a real fucking let down

    • Jarv says :

      This is about where the series goes off the rails- Are you in Flashback territory yet?

    • Jarv says :

      I need to explain that-

      The problem with The Dark Tower (and I’m convinced of this) is that King didn’t have a fucking clue where he was going or what he was doing.

      The flashback sequence with Alain and Cuthbert (that’s about 2/3 of that book) is just irrelevant shite that adds nothing to the story- I know it’s cool and everything, but it wants a book of it’s own, not jamming in here.

      Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s about 300 pages of Wolves of the Calla (which is a terrible book) recycling the life history of the priest from Salem’s lot. Which also doesn’t add anything to the story.

      Not forgetting that he slides stylistically completely off the rails with everything being done in pigeon English garbage “thank-ee sai” (oh fuck off).

      And this is even before I get on to the absolute drivel of Book 6 and the complete let down (it even comes with a go and fuck yourself from the author) of book 7.

      Absolute crap.

    • Jarv says :

      Exactly- it is quite cool, but does detract from the story a lot.

    • Jarv says :

      Christ, I’m trying to warn you here.

      Lower your expectations to the floor, and then dig a big trench and put them in that.

      Chances are they still won’t be low enough to get over how catastrophically bad books 5-7 are, and how outright fucking insulting the end of the saga is- especially given how much of your life you’ve had to invest in it to get there.

    • ThereWolf says :

      Frank, listen to Jarv. He’s trying to help you. I felt the same way about Dark Tower.

      Wizard & Glass is all back story. Nicely written – adds nothing to the quest, which is where I wanted to be and not stuck in back story land.

  5. M. Blitz says :

    Ha, we are going to wind up having a Lansdale book club. Those sound like a lot of fun…

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Can’t go wrong blitz

    • lord bronco says :

      Joe R Landsdale is America’s undiscovered Territory of underrated authors. He can only be compared to Carl Hiassen-but that does both authors a disservice.

      Joe R’s short story is the basis for bruce campbell’s appearance in “Bubba-Ho-Tep”.

      His colloquialisms cannot be matched, and his mayhem is sublime.

      You will not be disappointed.

      • xiphos0311 says :

        “The Executioner Series” are low-brow Gun-Porn for newbs.

        It was great fun when you are in the tween early teen years like James Bond on super freak steroids.

        You can’t go wrong with any book on the list. They are all great in their own special way.

  6. M. Blitz says :

    Oh yeah, speaking of hardboiled…..I’m now living just a few country miles from Dashiell Hammett’s birthplace! I hear the old farmhouse is still there and everything….will be takin’ some pictures over there for sure.

    • Continentalop says :

      Hammett’s birthplace! That should be a landmark (says the man named after one of his characters).

      • M. Blitz says :

        I know he gets a sign on the side of the road. But research has revealed that the ramshackle family farmhouse still stands behind what is now, apparently, a golf course. And rumor has it there is a man named Danny Hammett around town………..hmmmm….

    • xiphos0311 says :

      I was thinking of Hammett for this article but i decided to have him on the next one dealing with noir. I think he sort of fits better there but it is debatable.

      • M. Blitz says :

        If you’re doing a straight noir one next, than definitely. Yeah! Lookin’ forward to that one, Xi……

      • xiphos0311 says :

        Yeah I think the next one will be noir, unless something else catches my fancy…

      • Continentalop says :

        Speaking of noir, have you ever read Horace McCoy’s They Shoot Horse Don’t They and I Should Have Stayed Home? Not really tough guy noir but I will say two of the best hard-boiled looks at Hollywood and the entertainment industry (and They Shoot Horses Don’t They has the best metaphor for trying to make it in Hollywood – a marathon dance).

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I have not read either book Conti but I put them on the list. They sound neato.

    • lord bronco says :

      Is that Cottage next to Harry Potter’s?

      I’m quite sure it must be adjacent to the Unicorn Pen inside of StoneHenge…

      But seriously, I’m given to understand that Britain has serious problems with feral werewolves-Is this true?

      Kidding aside–You guys keep beheading people in the Tower Of London, i saw that on TMZ.

      Is it true that all of your paparazzi are in fact werewolves?

      No, but seriously, just having a lark: *Nods* to M. Blitz.

      god Save The Queen, Pip pip, Cheerie-O.

      Ansd seriously, you should give those poor orphans some more peas, carrots and meat.

      They are right bloody starving.

  7. xiphos0311 says :

    Thanks Frank. I think it would be funny if some kid that was looking for a picture of Stone ended up here instead. Hehehehe.

  8. M. Blitz says :

    THey Shoot Horses Don’t They…..haven’t read the book, but that is one fucked up/depressing movie.

  9. ThereWolf says :

    Well written column, this. The only problem is finding the time to read more (I’m still trying to find more time to watch more movies). There’s an ever-growing list of both…

  10. lord bronco says :

    Bob Lee Swagger! For fuck’s Sake-great book, but i’m laughing my ass off writing this…

    Don’t get me wrong-the rifle/gun knowledge is encyclopedic.If Mack Bolan is Gun Porn, this is like Gun Erotica or Gun Dinner at a 5 star french restaurant followed by taking the Date to first row seats at Rent the musical!

    Whew page 276..and what hasn’t Bob done yet?

    That freakin’ dog…I swear to god, a couple of times between bob and that Dog…

    I think they were going to start making out.

    And the reminiscing about his spotter…

    For fuck’s sake-LMFAO if I may be so bold.

    Would care to discuss further, but nobody here has read it yet…so greenlight me, y’all…

    LOLLERS!!!

  11. lord bronco says :

    *Spoilers*

    Alright-I’ve read quite a few-here’s the recap, and thank you for the recommendations.

    The first Bob lee book-I hit page 447 and couldn’t take it anymore-I skipped to the end because it was just too utterly preposterous.
    I mean he gets shot twice embroilied in a US presidential assasination attempt, rolls his car out into a river, slides down the river for two days, then drives across country for 2 days *AND THEN proceeds to hook up with his spotter’s old Lady*.

    The FBI/law enforcement guy was literally so stupid he couldn’t have tied his shoes with a robot assisting-and I’d finally had enough.

    Great gun stuff though, but it seemed to me this was an early book by a soldier who’s never hung out with cops and had too much of an infantry soldier’s perspective. However, I would read later books for sure, especially the Vietnam showdown one.

    *Spoilers end*

    Cais’ The Watchmen and the Pike novels-Hell yeah! Thanks for the heads up, I loved this book. Fast, mean, hard and realistic. I believed each character and their actions, and it was extremely knowledgable about how stuff works in the real world.

    This book sent me on an internet Odyssey to figure out who came first: Lee Child’s Jack Reacher character or Cais’ Joe Pike. It looks like Reacher is technically a knockoff of Pike, but it’s all good because I would kill to read a book where they team up.

    Superb pick-I’d never even heard of the character before your post.

    Joe R. Landsdale-Pound for pound, my favorite, except Reacher gets the nod by a hair. The martial arts, the bumbling around unlike Pike or reacher, the utter ass-whoopings handed out-Joe gets that stuff so consistent.

    Plus, he’s the best writer of the bunch, because every page has a one-liner that makes you laugh your ass off.

    Pressfield is the one I missed, working on it as we speak.

    Great list, great reading- I read all of the Landsdale books these last 2 weeks-missed a few, and there’s a new one–but all I had read was bad chili years ago. There’s More.

    Also:

    here’s a man-link:

    http://www.military.com/entertainment/outdoor-guide/ar-hunting/rifle-review-458-socom.html?ESRC=dod.nl

    Now i’d like to see Reacher, swagger and Pike around a campfire debating this particular new weapon.

    Thanks again for the list Xi!

    • xiphos0311 says :

      You have to remember something about the Swagger books they were written in like 91 or 92 and the way Cops and feds worked was way different then today plus the tech edge they somewhat have today wasn’t present.

      As far as preposterous goes all of these book operate on some level of goofiness they have to in order to work. Mostly I look at them for the entertainment value and let slide slide the preposterous.

  12. lordbronco says :

    Gates Of Fire by Steven Pressfield!

    Yes, I can see why this book is mandatory reading at the Citadel and a favorite of Marines!

    Loved it, just bloody loved it. Haven’t gotten this riled up about a book in quite some time.

    Had me full of copious quantities of Piss and Vinegar!!!!

    So much so, that I have been temporarily obsessed with who wrote what first: Frank Miller and 300 or SP and GOF.

    Short answer: Published the same time.

    My verdict: Miller’s poorly researched version of the Battle means that chances are good he read about this scriptwriter’s hook/pitch and cobbled together a half-assed version as fast as humanly possible.

    Miller probably read the book, took Cliff Notes, and slapped together his graphic novel in no time.

    There is simply no way to compare a researched book like GOF as being as quick to produce as a funny book like miller’s 300-though it does have it’s merits.

    So frank miller is a hack who did disservice to the memeory of The Spartans by famboozling among other things the depiction of the enemies.

    Alright enough about that.

    The movie version will now have to be rewatched, of course, but it does make the slow mo of individual soldiers running forward of the ranks to spew CGI gore all over the place seem quite silly…

    Gates explained in terms I can understand how it was possible for a battle with such a shockingly disproportiante ratio of casualties inflicted *actually happened*.

    Good Stuff.

    Very Good Stuff Indeed.

    Thanks again for the recomendation!

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Next up Bronco for you to read is The Afghan Campaign by Pressfield. Just as good of a book about a totally different kind of war.

  13. Tom_Bando says :

    If I remember right-Cannae, 217 (?) BC was like that too-Hannibal inflicted some 60,000 (or so) casualties on the Romans. Very very deadly right there.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Correct Tom Cannae had somewhere between 50,000 to 70,000 dead and wounded and captured. At the time time it was the worse defeat the Legions had suffered.

      Remember though for two years prior to Cannae, Hannibal had destroyed something like 5 consular armies at the battles of Lake Trasimene(one of the greatest use of a feint and deception in history) and at The Battle of Trebia(one of the best ambushes in history).

      Trebia was was where the seeds of destruction of Carthage were planted. On that field was the Roman General Scipio who was gravely wounded and was saved by his teenage son(of the same name) who later became a general and earned the honorific “Africanus” after destroying Carthage.

  14. Tom_Bando says :

    Hannibal didn’t get much help from back home if I remember right, his brother got nailed at the Metaurus(I think) in N. Italy and Spain collapsed too.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      Yep correct again Tom the Carthage ruling council mesed with Hannibal the whole time he was in Italy. routinely denying him funds which then in turn caused payment issues with his mercenary African infantry(most dependable troops he had) and with the tribal Gauls and Iberians.(way less dependable)

      The council required Hannibal to travel back to Carthage to grovel for funds and to bust his balls usually around the time it would have been better to have him on the ground advancing the attack because Hannibal’s subordinates were no where near him in class and they did not have the personal charisma to hold onto the tribal contingent.

      It got even worse after Cannae when the second Punic Wars stagnated into a war of attrition and while Hannibal had some victories they never matched what he did in that 24 month period between 208-206.

      You are also correct that Hannibal’s brother, Hasdrubal, bought his ticket at the Metaurus. As a sign of respect the Romans beheaded the body and sent the head to Hannibal’s camp.

  15. Tom_Bando says :

    Yuppers that’s how it went. Plus there was that whole sideline w/ Macedonia not really helping’em out either.

    I like Hannibal. He used elephants. That’s neat.

  16. lordbronco says :

    Wow-Xi-just finished Pressfield’s “The Afghan Campaign”-read the sucker in 2 days-what a find Pressfield is-I’d never even heard of the guy before.

    This novel was possibly more gruesome than Gates Of fire-and also possibly more entertaining. It reads like Lord Of The Rings to make a haphazard comparison.

    I wanted to thank you because I’ve I’ve always heard that A-Stan is nasty terrain-wise-but this book gave me a much better feel for the terrain-which is hard to get a feel for from reading CIA factbooks.

    You already answered my first question-which is has the country changed all that much.

    My only other non-classified question is-do the bastards still ride horses? Or are they upgraded to motor vehicles?

    I’ve been worried-I have a young friend who has been on his first infantry bump in the USMC since last winter somewhere in there. Even doing research online-it’s hard to understand what the country is like-this book helped more than any other source I’ve found so far.

    He’s from an unnamed Western State-so as much as I hate to say it-he’s probably as adapted to the environment as anyone in his unit.

    Another buddy of mine had this to say about A-Stan, which won’t get anybody in hot water:

    “You have to Hike Up and Down, Up and Down. (Afghanistan) Fucking Sucks”.

    Merhalo-thanks again, Xi.

    • xiphos0311 says :

      For me GoF just edges out the AC by a half a whisker but I can see how somebody would pick the AC.

      Afghanistan has a lot of differentterrain that provides many challenges but I wouldn’t call it nasty it’s just wildly varied and lot of the climate is on the extreme ends

      Has the country changed much? no not really. It’s place ruled by it’s past and they like it that way.

      Horses are the primary mode of transportation followed by LPC. There are vehicles and roads but that’s more in the flatland’s and lower hill areas.

      Do you know if your friend went through the pre-deployment course at the Mt. Warfare School?

      • lordbronco says :

        Thanks for the reply, Xi.

        Short answer is no-I know he basiced at a USMC base on the American East Coast-to probably deploy for the Winter A-Stan campaign ’09.

        We had a falling out over a woman.

        I was the one who told him stick with the Corps.

        If anybody would get nominated to that school-it would be him.

        No worries.

        He is full of piss and vinegar-I figure A-Stan will give him a taste.

        Either way-it’s not my place to hassle you with this stuff on a public forum.

        The AC book is excellent-and Moose was the one who showed me what a real Khukiri is.

        He’s freaking fine, I’m sure.

        Best,

        -lb

      • xiphos0311 says :

        I don’t mind answering questions. Or if you want just shoot me an email.

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