A striking book with some regional connotations as it has an armed bank robbery in Tacoma. Ben Blum’s Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime (Doubleday), is the story of his cousin Alex Blum, all set to deploy to Iraq as a U.S. Army Ranger, when he up and robbed the aforementioned Tacoma bank.
“On a simple level, Ranger Games is about Ben Blum’s obsessive quest to understand why his 19-year-old cousin participated in an inexplicable, ham-handed bank robbery that landed him in prison and nearly destroyed the people he loved. But there is nothing simple about Blum’s book. It turns out to be a labyrinthine, utterly engrossing meditation on matters as seemingly disparate as the perils of loyalty, the seductive force of mathematical certainty, the toxicity of “honor,” the Stanford Prison Experiment, the weirdness of daytime television, and the dangerous power of family mythology. It is an astonishing book, unlike anything else I have ever read.” – Jon Krakauer.
“Ben Blum’s achievement in this relentlessly gripping book is to make an incredible story entirely credible. If many of the serial revelations and twists are subtle and nuanced rather than spectacular that only adds to the sense of his narrative command and assurance.”– Geoff Dyer.