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Breakdown [Mass Market Paperback]

William W Johnstone
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 8 1997
Speeding out of a city that has been violently destroyed, a Vietnam veteran who has not held a gun for years and a woman trained in the art of military intelligence realize they are facing the second American revolution. Original.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Johnstone takes a potentially intriguing premise--an organized uprising of US militia organizations--and squanders it.

Perhaps I expected too much; Johnstone's other novels get good marks from other readers here at amazon. But the writing seemed poor and cliche-ridden. Gross generalizations and observations by the narrator drove most of the plot. It seemed that the characters were there to act out the inevitable. Like actors in a 1950's propaganda film, their motivations were not their own.

Many of the historical points he makes are false or inaccurate, which makes it hard to suspend your disbelief for the rest of the story. For example, one of the heroes describes the causes of homelessness: "Of course, seventy-five percent of them would still be...clean and dry and fed and medicated if the goddamned liberals hadn't opened all the doors to mental institutions and turned them loose to fend for themselves." Hmm, Ronald Reagan a liberal? First I've heard of it.

I'm politically moderate, so the unabashed Limbaugh-ism didn't scare me. However much of it was more mean-sprited than necessary, and again often inaccurate. A college professor is described as "An acid-tongued, vicious, man-hating dyke." It's all we ever see of her, so who knows where this came from? A lot of it is just out-of-touch with reality. At one point, Democratic senators denounce each other as Marxists and socialists.

Epithets of all kinds flow freely, based on race, sexual orientation, politics, you name it. It all comes from the characters' mouths, so it's possible that Johnstone himself isn't propounding all these views. However, there's little balance--the conservatives tend to dish it out and the liberals take it. And much of the verbal abuse is flung by the heroes of the story, the ones we're supposed to identify with.

In sum, "Breakdown" is an interesting premise turned into a cartoonish arch-conservative farce.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Painful Read Sept. 12 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After a disappointing experience with "Hunted," I decided to give Mr. Johnstone a second try with "Breakdown." If possible, "Breakdown" is worse. The characters are poorly drawn, stereotypical and completely one-dimensional. As with Mr. Johnstone's other work, the plot is utterly predictable. A particularly annoying habit is Mr. Johnstone's interjection of himself into the story (a la Hitchcock) as a right-thinking, long-suffering writer. I cannot imagine the government having much interest in Mr. Johnstone or his body of work. If you long for conservative rhetoric, read William F. Buckley. If you want great adventure, try Jack London. Mr. Johnstone's work gives pulp fiction (and conservative views) a bad name.
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4.0 out of 5 stars So bad that it is good! Aug. 12 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is absolutely hilarious. Don't let the ultra-conservative ravings get you down. Everything in this book is either so bad, so fake, or so blown out of proportion, that it is just absolutely hilarious. I can understand and identify with some (few?) of the ravings of the conservative lunatics in this book, but otherwise, I just look at it as raving propaganda. I just happen to really like stories where society breaks down, and as a result this book entertains me. I pretty much found myself laughing all the way through the stereotypical madness that is presented in this book. All I can say is this book is just pure stupid entertainment, and its still better than TV
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5.0 out of 5 stars BREAKDOWN Feb. 12 2000
By JFS
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I must agree with Brian's review on this one as being one of Johnstones best. The read is very entertaining, if that's what you read for and not dissection. If you let your imagination go with this book you'll find yourself walking right along with them!
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