Smoke Screen Paperback – Oct 11 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
That premise is wondering what would happen if the owners and
operators of "Big Tobacco" agreed with the anti-smoking zealots
and government regulators that smoking was bad for us, and they
suddenly, and simply, announced they were stopping all production
and distribution of tobacco products.
Wow. Think what would happen. This author does a very nice
job of describing all the ramifications, from the loss of millions of dollars in tax money to the states and federal govmt, the lack of funding for future anti-smoking campaigns,
the jobs lost in the industry, at both the factory and the
farm ends of that business, as well as the anger of the legions
of smokers suddenly deprived of their addiction. Also raised
is the question of the right of Americans to make their own
informed choices and their right to privacy.
Such ramifications are more complex and far-reaching than
most of us ever thought of, and it will do us good to consider
all of them. Only after studying such possible ramifications
can we begin to fathom the depth of the politics behind Big
Tobacco. Then we can begin to understand the wavering of the
big politicians at all levels on these questions; we get an idea
of the tax dollars the governments now count on, especially
since most states have tobacco-suit settlement money being
grabbed by legislators for favorite projects, and the looting
of the original anti-tobacco purposes by those state legislatures.
It is some very fascinating facts, which the author nicely
combines with some interesting speculations, and the story
is a very worthwhile one.Read more ›
This book is reminiscent of Christopher Lehman Haupt's book, Thank You for Smoking, but is told at a much more breakneck pace. It has the intelligence of some of Donald Westlake's more scathing books, and a healthy dose of humor and irony help propel it along.
I do admit that the characterizations are weak, but the characters are here as a deus ex machina, and aren't the important part of the story. The important part of the story is the examination of the conflict in our government between the desire to get tax-money from tobacco firms, and the government's desire to protect people from the dangers of smoking. Mills clearly thinks that anyone still smoking has brought upon their addiction to themselves, especially younger smokers who've been brought up in an enviroment where they're taught about the hazards of lighting up as soon as they enter school.
I recommend this book without hesitation, but only if you want to be entertained whlie being educated. If you want a 'critic'-acclaimed level book, this one does miss the mark.
The hero of this story,Trevor Barnett is reluctant to make a decision. He seems like a young man who has it made and hates to stir the water. He does develop quite a bit of trouble when he steps out of the role, which was setup for him as a part of his trust. The trust pays him a few of the comany stocks in funds and he lives on the stock dividends and a small salay the rest of the time.
Trevor had a 'show-up and be one of the guys' type of position with Terra Tobacco. The company also paid him the trust funds per his Grandfather's will and gave him a small salary. The other employees treated him like a spy or just an unwanted person. He was supposed to stay out of sight and keep his mouth shut. Trevor hated the tobacco company and what it was doing to the people. His position it was slowly making him into a smoking alcoholic. He believed all of the things bad said about tobacco and was getting tired of the lawyers making a fortune suing, taxes being raised and the people still smoking.
The Chief Executive Officer of Terra was a very smart old cutthroat named Trainer. He was the man who everyone was responsible. Trainer frightened Trevor who tried to keep his head down when Trainer was around. The problem was that Trevor had to attend the company meetings.
One day Trevor started saying what he was thinking being sure that the CEO Trainer would get rid of him. But what a surprise, Trainer keeps him and gave him a raise. He became the point man who was supposed to get the arrows in his back.
Trevor and Trainer ended up in a showdown in the USA President's office.Read how it ends; it may make you sympathetic to the tobacco company, and stop you smoking if you haven't all ready.
This is not the case with Smoke Sceen and I felt it was more a personal agenda type book that counted on the fans to finance it. Basically we did because we bought it expecting the high quality fiction we had in previous books. I'll admit Trevor Barnett is a likeable enough character (in a hapless idiot turns super-hero way) but this book just never gets its feet under and pretty much plods through from beginning to end never actually making a point or capturing the interest of the reader. It basically reminds me of TOm Clancy's disaster "REd Rabbit" in that it seems to be an effort based on ego instead of any creative design. But...unlike any of Clancy's future novels (all of which I will from now on check out at the library) I must admit that I am looking forward to Mill's next book and will probably buy it quickly...please Kyle..no more diappointments!!!
Most recent customer reviews
Kyle Mills' work to date has read much like early Tom Clancy, with tight story lines and a technical bent. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2004
After reading his earlier books this one was a real disappointment. The plotline was not very convincing. It appears that Mills has a contract to produce a book per year. Read morePublished on Dec 23 2003
Great escapism, and clever writing. Mills shows a great knack for the first person POV.Published on Dec 22 2003 by Jon G. Hargrove
First of all, the people who have written poor reviews of this book are clearly demanding that authors stay within the cookie cutter format of novel writing. Read morePublished on Nov. 10 2003 by Milwaukee Reviewer
See book summary above.
I like Kyle Mill's thrillers. To see him come out with something different took me a little by surprise. I'm not disappointed, though. Read more
WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!! I loved all Mills' other books and snapped this one up expecting the same. WRONG! This is so slow. Read morePublished on Oct. 14 2003 by S. M. Anderson
Trevor Barnett is the protagonist of "Smoke Screen," a new novel by Kyle Mills. Barnett is a young man whose family has made a living by selling tobacco products for... Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2003 by E. Bukowsky
I bet Kyle Mills really enjoyed writing this book. In some ways SMOKE SCREEN is a major departure from his earlier works (summarized in my review of FREE FALL on 8/17/03); it is a... Read morePublished on Oct. 2 2003 by Tucker Andersen