Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun

( 16 )

Overview

This devastating book begins with an account of a crime that is by now almost commonplace: on December 16, 1988, sixteen-year-old Nicholas Elliot walked into his Virginia high school with a Cobray M-11/9 and several hundred rounds of ammunition tucked in his backpack. By day's end, he had killed one teacher and severely wounded another.

In Lethal Passage Erik Larson shows us how a disturbed teenager was able to buy a weapon advertised as "the gun that made the eighties roar." In...

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Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun

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Overview

This devastating book begins with an account of a crime that is by now almost commonplace: on December 16, 1988, sixteen-year-old Nicholas Elliot walked into his Virginia high school with a Cobray M-11/9 and several hundred rounds of ammunition tucked in his backpack. By day's end, he had killed one teacher and severely wounded another.

In Lethal Passage Erik Larson shows us how a disturbed teenager was able to buy a weapon advertised as "the gun that made the eighties roar." In so doing, he not only illuminates America's gun culture — its manufacturers, dealers, buffs, and propagandists — but also offers concrete solutions to our national epidemic of death by firearm. The result is a book that can — and should — save lives, and that has already become an essential text in the gun-control debate.

In this compelling book, centered around a devastating act of violence perpetrated by a 16-years-old boy with a machine gun, Larson not only illuminates America's gun culture — its manufacturers, dealers, buffs, and propagandists — but offers concrete solutions to our national epidemic of death by firearms.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Larson takes us past the absurd myths, past the numbing statistics, and into the face of reality.... Journalism at its highest."

— Los Angeles Times Book Review

"An artful slice of the story of what may be the greatest shame we as a nation have tried... to hide from ourselves.... Fascinating." — Chicago Sun-Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Wall Street Journal reporter Larson has written a new afterword to this timely study of American gun culture.
Library Journal
In this work, Larson interweaves the story of a boy and his gun (a 16-year-old who kills one teacher and wounds another with a member of the infamous MAC-10 family) with a study of the causes and effects of our gun-happy society. He admits that he has no problem with using handguns for sport or even as a last line of self-defense. But he goes on to propose a model bill calling for sweeping changes in laws governing the distribution, sale, and design of firearms. It's a pity that, by producing a reasonably balanced account of an incendiary subject, Larson will probably alienate both the pro- and antigun camps, and his bill, as he acknowledges, ``doesn't have a chance in hell of being passed.'' Highly recommended nonetheless. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/93.-- Jim Burns, Ottumwa, Ia.
Newsday
Should be required reading.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679759270
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 107,534
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Erik Larson

ERIK LARSON is the author of four national bestsellers: In the Garden of Beasts, Thunderstruck, The Devil in the White City, and Isaac's Storm, which have collectively sold more than 5.5 million copies. His magazine stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's and other publications and his books have been published in fourteen countries.

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    1. Hometown:
      Seattle, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 1, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; M.S., Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, 1978

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    Political agenda

    I put this one up to read an account where a guy used his gun to kill an intruder in his home.

    4 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 10, 2013

    Excellent analysis but dated facts

    I found this to be a compelling, thoughtful reframing of the politically overheated gun control conversation (in fact, it does actually read as if the author is trying to engage in a conversation, backed by knowledge and an awareness of the practical realities, not hyperbole.) However, I do find the success marred by the age of the statistics in the book--it lists a 2011 publication date but most of the statistics and assessments of laws dates from the 90's. I kept wondering how/if things had changed appreciably, especially regarding the information on the regulatory environment for gun dealers and manufacturers. The afterword modestly updated it; a good prologue on the topic might have help me while reading. Still, an excellent read on a difficult topic--ignore other reviewers who denounce it as propaganda

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    propganda

    propganda

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2013

    Ayo

    Wasup da snipa here

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    Fabuless

    Never put a gun to your head. People who do that is so dum. Taking your one life , how is that going to help you. You have people who love you to much to see you die. It makes alot of sence

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2011

    :)

    This book is very inspiring, and not for one second did i stop reading ------- i suggest EVERYBODY to download this book

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2015

    I guess I have purchased my last Larson book.

    I guess I have purchased my last Larson book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Read this review

    I dont know why people whant to kill them selves i get it if u have a bad back round or are geting bullyed but u can over come that u dont have to kill urself if u are hopeless u can tun to god and tell people whats happining it saved me

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Bad

    Dont even bother reading it

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews

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