Looking for Trouble: Adventures in a Broken World by Ralph Peters
Ralph Peters--career soldier, controversial strategist, prize-winning, best-selling novelist, erstwhile rock musician, popular columnist, and old-fashioned adventurer--has always been good for a surprise. Now, for the first time, Peters recounts the personal experiences that shaped his views of the world, from the collapsing Soviet Union to the drug wars of the Andean Ridge, from quiet forays into Burma and Laos to military missions to Pakistan and the Caucasus--and on to the Southwest border of the United States and the meanest streets of Los Angeles. As the U.S. Army's chosen troubleshooter before he took off his uniform to write, Peters saw the greatest international dramas of our times and the personal tragedies they created from a truly unique perspective--and took advantage of every moment "outside of the wire." The result is startling: the liveliest adventure memoir by an American in decades, a perfect balance of high drama and laugh-out-loud hilarity. Readers--among them his many devoted fans--will meet a faded beauty and former favorite singer of Josef Stalin's, now in her nineties and still a hopeless coquette; KGB officers who refuse to let go of the past in Moscow's back streets; a winsome princess adrift in a dying world; the corrupt Thai police general whose hobby was imitating Elvis to karaoke machines in rural bordellos; sentimental Caucasian gangsters; oblivious diplomats; wary Burmese colonels; doomed Mexican drug cops; Mennonite marijuana farmers; lonesome Nazi widows in Bolivia--and their Jewish friends; Muslim fundamentalists who write love poetry to imagined sweethearts . . . and, above all, the author's two loyal brothers-in-arms who sometimes shared the dangers and the wonder at the "back of beyond" and whose remarkable personal backgrounds, dashingly eccentric personalities, and appetite for adventure explode every cliché about military officers. Beautifully written and hauntingly told, Looking for Trouble is simply the book Ralph Peters was born to write. We can all be glad that he came back alive to write it.