... Is very good indeed
His nostalgic tales of hot-rodding and high-schooling in the '50s are like riding in a cherry 1957 Corvette. Imagine cruising through your favorite old haunts - and nothing has changed. There's the patch of rubber you laid last weekend with your new Goodyears. The radio is playing all your favorite songs by the Everly Brothers and the Four Tops. That's it - a four-barrel, fuel injected time machine. You can almost smell the high-octane fuel, burning rubber and Brylcreem. That's Chuck Klein's writing. He has the gift to take you back to the bleachers of your teen years.
But then there is the Chuck Klein that has flashing gumballs on the roof, a wailing siren and a police-pursuit big block V-8. The same guy who evaded the cops while street racing, eventually became one and saw the same picture from the other side of the frame. What's it like for a cop to roll in the dirt, trying to arrest a bigger, stronger man, lose his gun, get shot and shoot back? Klein tells us in gripping, gritty detail
There's another Chuck Klein in an unmarked car - a private detective. And there's the Chuck Klein today, who looks a lot like the old hot-rodder and drives a very nice old El Camino because anything new off the assembly line would be missing an important part - soul
But Chuck Klein is not a Corvette or a cop car. He's a man. By the old-school definition. A guy who can do things. Build a car. Race it. Fix it when it breaks. Take a wild and reckless risk and laugh about it later. Wear a gun. Handle it properly and use it if he has to.
He has strong opinions about the way the world should work, based on experience and hard-earned knowledge, not flimsy feelings.
All this makes him stand out in a traffic jam of men who are as about as exciting as the cars they drive that look like shiny new appliances with random numbers and letters on the side where it used to say Bel Air, Thunderbird or Fury
There are still plenty of men like that around. But their kind is endangered, like the old pre-muscle cars they used to drive and still love. And very few among that few can tell the story. Chuck Klein can write. He can make a story sing like tires on a wet highway. He can take you around a corner on two wheels, or just cruise slowly through a Big Boy parking lot, circa 1957
Take a ride with him. You won't be sorry.
from the Foreword, by
Peter Bronson, former Cincinnati Enquirer columnist,
now contributing editor for Cincy Magazine.
|Publisher:||Science & Humanities Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)|
About the Author
To come up with the selections for The Best of Chuck Klein the author had to wade through a collection of writing samples greater by far than that produced by the most proficient of writers. That's because Chuck Klein has lived a fuller life than most authors and those life experiences have produced volumes of adventures, opinions, reminiscences and astute observations that cry out to be compiled in a "best of" edition.
Now a fulltime author, Klein is a retired licensed private investigator, a former certified police officer and firefighter, a firearms editor, street rod columnist, former staff instructor for the Tactical Defense Institute, Bill of Rights columnist, and security columnist.
Klein built his own car at the age of 15 and can set-up and operate milling machines, metal working lathes and other machine tools. He earned a Bachelor of Laws in 1972 and has been listed in Who's Who in America for 13 years. He is a member and past president of Kiwanis Club of Cincinnati, an active member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors.
Author of The Best of Chuck Klein, his books include: The Badge, stories and tales from both sides of the law; Laws and Ideas; truths and observations; Guns in the Workplace, a manual for private sector employers and employees; The Power of God, a novel exposing a de facto hole in America's civil defense; Klein's CCW Handbook, a requisite for those carrying concealed handguns; The Way It Was, nostalgic tales of hot rods and romance; Klein's Uniform Firearms Policy, a manual for private detectives and security guards; Circa 1957, the coming of age in '57 - girls, cars, and rock and roll; Instinct Combat Shooting, defensive hand gunning for police; and Lines of Defense, police ideology and the constitution.
Klein and wife Annette have five children and 10 grandchildren and live on a 125-acre farm in Brown County, Ohio, and in a row house in downtown Cincinnati.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The writing in this book was strong. I liked some of the stories, but not others, which is typical of a book of short stories.
In his book, he Best of Chuck Klein, the author covers such a variety of topics that for the ordinary reader, there is bound to be some story, essay, opinion or comment of his that stands out as captivating reading. In particular, I liked his early on story that tells how he learned to drive a semi by the seat of his pants. I can identify with this story because when I first graduated from high school, I worked for Kraft Food Company in Pittsburgh’s Strip-district. There, I had to bring huge rigs from the truck lot, back them into a bay at the other end of the building, and wash them. Good grief, Chuck Klein, you had guts! So when Klein describes climbing behind the wheel of a huge 18-wheeler and learning how to shift, double clutch, downshift, up shift, and split shift, I knew exactly what he was talking about, especially when he described backing huge trailers against a narrow dock. I cannot imagine his terror at the sound of the air pressure relief valve popping off, and he thinking it was a severed brake line (84) From his earliest days, Klein was obsessed with automobiles, particularly ones he rebuilt into sleek hotrods. His facts about rebuilding them were often beyond my knowledge of automobile engines. Yet, for young men who grew up during the Klein era, knowing about sparkplugs, carburetors, points, condensers, timing guns, not to mention changing brakes and oil, was truly the manly thing to talk about—that and/or sports. In The Best of Chuck Klein, I learned a lot about law, particularly about how officers are taught to think. It is encouraging to know Klein believes that the possession of a firearm for protection is on the right side of the law and might make a lot of people who could become victims, such as the elderly, feel less threatened as they grow older and weaker (like this writer). It is also great to know that Klein does not feel our Constitution gives people the right to possess the same assault weapons carried on the battlefield. On page 235, Klein states: “Somewhat over 3000 years ago, God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses.” I then assumed he would use the dictum “Thou shalt not kill” as a lead-in to his short essay, “Whose God?” I—stopped—reading. At first, I took this as a factual statement showing Klein’s religious belief, and it bothered me, because personally, I’m not a believer that God wrote down, or inspired people to write down for him, the words in the Bible. One of the Ten Commandments forbids killing, and clearly, thought I, the angry Old Testament God told his people to plunder and kill in order to occupy Canaan Valley. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until later that I resumed reading. On the very next page (236) I realized Chuck Klein had made the statement so he could then poke fun at it. “… why would He (God) urge the slaughter of His own making?” The book The Best of Chuck Klein is a good read for anyone who enjoys a multitude of topics that can be read over a period of several days without losing interest. His stories are short and to the point always resulting in some kind of unforgetable flourish. I particularly enjoyed Klein’s take on the Constitution, “heroic” (146) police and detective work in general. But there was one issue that seemed to contradict Klein’s belief in law and order. Early on, he talks about the cars he turned into supercars—those that could easily maintain his personal 90 miles per hour highway speed limit. He talks about the times police gave chase and tricks he used to escape them. He tells how he hooked up each tail light to a dashboard switch, so that when chased at night, he could turn off one light to fool pursuing police into thinking they were chasing the wrong vehicle—the one with two taillights must have turned at the last intersection. This may seem like a very minor point, but after Klein’s rigorous diet of Law and Order, I’m sure he feels differently today about the Rules of the Road and some of the dangerous stunts he wrote about. If you want a book that will jangle your thinking, one you can read in several sittings without losing your curiosity, get a copy of The Best of Chuck Klein. It will provide much chow for thought. T
Author Provides the Chance to Relive the Pleasure of Emerson The art of essay writing has declined greatly since Ralph Waldo Emerson but this literary practice experienced resurgence in 2013 with the publication of “The Best of Chuck Klein” published by Science Humanities Press. This collection of essays, opinion pieces and other literary jewels is an eclectic collection of the author’s best writing of the half-million plus words he has written about car stories, life experiences, police science, political thought, unique theories, personal creeds and belief systems. Klein’s writings are based on his personal life experiences as a gardener, semi-truck driver, traveling salesman, purchasing agent, manufacturing plant manager, police officer, volunteer firefighter, licensed private investigator, columnist, editor, free-lance writer, photographer, farm manager, and police firearms instructor. Klein, author of 10 books, is a lifetime writer who is best known for Circa 1957 that became a hot cult book favorite among hot rod enthusiasts and for his most popular and top selling book, Instinct Combat Shooting, a highly-used text for police academies and firearms instructors. Examples of the author’s crisp writing are: “America is not a democracy it is a republic. A democracy is where a nation is governed by the concept of majority rules. In a true democracy the people decide all issues by whatever the majority wishes” and “The root of the race issue can be boiled down to one word: assimilation. Those who fail to assimilate, to meld into the melting pot, are doomed to being the outcast.” And about Americans Klein writes: “Ideas are the backbone of America. American ingenuity, creativity and inventiveness are the threads of life that continue to weave new products, new concepts and better ways of doing almost everything. Ideas are what this country is all about. From the idea of an individual's freedom guaranteed by a constitution to the idea of a "better mouse trap," Americans propagate creativity.” I have not enjoyed reading essays that much since I feasted on the writings of Emerson but reading “The Best of Chuck Klein” allowed me to relive that pleasant literary experience of years ago.