Book Review: Fistful of Reefer

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Well, there are good things and bad things about going on a trip. One of the bad is a not so constant Internet connection, but it sure does not outweigh the nice fact that I can read all I want. Speaking of which, I mentioned a few times that I was asked by two people if I was interested in reading and reviewing their books. Two have been covered out of those three titles and only one remains. Today, I will be reviewing the last of those books, which is called Fistful of Reefer by David Mark Brown.

Texas is not a peaceful place. Many people hate each other, but that is not what McCutchen, a Texas ranger, is after. Rumors have been going around about el Chupacabra attacking goats and it being guarded by a Mexican and two Indian witch doctors. Although not interested in finding the Chupacabra, he investigates anyway because he wants to stop the distribution of Marijuanna. As a result, this causes a Mexican known as Chancho and his friends to go on the run. Now, that a cat and mouse game has ensued, Chancho must either stay ahead or be captured by McCutchen.

I am not too sure about this one. I cannot really say that I hated it though. The parts with action were certainly fast paced and exciting. Of course, that should be a given because I doubt anybody would like to see a slow paced action. I also liked how Chancho, who is the main focus of the book, developed throughout the book. At first, he thought that dreams of freedom could be gained without major sacrifice, but in the end he learned that nothing could be done without sacrifice. Funny thing to me is that this seems to be the same message that Edward Elric learns in Full Metal Alchemist after he defeats Father and gets Alphonse back. Unfortunately, it is a truth of this world that many do acknowledge. After all, people do not get that every hardship that they are presented is a lesson in some way. Other than the character development he went through, I also liked how Chancho cared about his friends more than himself. It seems that this is very rare in our own society, where people are more concerned with their own desires than the needs of others. McCutchen was another interesting character. He wants to rid Texas of marijuana, but he uses the stuff himself, which he acknowledges. It is funny how he is a hypocrite in that respect. On the other hand, I do not really think that there is one genuine person in the world. We judge others whether or not it is our place to do so and politicians of all political affiliations tend to over promise and under deliver. Outside of those, I cannot really think of much else to add. The character development, the fast paced action, and the fact that there is a hypocritical character certainly are pluses in the book.

Although the book was nice for its character development and fast paced action, there were certainly some issues. First, I could not really picture anything in this book. It could be that the author has left a lot up to the imagination, but I felt like there were not enough details to help draw the scenes that the author put into the book. Part of the escape from reality that books provide is the fact that enough detail is around to help us draw the image. I just do not see that here. Another thing that annoyed me was that the book felt like it was drawn out. Now, it certainly was not as bad as The Book Thief, but I felt like dropping this from my reading list, as the author suggested if I did not like it, but I prefer to at least give the benefit of the doubt. Besides, almost everyone in the US has read The Great Gatsby, which I consider one of the worst, if not the worst, books ever written, so I can force myself through bad books, like I did for The Book Thief. However, narrator issues are not the problem here, like it was for The Book Thief. At the same time, I cannot precisely pinpoint the exact cause of this feeling. The major problem with this book though is grammar and other writing issues. Throughout the course of the book, I found instance where the wrong word was used and there were words that should have been there. This has caused me a bit of trouble reading through this because things just did not make sense. Another issue I found was that there was at least one instance where there was an unnecessary word. When Chancho was in a cave, he became self-conscious of his appearance and the author wrote down that he was bedraggled and dirty. According to my dictionary, bedraggled means dirty and disheveled. If that is the case, then dirty is not necessary in that sentence. I also noticed that the writer had instances of sites when he should have had sights. Now, you guys may think I am nitpicking this one, but there is a difference in definition of the spellings, just like there, their, and they're. Site refers to a place. Sight, on the other hand, refers to what we see or our ability to see. Another writing issue I found was naming problems. In one instance, the author went back and forth between Nena and Nina. Now, this was not as bad as what happened in Invisible Dawn, but it definitely leads to some confusion. Considering that she is introduced as Nena though and that is the name she is called throughout most of the text, it is clear that her name is Nena. Considering that this only happened once, I think that this is most likely a typo. Outside of those issues and annoyances though, I cannot think of anything else bad about this book. While the slow pace made this not so great, the biggest issues with this book are the writing and grammar issues.

Despite the writing and grammar issues and the possibly slow pacing, this was not a bad read. I would recommend this book to those that are fans of action. As for everyone else, I am not too sure if I would recommend this book, but if given the choice between The Book Thief and this book, this would certainly be the best choice.

What are your though on Fistful of Reefer? Do you agree or disagree with my views? Do you have anything to add? Feel free to comment.

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