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All Her Father's Guns

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  43 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Cal Lyte, a gun-loving venture capitalist, is tired of paying alimony to his ex-wife Tabytha. Plotting to blackmail her and derail her campaign for Congress, he enlists the help of their daughter's boyfriend, British academic Reid Seyton, to unearth some Lyte family secrets. But the results turn out to be more than anyone bargained for, in an escalating cycle of revelation ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Numina Press (first published January 10th 2011)
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Janine Kovac
Jul 06, 2011 Janine Kovac rated it it was amazing
I just joined goodreads specifically so that I could recommend this book. I devoured it in 3 days and bought a second copy for my dad (I don't want to lend him mine).

I love the way James Warner invented these characters that were both extreme and perfectly California--from the gun-loving Silicon Valley venture capitalist to the chain-smoking Romanian shrink (now a Berkeleyan --of *course*).

The book is told in first person--by two polar opposite characters: the aforementioned VC and a British gra
Feb 08, 2011 Alvin rated it it was amazing
This novel manages to hilariously satirize a wide number of social scenes (libertarian wing-nuts, ivory tower theory heads, Silicon Valley strivers)without ever misrepresenting them, an impressive achievement. Better yet, it combines the narrative drive of a political thriller with the psychological insight of literary fiction. Plus, Warner can turn a phrase.(I might have wished for fewer minor characters to keep track of, but that's probably just because I'm slightly brain damaged.) This is one ...more
Matt Stewart
Aug 09, 2011 Matt Stewart rated it it was amazing
Locked and loaded with precocious wit, evocative language and poignant moments, this rollicking satire hits modern society squarely in the bullseye.
Jan 12, 2012 Sophia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
All Her Father's Guns follows Cal Lyte, a Libertarian in a long-running feud with his ex-wife. When she decides to run for Congress on issues that Cal is diametrically opposed to, Cal decides to do everything he can to stop her being elected. To help him he turns to a number of people, including his daughter's British-born boyfriend, Reid.

Cal and Reid narrate alternate chapters of the novel, and have very different approaches to life. Cal is the all-American go-getter, who believes he can acheiv
Sep 21, 2011 Grady rated it it was amazing
'Do Americans talk so loudly because they're afraid God can't hear them?'

James Warner doesn't miss a beat - or any opportunity to both slyly and confrontationally present the foibles of American dynamics. Even his choice of names for his characters carry enough suggestive weight to define them even before we know who they are. The apparent 'in' for this young writer is the fact that he is British born and living in the US who has taken advantage of his bifurcated allegiance to unveil some absurd
Brianna Soloski
Dec 27, 2011 Brianna Soloski rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
All Her Father’s Guns by James Warner
190 pages
2/5 stars

All Her Father’s Guns alternately tells the stories of Cal Lyte, a gun enthusiast, and Reid Seyton, a struggling academic. Cal is tired of paying alimony to his ex-wife and wants nothing more than to derail her Congressional campaign. Reid is a post-grad student trying to survive and find a job. Cal and Reid work together to discover some family secrets that will change the lives of everyone involved.

I wanted to like this book, I really di
Dec 29, 2011 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-author
First the good news: I like the cover. It has a bit of a noir feel to it. I like the contrasting red and black, the font and text layout, and I even like the feel of the paper cover, which is thick and almost velvety. Very decadent!

Now for the bad news:

I am not a fan of this book. Quite simply, it left me confused and unsatisfied.

At nearly a quarter of the way through the book, I found myself still totally clueless over what it was about. It seemed to be just a lot of rambling minutiae about the
Ampersand Books
Oct 29, 2012 Ampersand Books rated it it was amazing
Review by Joseph Clifford

I had a writing professor who told a great story about how to write a villain. Back when he was enrolled in theater class, the day’s assignment had been to portray the bad guy. My professor set about doing the standard dastardly pantomimes—shooting snake eyes, twirling mustache, unhinged laughter—until the teacher stopped him mid-cackle. “No, no, no!” he said, “You don’t get it. The villain doesn’t know he’s a villain!”

James Warner’s All Her Father’s Guns is the story of
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Jan 31, 2012 Meg - A Bookish Affair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2012
Snappy writing and a great sense of humor are the draws for this book. The humor is not going to be for everyone (think of Chuck Palahniuk's type of humor; not for everyone but it's right down my alley) but for me, it was spot on. In fact, I would liken this book to Palahniuk's writing if he started writing about politics. Now this is a really highly honored comparison for me as I'm a huge Palahniuk fan. Warner has a great sense of humor and makes some really keen observations through his charac ...more
Judy B.
Jul 26, 2011 Judy B. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readandloved
Somehow, James Warner manages to skewer both ends of the political spectrum and mock Americans & Europeans and dim-wits & intellectuals with equal measure AND both entertains and prompts self-reflection -- all without being trite or too clever.

I laughed, I cringed, I felt sad, I felt chastened, I bit my nails, and then I laughed and nodded my head and wished I had ever written something this smart and tight. Maybe I have. Maybe it's like cooking: things taste better when someone makes t
Andrew Dugas
Mar 26, 2011 Andrew Dugas rated it really liked it
Came for the author (a friend), stayed for the increasingly awesome read.

The author successfully delivers a novel in which narrative doesn't take second place to social commentary, satire, and clever writing writing. If anything the lightness increases the impact of the emotional material. After all, the narrative takes place in 2002, after 9/11 but before the invasion of Iraq. The catalog of past and present hurt and loss is immense but not melancholy.

I found myself seeking out this book to fin
Jan 03, 2012 melydia rated it liked it
Cal is a venture capitalist obsessed with guns and hopelessly in love with his Romanian dominatrix of a therapist. Reid is a British-born graduate student in the Department of Theory at Berkeley, studying the socialogical implications of cinematical errors in Casablanca. Reid also happens to be dating Cal's daughter. In addition, Cal's ex-wife, Tabytha, is running for Congress on the ultra-crazy-conservative ticket and attempting to squeeze Cal for all he's worth. When Reid is laid off from Berk ...more
Jan 06, 2012 Heather rated it liked it
All Her Father’s Guns was funny and scary at the same time. The story takes place in the west (California, Arizona, Nevada) and is told from two alternating points of view–those of Cal and Reid. It essentially makes fun of the extremes seen everywhere in the United States, both on the left and the right: from politics, to religion, to academics, to the corporate world, no extremist view is safe from Warner’s satire and wit. All Her Father’s Guns is a (fictitious) study on just how ridiculous our ...more
Jessica Bronder
Simply put, Cal can’t stand to pay alimony to his ex-wife Tabytha. Neither of them can’ let go of the other even though they have been divorced for a while. Cal comes up with the brilliant idea to get his daughters boyfriend to dig up some dirt to mess with Tabytha’s political career.

I’m sorry to say this, but this book was not for me. Although I can agree with some of Cal’s opinions, he was just too over the top. The rest, I guess I have to admit that I don’t follow politics and who stands whe
Dec 26, 2011 Colleen rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-unowned
"...Some of the comments about the book on the back cover mention All Her Father's Guns as a satire - and I can definitely see that. It just ended up not being for me. Politics was never really my thing (and the book ended up focusing a lot more on politics than I guess I expected), I don't keep up with corporate structures, and I couldn't relate to or connect with any of the characters. I wish I had been able to get into this book, as it did pique my interest when I received the offer of it, bu ...more
Jul 18, 2013 Tatiana rated it really liked it
I enjoyed All Her Father’s Guns very much. It is well written, engaging and quite hilarious. The author created some memorable characters who are very sympathetic despite being eccentric and nutty. Many scenes are set in the Bay Area which gives this novel a local feel. It is a great satire on right-wing American politics, the gun worship and the take-no-prisoners venture capitalism of the Silicon Valley. Although I was not very keen on multiple twists and turns of the plot, I can see how other ...more
Christine Staszko
I was a little weary at the beginning of the book, but as I said, you reach a point in this book and the plot swerves on track and sets up for a great read. There are so many things that are done well in this book and there is a great story buried under an awkward start. I would definitely say that this book has some characteristics that set it apart and make it a novel worth checking out.

Check out the full review on

*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the a
Sara Habein
Feb 12, 2012 Sara Habein rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
All Her Father’s Guns is a quick bit of entertainment, one that might have been stronger with the focus given to just a few ridiculous elements, rather than a hundred. While I would not say it’s been one of my recent favorites, I still enjoyed reading it. Knowing what we do about the current election climate, the book’s election concerns are somewhat nostalgic relief.

(My full review can be found on Glorified Love Letters.)
Oct 18, 2011 Nora added it
I'm really happy to have read James' book. Clever, fast-moving satire on everything from the world of academic deconstructionist/psychoanalytic theory to Libertarians. This is a fast, enjoyable, well-written read. The publishing world is crazy--this easily could have been put out by a bigger imprint and found a wider audience. So I'll do my part in promoting it in this DIY way. I'm sticking to my new policy of not giving star ratings to books by people I know, but if you're in the mood for a fun ...more
Cary Tennis
Well, I really, heartily enjoyed this book. James Warner has a wry sense of humor and a sharp, wise take on contemporary, uh, life in the SF Bay Area and these United States, graduate school, right-wing capitalists, American mores if there is such a thing, and, uh, did I mention a very wry sense of humor? Pay attention to that wry sense of humor and you will pick it up; it might even rub off on you. To paraphrase our president: You should read this book. You should read this book now.
Dec 17, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for anyone who loves satire. Any and every subject social and political that may heat up a conversation is chewed up and spat out in this really well written story. In less than 200 pages James Warner manages what many cannot in twice as many pages.

I think it mostly came down to characters though. What I got out of it is that we may not be the way we see ourselves and some people are just bat shit crazy.
Benoit Lelièvre
Feb 01, 2012 Benoit Lelièvre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All right, this was a quirky and clever read. Pretty funny also. But the humor in ALL HER FATHER'S GUNS resides in the structure and the confrontation of ideas. It's a highly conceptual novel and therefore it's not for everybody, because the plot is really subjected to the ideas Warner gets through. I liked it. I thought humor was a very smart way of comparing academic and capitalist lifestyles, their respective strengths and weaknesses. Cal Lyte's pearls of wisdom are quite the showstopper.
Stephanie Roth
Jun 07, 2015 Stephanie Roth rated it really liked it
Great satire, the book got better and better as it progressed. I found myself laughing out loud by the end. Very refreshing and witty. Smart and well-written, it's action-packed with great twists and excellent transitions.
Dec 27, 2011 guiltlessreader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My review is on my blog Guiltless Reading.
Michelle Haupts
Michelle Haupts rated it did not like it
Jan 31, 2017
Christine rated it liked it
Aug 28, 2013
Brian rated it it was ok
Jan 07, 2012
John Lemons
John Lemons rated it it was ok
Sep 09, 2014
Maddy rated it it was ok
Sep 09, 2013
Victor rated it did not like it
Nov 26, 2011
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