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Unintended Consequences

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  473 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Unintended Consequences is a novel by John Ross, first published in 1996 by Accurate Press. The story chronicles the history of the gun culture, gun rights, and gun control in the United States from the early 1900s through the late 1990s. Although clearly a work of fiction, the story is heavily laced with historical information, including real-life historical figures who p ...more
Paperback, 863 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Accurate Press (first published September 1st 1995)
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Nov 02, 2009 Kiri rated it liked it
Finally finished this doorstop! And my wrists will never be the same... (from holding it up, natch).

This review will most likely be a work-in-progress, as such a massive tome deserves a detailed review.

First comments: it is very readable, despite the obsessive detail about gun makes, models, bullet sizes and construction, and shooting techniques. I actually found all that stuff quite interesting despite my complete lack of experience with it... although I eventually stopped trying to visualize
Aug 15, 2007 Nathaniel rated it it was amazing
Almost 900 pages, and I read this in less than a week. Excellent combination of historical fiction and political thriller, this work chronicles the deterioration of gun rights in the United States by following a family through the 20th century. Included are detailed fictionalized accounts of the Ruby Ridge massacre, the FBI shootout in Miami in 1986, and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of World War II. The book then moves to the present day, describing a rouge government agency that attempts to crimi ...more
Doran Barton
Mar 20, 2012 Doran Barton rated it it was amazing
"Unintended Consequences" by John Ross is a scary, scary book. It's frightening partly because while the book is a work of fiction, so much of the story is based in actual history. There's surprising amount of actual true stories in this novel, a lot of it stories most of us haven't heard before.

Did you know admired military men President Eisenhower, General MacArthur and General Patton participated in an operation in 1933 where they led troops against American citizens in the US and many innoc
Vania Melamed
Aug 12, 2010 Vania Melamed rated it really liked it
Expertly written and as detailed as if it actually happened, this book tells what it would be like if our American government enjoyed absolute power over its citizens. But does... The author is a little neurotic, but I can see how the events are probable, and the scary thing is if I read this now that Obama is president, much of the political strategies are currently in use. It was before its time.
Jan 18, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing epic story. I have read this about 3 times now and each time it gets better and better. Am amazing look at what can happen to freedoms and liberty when you are too busy paying attention to what doesn't really matter.
I wish I could convince the author to release it again. It is getting hard to find and I would love to give it as a gift to about 30 people!!!!!
Apr 17, 2013 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-twice
If America doesn't change course this will happen the tree of liberty is looking thirsty.
Mar 14, 2010 Uriah rated it it was amazing
Next to the Bible - this is the book that will most change your life.
Krys Gut
Jan 25, 2012 Krys Gut rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This book is unlike any I have read. The author introduces the book by saying it is a book of fiction, however, many of the early storyline is taken from actual events, but with fiction woven around it.

The book provides an impressive history of firearms, an array of technical jargon on guns, a lesson in the evils of governments trying to suppress an individual's right to bear arms (Second Amendment), and at the end an escapist adventure story which will really goes off the deep end.

Sep 16, 2010 wally rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ross
excellent story about the gun culture. ross begins by covering a number of historical events and eventually picks up the pace by following a kid, henry, who from a young age develops an honest interest in all things guns.

things turn political, as they have a way of doing, and the action unfolds. there's a time or two when justice is delivered to those deserving w/o benefit of that long drawn-out process that eventually results in the bad guys walking out, redeemed (not), and free to go and sin s
Nov 06, 2012 Andy rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, even if you don't totally agree with the message and political leanings. I'm not a pro-gun person but neither am I anti-gun. I do believe this is an area where the government has taken a very heavy handed approach, perhaps with good intent but "unintended consequences". This book provides a very interesting history from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of World War II to Ruby Ridge to Waco to the Weaver incident and more. The facts are well represented with a decidedly pro-gun bent. Al ...more
Aug 21, 2011 Shooterbob rated it really liked it
I actually read it, loaned it to a friend and then have just finished it again when I got it back. While there are explicit language and sexual elements it was not too terrible a read. I did feel at times it was a bit slow moving, but the history is important to the story and overall motivation of the story. While another reviewer said that the Branch Davidians were being investigated for other crimes other than the $200 tax, the authority of the agents who arranged that raid was strictly limite ...more
Jan 25, 2009 Zinger rated it really liked it
Shelves: pre-2004
This was a really good, thought provoking book that I often think about today. The first part of the book has an excellent review of gun control laws. Then the story line and the revolution are so believable.

I didn't give it the 5th star due to the couple of x-rated parts. If it wasn't for those, I would buy my own copy and several others to pass out.

Made me want to raise hogs.
Jul 16, 2010 Rebecca rated it did not like it
On the recommendation of a friend, I tried. Really. I made it more than halfway through. The paranoia was just too thick for me to slog through it any longer. Some of the history was reasonably readable, though the bent was obvious. The fiction was atrocious.
Amber Cox
Nov 17, 2012 Amber Cox rated it really liked it
This book will give you an interesting and detailed point of view of why guns are actually a good thing. Even if you aren't pro-guns this is a good read.
Aug 04, 2008 Ben rated it really liked it
For all of the 2nd Amendment libertarian folks out there, not for the faint of heart! All bacon & eggs; no hummus, beware.
Jun 10, 2015 Birq rated it did not like it
I don't know that much about the author, but I can tell you two things for sure. 1) He has never met an editor. 2) He has never asked himself, "is this passage necessary for the story?"

When I read a book, I give the author a good deal of leeway as a matter of course. I take it as given that he or she knows how to write and understands the storytelling process. I assume that they would only include passages that are relevant to the story. I assume that they aren't wasting my time. I only made it
Aug 08, 2012 cover72 rated it liked it
This book really comprises of four; and it is divided so.
First three books I really enjoyed, for they were nice and captivating story of almost ordinary Americans, who just happen to be shooters like me. Historical events depicted here and there are scary; many historical misconceptions get shaky; and every reader finishes them being a little more wiser about important turns of events in history, beginnig with Warzsaw ghetto uprising and ending with - to my generation - little known betrayal of
Sep 23, 2008 Greg rated it really liked it
This is a politically incorrect story about gun control out of control. Disclaimer: I enjoy and occasionally even agree with some libertarian fiction, and if politically incorrect, that's just an added bonus. Like most fictional adventure stories, this one is often unbelievable. However, unlike most novels involving guns, Ross' knowledge of firearms and related topics is quite strong. The story is gripping, and moves quickly from page to page. In particular, the sequences involving marksmanship, ...more
Jason William
Aug 25, 2014 Jason William rated it it was amazing
Unintended Consequences is part documentary, part editorial, part fact and part fiction. This book educated me; I found myself looking up several of the historical events and points it discusses to learn more about them. It challenged me; I've assumed and trusted far more than I should have. And it scared me...

You don't have to be a gun nut or a member of the "gun culture" to get something from or enjoy this work. You just have to be willing to critically think as you read.

By the way, who wrote
Prattle On, Boyo
May 17, 2013 Prattle On, Boyo rated it really liked it
Unintended Consequences tends to dispell the myth of gun nut conspiracy theorists, and, contrary to popular groupthink, gun control is *not* about safety, it's about the politics of the gun - Who gets to arm himself and who gets to negate it. The U.S. government has long been an egregious oppressor of lawful citizen activity and one need not be a member of the gun culture or a militia to see that. Take one long, wide eyed open look at history. Heck, start by reading this book. It's worth it.
Tim H
Mar 18, 2011 Tim H rated it it was amazing
Long and drawn out at times. However, stick with it. If you are in any way associated with the gun culture then you will appreciate this book on some level. They're really getting rare though.
Dec 02, 2011 Corey rated it really liked it
Excellent book. I've owned this book for over 10 years, and have read it several times. The history is fascinating, and the storyline is compelling.
Sep 07, 2007 Dogette marked it as to-read
Always wanted to read this one. Which is why it's now on my "to-read" list.
Dave Jewett
Oct 04, 2016 Dave Jewett rated it it was amazing
Massive amount of detailed information on firearms. And a great story. I've read it twice - it's large.
Nov 19, 2014 Shane rated it did not like it
The book is a character study of one of the most prolific and bloodthirsty serial killers in modern American fiction: Henry Bowman.

It is painfully clear that this is Mr Ross’ first novel. He lacks a natural ear for dialogue. His narrative style tends towards sprawl to the degree that it makes Tom Clancy's style seem as economical as that of Joseph Conrad by comparison. His decision to employ the Unreliable Narrator was a bold choice. But the Unreliable Narrator is a challenge for even the most
Apr 15, 2014 Yougo rated it really liked it
A very disturbing yet interesting read. The first two-thirds of the books takes the reader through 60 years of history and spends considerable time detailing governmental abuses from various governmental agencies (most especially the ATF). I learned a lot about situations that I know the name of but nothing more (i.e. Waco, Ruby Ridge) and learned of many more instances of governmental abuse of authority (to the point of killing people). From what I can research, most of what happens in the hist ...more
Jan 02, 2013 Jake rated it it was amazing
This book is the ultimate gun rights masterpiece! It's a work of historical fiction, as seen through the eyes of a gun-owning family. The first 2/3 of the book is nonfiction, setting up the final third of the book. In that final third, a group of people who were targeted by the ATF decide that they've had enough of unconstitutional stormtroopers riding roughshod over American citizens, and engage in a public and vocal assassination campaign against unlawful government agencies.

...Intense! ...Rea
Peter Sripinyo
A large part of this novel is historical fiction, a retelling of firearms related events in American history from the perspective of someone deep into the gun culture. At it's heart, Ross's work is a cautionary tale about the perils of allowing a government to take away the right to bear arms. It's very relevant to what's happening in the country as I write this.

Those looking for a roller coaster ride of an action-thriller will be, for the most part, disappointed. Those who enjoy the slower pace
Tommy Attaway
Dec 11, 2015 Tommy Attaway rated it it was amazing
Shelves: political
This is the book that led to an entire genre of fiction based on the notion of a federal government usurping the Constitution and the reaction that ensues on the part of the population. This well researched work is the story of the gun culture in the United States in the 20th Century. The fictional part of the book posits the reaction of that gun culture to a government that de facto repeals the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

If one concept explains the actions of the main characters,
Aaron Dietz
Sep 07, 2014 Aaron Dietz rated it liked it
The historical parts were fascinating, and the feats of marksmanship were nicely described. There were parts that lost me (paragraph-upon-paragraph about technical details related to guns) and at times I wanted more from the quality of the writing, though it's fair to say that at times the characterizations and plotting were good--at the same time, there were times when they failed.

I perhaps would have rather read a completely-historical book by the same author, or likewise would have rather rea
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politics 1 15 Feb 17, 2009 02:27PM  
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John Ross is an investment broker and financial adviser in St. Louis, Missouri. He has degrees in English and Economics from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Mr. Ross is a certified personal protection instructor, and the author of Self-Defense Laws and Violent Crime Rates in the United States, which was the first published work to empirically assess the effect of concealed-carry laws on
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“The downside to gun control is genocide.” 7 likes
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