review of triple-ought : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

We've had literary threads, but James Wesley, Rawles Triple Ought is a special case, so I thought I'd comment on it here. Forgive if somebody already did this a long time ago, also I know the y2k old-timers already know about this. First, location, location, location:

Comments: This book is a special case because of the fantastic wealth of completely realistic detail provided. I mean realistic, as in product names, exact numerical measurements, version numbers of equipment, etc. etc. The cause of the actual breakdown is vague: basically fractional banking collapse, could easily accomodate y2k in the mix. College friends had been living normal lives, except everybody's been contributing money for stored supplies at a communal site in Idaho. The group trains together a few weeks per year, but otherwise have semi-normal yuppie lives. When it all goes down, they attempt to get out of Dodge (basically, Chicago) and re-unite at the group homestead, which is rural acreage, fortified house, gardens, etc. Most make it, a few stragglers. They hole up there, have a few firefights, respect a totally military lifestyle discipline, eventually become a local political/militaryl force in opposing a NWO style re-gurgitated Fed government.

That's the plot, and the characters are decent but fairly wooden. But this book will tell you EVERY SINGLE DETAIL about a long-term social breakdown survival plan, including LOTS of stuff you never thought about. (hint: going to have a baby?)

For the gun nuts among us, well, let's just say this book leaves no shell unshot.

Order and enjoy,


-- Runway B. Cat (, December 05, 1998


I read the screenplay for that. I don't particularly like it; it may be detailed, but I don't think that that kind of detail is what a movie audience wants.

It's also too Christian for my tastes. It's the kind of thing that IMO would go down well with the Gary North crowd, but as a film it wouldn't be so good; it pushes Christianity a little too hard. For instance, the scene at the end.

And there's not enough action. For it to be a good movie, the audience would really have to care about the characters. That just doesn't happen.


-- Leo (, December 05, 1998.

I should have clarified, my comments were about the full novel, which is the most amazing collection of completely useful survival information anywhere. Not really for entertainment, for survival instruction.

I was not referring to the screenplay.


-- runway cat (, December 05, 1998.

Skimmed it. It's a fantasy; a survivalist's wet-dream.

Apparently some folks buy a lot of expensive survival equipment, learn how to use it, & dream of that sweet day when not only will they get to use their stuff in real life, but, as an extra big bonus, everyone who hasn't done the same will die miserably! How simply wonderful. You're alive & thriving because you spent all your waking hours & extra money preparing for Armageddon, while those other dumb schmucks, who did nothing but play video games or watch sports on TV, are dead or dying.

And now you can re-build society the way YOU want to, because all the rot of society has been purged.

Wow. What an eye-opener that book was. Things are even worse than I thought.

-- Ben Dair (done that) (, December 06, 1998.

I read the first few chapters of Triple Ought, skimmed some of the rest, quit about the time they had the run-in with the cannibals. This was (perhaps) an early version, so long ago that the site is Number Four on my very long Favorites list and long overdue to be removed. Maybe Rawlins has improved it since then. To be honest, RC, I wasn't impressed by either the book or Rawlins. It may be semi-instructional, but as literature it sucks large amounts of hot wind, IMHO. Very much a survivalist's firepower fantasy, and one that is applicable to almost no one on this board. Lucifer's Hammer; Alas, Babylon; and Carla Emery's homesteading Bible have more plot and lots more information. A Heinlein book, Tunnel in the Sky, also has some excellent advice on staying alive in a harsh and hostile environment. ---------- Sounds harsh, on rereading the above, and I don't want you to take this as a personal flame, RC, because it isn't. But I honestly believe the book doesn't hold up in the long run. Read Alas Babylon -- written in the late 50s-early 60s about nuclear war, and still so well regarded that it's not only still in print but also still on the shelves at most large bookstores.

-- JDClark (, December 06, 1998.

JDClark, you make some excellent points. I've actually all the books you cited. My only take was, isn't Lucifer's Hammer even more of a fantasy ? With less realistic detail ? Plenty of firefights there, too, with the cannibal army and all. I did think that T.O. had more realistic detail to at least consider. But, as they say "one man's meat is another man's poison" :)


-- run way cat (, December 06, 1998.

RC: You're right about Lucifer's Hammer; I'd forgotten some of violence. Still better written, though, IMHO. Alas Babylon is better than both, yet has so much less violence in it. Maybe it reflects the growing taste for adrenalin over brains in action fiction in the years since AB was written :)

-- jdclark (, December 07, 1998.

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