Tag Archives: humor

This Page Intentionally Left Blank FM 101 – Knuckleheads

This Page Intentionally Left Blank FM 101 – Knuckleheads by Raymond Jones

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Genre: Military Humor/Satire

Rating: **** Four Stars

Pages: 150

Veteran Author: Yes, Still Active Duty, Army

Availability:

Kindle: YES Nook: No Smashwords: NO Paperback: YES

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Author:
“Soldiers – A bunch of folks think they know one. Only a Soldier can truly know a Soldier. A Soldier is always the hero of his own story. I have never heard a Soldier telling a story say, ‘Hey I’m the knucklehead who did…’ This is a collection of stories from the first half of my 25 year career serving with the United States Army. I started out as a Private in basic training in 1989 and will end up retiring as a Major in 2014.
My career has spanned four different decades and I have seen the Army “cycle” at least three times. Along the way, I ran into thousands of folks some good, some not so good. All the stories contained with the confines of this book are at least partly true. By ‘partly true’ I mean, the stories are grounded in fact…with a little country boy embellishment added for flavor. The intent of this book is for pure entertainment value. It is not intended to embarrass or humiliate anyone. This is my-story not history. This book is basically memoirs of my time in the military – stretched a bit (or a lot in some cases). I took the basis of truth and added a little country boy charm. The book is fiction as my-story, in my opinion, is more interesting than history.”

Description:
“This is the original FM (Field Manual) on Knuckleheads. It contains more than forty-five different knee slapping stories about my life in the army as an enlisted soldier, an ROTC cadet, and an officer through my first deployment to Iraq in 2003. In my twenty-five years of military service, I ran into all sorts of characters from all over the world and all walks of life. I feel honored to have known most of the people I met. So, what we have here is “mystory,” not history. The intent is to entertain, educate (loosely), or illuminate folks. I hope you enjoy my view of life! “

My Two Cents:

I expected just a random collection of Army jokes, but was surprised to find a lot more. This is a fairly serious study of leadership in general. About how corrosive and counterproductive poor managers are to any organization, but how a few true leaders can turn the tide.

The whole tale is much more serious and complicated than, I think, even the author intended. And not in a grim way. The focus isn’t on combat, but on “Big Army,” and those soldiers trying to survive it. Or, as is too often the case, those thriving in that senseless environment!

While civilians might only snicker at the humor, vets and active duty folk will slap their knee laughing! All in all, a good read and I hope part of a continuing series.

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Falling Up by Brian Bromberg

Falling Up by Brian Bromberg

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Genre: Literary Fiction/Humor

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Estimated word count: 392,000

Availability:

Kindle: YES Nook: No Smashwords: NO Paperback: Yes

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Author:

“BRIAN J. BROMBERG is a comedic writer living and working in New York City. He has penned several children’s television episodes, a children’s movie, a video game and app, live event scripts, educational materials, and over 13 children’s books. His diverse, often juvenile experience has given him much grist for the mill in his more life-lampooning, adult-oriented work, which has been featured in Lessons from Dad, After Hours and Inked! magazines, and in various stand-up comedy performances in Manhattan. Bromberg is a committed and loving father to a little girl who never fails to inspire him and make him smile on a daily basis.”

Description:

“Gregg Freeman is living the American Dream … in reverse.

For he can’t be the Great American Writer of his dreams unless he feels sufficiently tormented enough to have something to say.

But that’s his problem. He’s too comfortable to have anything to say. Instead, he’s got a high paying corporate day job, a sexy pseudo-girlfriend, a posh New York City apartment, and as such, complete and total Writer’s Block.

So when his best friend Alvaro drunkenly suggests the Muse of Misery best inspires artists, Gregg takes him at his word, embarking upon a systematic campaign to destroy everything in life that has plagued him with stability, comfort, contentedness, or joy. His job? His bank account? Sex? Sobriety? All of it must go. The worse his life, the better his work.

But how far will Gregg allow himself to fall so that his creativity may rise? Pretty damned far, as it turns out. For it’s hard to hit rock bottom when you believe you’re Falling Up.”

My Two Cents:

I was pretty skeptical of this “literary humor” book at first, but the author doesn’t take himself as seriously as I expected. For a tale about wannabe artists in New York, their trials and tribulations were actually relatable to normal folk. Reminds me of the biblical story of Job… just with a little more cocaine and sex!

The hero is so self-involved that he’s his own vicious antagonist. I’m not sure if it was intended or not, but I found myself loathing the main character and loving the sidekicks. Either way, these characters will suck you in. Whether laughing or annoyed, you have no chance of staying emotionally disconnected here!

By the way, loved the twist ending. It’s rare that a book takes me by complete surprise, so well done!

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