Book Review: All Her Father’s Guns by James Warner

Posted January 17, 2012 by Heather in Book Reviews / 3 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: All Her Father’s Guns by James WarnerAll Her Father's Guns by James Warner
Published by Vox Novus on January 2011
Genres: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Pages: 200

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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 revelations that will leave nobody's life the same.

(from the back cover)

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 political system–and pretty much everything else–can be. It also reminds us that we are human, and no matter what we believe in or how hard we work at it, we are never going to be perfect (and the more staunch/extreme our beliefs, the more room there will be for hypocrisy, which will happen). Parts made me laugh, parts made me shudder, and overall it was a decent book.

Aside from the main plot (Cal vs. Tabytha), each character also had his/her own sub-plot or backstory. This is where I think Warner could have done more with the book. There was just so much going on and I feel like so many things could have been expanded upon. Warner shoved so much into 200 pages that I think it took away from how good this book really could have been. While I generally enjoyed the story, it felt very rushed and forced in many places. Warner is a good writer and I liked his style, so I think that given a little more time and room to grow, All Her Father’s Guns could have been a much better book.

That’s not to say it isn’t worth reading, though. All Her Father’s Guns is thought-provoking. Although we are free to believe anything we’d like, to have our own opinions about things, and to voice those opinions and beliefs, this book will make people think twice about refusing to listen to what others around them are saying, or refusing to take other people’s beliefs and opinions into account. I think this book is a good lesson in how extremist views–no matter what side of the aisle they come from–can be very harmful, both to the people who hold them and also to the people on the outside whom they will affect. It’s a lesson in being a little more open-minded and accepting, and also a lesson in being careful about those skeletons people may have hiding in their closets. All Her Father’s Guns shows hypocrisy at its finest and shows how sometimes people must be forced–oftentimes through circumstances beyond their control–into seeing just how ridiculous they’ve been.

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(To learn more about James Warner, please visit his official website.)

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