A short review of the book Unintended Consequences

Review by Thomas The Tinker

A short review of the book “Unintended Consequences” by John Ross, c/r. 1995 Accurate Press. 861 pages. ( Note: This posting is in no way in fact, inferred, or implied to be a submission in MD’s contest! )

This tome came with a dust cover depicting a swat clad fella man… handeling Lady Liberty… the poor lady was in the midst of a wordrobe malfuncition. Rather tacky dust ‘cover’ on this book. But I would be the last to judge a book by… a tacky dust cover, so I threw it out and took a dive into this one.

What turned out to be the ‘Hook’ in this work for me is page 9s “Author’s Note – A warning and Disclaimer”. It sounded rather trite and hype until I finished on page 861. I had no idea how this work would draw me into it. John Ross (here after, JR) ties “Unintended Consequences” together with a well done mix of historical fact. JR builds fictional characters around the personas of people we all have known in our lives both present and past. His License in this is never poorly done and only enhances the reader’s view of the true person’s character to the reader. Adolph Topperwein and his wife Plinky, the Bowmans, Irwin and Magda Mann, the who’s who of Guns and Ammo lore. So many others you will, at times, be amazed at how the time lines of history are peopled by those you yourself remember. JR takes the reader all over the United States and parts of Europe while connecting the ‘dots’ for you in ways that make you feel … sense .. that you have been there… done that. JR’s work will quickly make you that ‘Fly on the Wall’.

We all have mental ‘triggers’ that send our ‘mind’s eye’ back to places and events. Smells, sounds, sights ‘trigger’ real time emotion in us all. For me, it is the smell of wet… new cut grass or the sounds of rain in the trees. Poof … it is a time not long enough ago in a ‘galaxy’ not far enough away with the crackle of small arms fire and bad fitting.. damp.. green cloths. Think through your life … what are your ‘triggers’? JR has a knack for prose that flash you back even if it only the history that you… have… read. As I wrote above, couple that with his blend of people you do know… and you quickly begin to live inside this story.

Do be warned that JR has included more than enough gratuitous sex in this book. Am I to old and boring… or was it too much… you decide. These injections of sex seem more like commercial breaks than plot line and are one of two things that mar this books continuity. JR does get rather ‘preachy’ when he covers a point of view… opinion. Not as prolific as Ayn Rand’s philosophy, but you’ll see what I mean. Oh… that was the other one.

Many a short chapter is more instructional that prose. Page 479 and the story of “Joe Columbo’s attempted murder”. Irwin Mann and his actions in the Warsaw Ghetto. The FBI shoot out with Michael Platt and Matix. There is a problem here for me as I could go on… and on with these examples. You will be able to take a name and date and Google more information than I (for one) know any ‘right thinking bureaucrat’ would care to have you know. I always read a book once for affect and twice for detail. If it is that good a work I take my tabs and highlighters to the couch with it the third time. My shelf copy resembles a Pharmacy Majors Organic Chemistry text. I was asked to loan it to a work mate … I bought a second copy and the fella didn’t return it. I have picked up a hard to find and pricey third copy and have loaned this one to the point of ‘Dog Eared’ condition.

I get excited about any work that ‘excites’ the mind and stimulates conversation … otherwise left to ‘myself’… or with my special friend. That is to say conversations far… far right of political correctness. This book by John Ross is not something you would want found on your slush pile should the Federalies kick in your door. This book has an unbleached bias with regard to the gun culture and the role of Government in our lives. This work has had “Unintended Consequences” in my thinking. This work IS considered Sedition by a good number of the Federal Agencies and Departments depicted in its 681 pages. If you doubt my ‘warning’ then read up and I’ll be happy to discuss any suggestions, comments, questions or death threats you may care to tender. Another Warning here. Current copies are listed at over $700.oo new and nearly $300.oo used.

One really must ask themselves why this is? You will have to hit the shows or the web to find one……….. unless… and finally.. I get my ‘loaner’ back.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. I enjoyed the book, as have the number of friends who have borrowed it. Being relatively hard to come by, this is one volume I keep track of. At one point it was even available in e-book format.

  2. Charlie (NC) says:

    One question. Why did you review a book that is 17 years old and
    apparently out of print?

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Sir .. in NC: I know you have heard the old acorn .. “Truth is stranger than Fiction..” Technology ages. Collective morality of every society evolves as ‘they’ are all heaped in the social blender of this media .. air travel .. exchange studies .. outsourcing……. eck! I believe we can all learn something by comparing and contrasting the ‘excepted’ standards as writin in the time and plot line. I am not trying to be abstract here. If there is much to learned by the study of history … there is much to be learned about ourselves by how we characterized ‘ourselves’ in the past. The evolution of the ‘accepted’ action and reaction of the characters is instructive. Compare “Alas Babalon” to the accepted actions of those in “… Hammer” to those taken as normal in “Unintended…” fast forward to what we all expect a character to do in “Lights Out”. I must be driving you nuts by now……… Rhetorical Q here: How many times have we all told ourselves .. “You’ll never catch me doing that again.” or words to that effect.

      • charlie (NC) says:

        My only point is that the book is not available for us to read.
        I liked your review and the book sounds like a good and valuable read but with Amazon showing 3 copies at over 300 bucks each I don’t think many of us can act based on your otherwise fine review.

        • charlie (NC);

          Not user if I can get this done, but I have a .PDF copy of the book. Will try to get it posted through M.D.

  3. Holy! I think I have a copy unread on the shelf!

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Paco and NC: Holly Crappolla is right….. to answer NC’s second Q: The Market decided the current price of that book based on availability. Can you think of any publisher that would … if HLS would let them … publish something like this today? At current demand based on the ‘market’ price alone…. Mr. Ross could count on a best seller. If a publisher cut the price by 90% they could count on a nice limited second run and a paper back i$$ue that would be a prepper stable. Now then… The Patriot Act. The NDAA. Nosey biased leftwingnuts. Some body doing a copy cat act as depickted in the book. The fact that any three universities in the United States turn out more law school graduates each year …. than the rest of the ‘World’ combined. I.E. the 100% chance of some litigation based on this book being on the shelf

      !Paranoia Alert! Now a Movie deal………? Does anybody remember what the Feds DID to W. W. Johnstone for getting his series published? He had to literally …. in the last book of the “Ashes” set … bury Benny Raines 10 feet deep along with his Chicago Piano. Johnstone’s work actually started a movement in the United States. Can you imagine what the Feds are thinking as they read this reply? Knowing that this book is even out ‘there.’

  4. If you just have to have a copy of this book search for the pdf version. Plenty of places to download it.

  5. LuckyStars says:

    Try going to http://www.half.ebay.com if you really want to buy this book. They had eight copies ranging in price from $99.97 to $900.00 @ 10:58pm on 01Oct12

  6. I got it from the Library………….

  7. Thomas The Tinker says:

    Was not my intent to offend or shout “Oh Goody I got a copy” or “Hell.. I got two!”. I knew it was hard to come by when I did this post. I hope when you do find or barrow or check out this work it will fill in a lot of blanks – connect a lot of dots for you. This book is a man’s end product of a life time watching his sport, his friends, his inallenable rights and his country being snipped to pieces and buried under layer after layer of …. well you decide. I kinda figure this book is catharsis for John Ross. Some of the same for some that read it. A nightmare for some of the folks reading this comment. A ‘how to’ text for some %age of readers. If you subscribe to the idea of “Truth is stranger than fiction”, then this book is the “Santanic Verses” of Speculative Fiction. I wonder how it fits around that pesky lil verse in the Bill of Rights?

  8. There are 3 copies in the CLEVNET(Cleveland, OH area) library system.

  9. charlie(NC) says:

    I’m going to start hitting the used book stores around here to see if i can get lucky and score a copy cheap. (I’m not that lucky) but If I do I’ll read it and then put it up on Ebay or somewhere. Too much money to sit on the shelf.

  10. Thomas The Tinker says:

    You’ve been sneaking around in my head Charlie(NC). I figure finding one that way is like picking up a wade of cash off the pavement. Don’t leave out Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Easter Seals (Savers). I find one…. its yours on me.

  11. I bought this book new back when it first came out for something like $15.00. Although I agree with Tom on some of the content being perhaps a little salacious or over the top, it has always been one of my favorite books. I loaned it to perhaps 30+ people back in the 90’s, then it came home, and in the last few years has begun a second round of loans. I actually lost track of it for a while, but do know where it currently resides, and will be making sure it makes its way home this time, thanks to now knowing its value. I still recommend it as a read, and I think J.R.’s depiction of what a “civil society” can do when pushed hard enough, is potentially accurate.

    It has been said that our country runs on three boxes:
    1. The ballot box
    2. The jury box
    3. The cartridge box

    Let us hope and pray that #3 never becomes the norm, whether by the government or the citizenry.

  12. Your readers can download a free copy of Unintended Consequences (pdf version) free here.

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