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BK: Ben Blum Presents RANGER GAMES: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime in conversation with Matt Gallagher

    09/14/2017 - 7:00pm

    Alex Blum was a good kid, a popular high school hockey star from a tight-knit Colorado family. He had one goal in life: endure a brutally difficult selection program, become a U.S. Army Ranger, and fight terrorists for his country. He poured everything into achieving his dream. In the first hours of his final leave before deployment to Iraq, Alex was supposed to fly home to see his family and beloved girlfriend. Instead, he got into his car with two fellow soldiers and two strangers, drove to a local bank in Tacoma, and committed armed robbery... 

    The question that haunted the entire Blum family was:  Why?  Why would he ruin his life in such a spectacularly foolish way?

    At first, Alex insisted he thought the robbery was just another exercise in the famously daunting Ranger program.  His attorney presented a case based on the theory that the Ranger indoctrination mirrored that of a cult.  

    In the midst of his own personal crisis, and in the hopes of helping both Alex and his splintering family cope, Ben Blum, Alex’s first cousin, delved into these mysteries, growing closer to Alex in the process.  As he probed further, Ben began to question not only Alex, but the influence of his superior, Luke Elliot Sommer, the man who planned the robbery. A charismatic combat veteran, Sommer’s manipulative tendencies combined with a magnetic personality pulled Ben into a relationship that put his loyalties to the test.      

    Ben Blum was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. He holds a PhD in computer science from the University of California Berkeley, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, and an MFA in fiction from New York University, where he was awarded the New York Times Foundation Fellowship. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and stepdaughter.

    Matt Gallagher is the author of the novel Youngblood, published by Atria/ Simon & Schuster and a finalist for the 2016 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia and has written for the New York Times, the Atlantic, Wired and the Paris Review, among others. A former U.S. Army captain, he's also the author of the Iraq memoir Kaboom and co-editor of, and contributor to, the short fiction collection Fire & Forget

    Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime Cover Image
    $28.95
    ISBN: 9780385538435
    Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
    Published: Doubleday Books - September 12th, 2017

    "A gloriously good writer...Ranger Games is both surprising and moving...A memorable, novelistic account."--Jennifer Senior, New York Times

    Intricate, heartrending, and morally urgent, Ranger Games is a crime story like no other