I grew up during the cold war era, so I looked forward to reading this book. I am just a bit too young to actually remember the Cuban Missile Crisis. After all, I was two-years-old at the time. However, the story was pretty well-known and often a topic of conversation by people around me during my younger years. Despite that, reading this book was quite a shock. What really floored me while reading The Last Saturday of October, was how much we did not know.
A Historic Cold War Thriller
This story is a thriller and a historical bombshell. Written from the point of view of the Russians, the story is meticulously researched with much of the information only declassified in recent years. The characters are real and so well developed that you actually become part of the conversation and part of the story. You have the very real feeling that you too are on the submarine, and experiencing the same wet, cold, fear, discomfort, and uncertainty that the crew of submarine B-59 was dealing with.
What is truly extraordinary is the fact that, if not for the last minute moral decisions of a few Russian men, and especially Vasili Arkhipov, the world today would be very different. Many do not know just how dangerously close we came to nuclear war. It was a unique moment when that realization dawned on me.
Read The Last Saturday of October
Douglas C Gilbert (no relation) clearly knows his subject matter and probably has first-hand naval training or experience. I would certainly not be at all surprised to learn the author served a few years in the U.S. Navy. The dialogue and terminology ring very true throughout the story. The research and documentation are very impressive.
The Last Day of October is a must read for history buffs, military history enthusiasts, and anyone who enjoys well-written historical fiction. I give this book 5 out of 5 Stars and highly recommend it!
If you think you might enjoy The Last Day of October, you might also want to check out Serpents Underfoot!
Blue Gemini – An Amazing Technothriller!
Blue Gemini is probably the first technothriller I have read, and I will be honest, it took a bit for this book to hook me. But, once it did … it was tough to put down. This book contains all the elements needed for a good read; multiple intersecting plot lines, characters that are easy to identify with, believable dialogue, believable scenarios, and a compelling topic. Author, Mike Jenne does an excellent job of blending the space program and cold war intrigue with just the right amount of romance.
It is 1968. A young Scott Ourecky joins the U.S. Air Force. He wants to be an astronaut. But for some reason, he keeps failing the aptitude test to become a pilot. He can’t seem to “make the cut.” However, as a brilliant engineer, he suddenly finds himself chosen to work for the Aerospace Support Project, an innocuously titled program whose real purpose is to train astronauts to fly missions designed to intercept and destroy Soviet nuclear missile satellites.
When one of the astronauts drops out of the program, Ourecky is asked to step up and fill the slot until a replacement can be found. He is assigned to work with Major Drew Carson, a full-of-himself, headstrong, and abrasive test pilot. Ourecky soon finds himself much more involved than he ever thought he would be … and in some grave danger!
Our Country is entering into a new era of space travel with NASA and private corporations competing to be the next to achieve a significant milestone in space exploration. We are planning missions to Mars! This book is a fascinating look back a the beginnings of this same Space Program, at a time when astronauts still made calculations and worried about things like fuses and circuit breakers. Scott Ourecky personifies the innocent American hero who fights because he has no choice; because not fighting is a real threat to his country, his family, his friends, and his team members.
Based on a real secret space program, Blue Gemini combines thrilling space action with excellent storytelling to create an exciting modern Cold War thriller. Blue Gemini is a must-read for fans of manned spaceflight and James Bond.