Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime

Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable CrimeRanger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime by Ben Blum
Published by Doubleday Books on September 12th 2017
Pages: 432
Format: ebook
Genres: Autobiography, Nonfiction, True Crime
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Intricate, heartrending, and morally urgent, Ranger Games is a crime story like no other

Alex Blum was a good kid with one unshakeable goal in life: Become a U.S. Army Ranger. On the day of his leave before deployment to Iraq, Alex 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 lured Ben into a relationship that put his loyalties to the test.

My thoughts on this book

Who would have thought that a newly minted Army Ranger would drive the get away car in a bank robbery. Why would a newly minted Army Ranger do such a stupid thing? Ben Blum, cousin to the newly minted Army Ranger spends a goodly amount of time trying to answer that question.

To be an Army Ranger was all Alex ever wanted. Two weeks before his scheduled leave for Iraq, and days after he finishes the grueling Ranger training he climbs into his car and drives three other people to a Bank of America in Seattle. They rob the bank of about fifty-two thousand dollars. Why would Alex have done this having just achieved everything he wanted in life.

That is the question Ben Blum tries to answer. In a rather long convoluted story Ben recounts his search to understand why his cousin would have done this. What makes this book interesting is Ben a mathematician by training, is also having a crisis of his own. Knowing that mathematics alone will not answer his own questions, he delves into his cousins misfortune to find out what made him do something so totally out of character, hoping to better understand himself.

It is an inmate study how a person ends up doing a totally crazy thing. I think each reader will need to decide for themselves why this happened.

About Ben Blum

Authors - Ben-Blum

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.