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Publisher's Summary

This devastating book illuminates America's gun culture - its manufacturers, dealers, buffs, and propagandists - but also offers concrete solutions to our national epidemic of death by firearm. It begins with an account of a crime that is by now almost commonplace: on December 16, 1988, 16-year-old Nicholas Elliot walked into his Virginia high school with a Cobray M-11/9 and several hundred rounds of ammunition tucked in his backpack. By day's end, he had killed one teacher and severely wounded another. 

In Lethal Passage Erik Larson shows us how a disturbed teenager was able to buy a weapon advertised as "the gun that made the 80s roar." The result is a book that can - and should - save lives, and that has already become an essential text in the gun-control debate.

©1994, 1995, 2011 Erik Larson (P)2019 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Lethal Passage

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  • Claire
  • 26-04-20

great reasoned book

this is a very important subject to me. I was the first one shot on the ground in the 1966 Massacre at the University of Texas, Austin. I was 8 months pregnant and lost my unborn child and my beloved Tom.

Larson is very measured and fair and thorough.

12 people found this helpful

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  • PE
  • 07-06-20

Usually Love Erik Larson But This Book a Waste of Time

- uncompelling narrative
- important topic but not addressed well at all
- naive, simplistic solutions offered
- excessively repetitive
- all the relevant points could have been made in ½ to 1 hour.
- unlike ALL his other books I’ve read, this one was not particularly interesting
- I hadn’t realized it was such an old, outdated book. Audible doesn’t prominently provide the date of publication of the original book. A book on gun control from 1994 is not that interesting in 2020 and completely out of date and filled with irrelevant information.
- Nothing positive to say about this one. Sorry!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Christine B.
  • 15-01-20

This book is 25 years out of date.

Good book BUT too out dated for current interest. Audible purchased this in 2019 BUT it was written in 1994!!! Love the author but...

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alicia Devero
  • 12-09-19

The right to life & liberty vs guns obsession

I wish that Constitutionally defined Rights to Life and Liberty were defended in America as strongly as the right to own and carry guns.

I agree with Erik Larson on unified code across all states for guns purchases, but at the same time I would emphasize the need for harsh punishment for all those people who help minors obtain guns, which are later used in mass shootings ... That includes Robyn Anderson who has purchased three guns for Columbines yet the authorities didn’t press any charges against her, something that in my opinion is a travesty ...

3 people found this helpful

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  • Paanmo
  • 23-10-19

Pure Crap

All the left wing politics you can handle. Short on facts, long on conjecture, speculation and spurious arguments with quite a dose of the remaining agenda sprinkled in. The voice acting was hard to listen to also. Poor.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 08-09-21

Totally out of date

The book was actually released in 94-95. Might have been a good read back then but it's totally out of touch now. He's a good writer, but skip this one.

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  • Gary Angle
  • 22-01-21

Lethal Passage-Larson’s research is unparalleled!

Though published in 1994, it might as well have been yesterday. A gun is not what the general population of America understands. Larson goes deep into the perception of our Gun culture, not so much as ‘Anti-Gun’ but as an intelligent indicator of gross negligence in all aspects of the gun.

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  • Leslie Leitch
  • 12-07-20

great information...needs to be updated

great to learn so much about the gun industry. it would be worth updating this since there have been so many mass shootings since 1994.

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  • Kim Galindo
  • 06-04-20

well researched

informative, balanced, well researched! great book! I recommend this to anyone trying to survive in modern society.