Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun

Lethal Passage: The Story of a Gun

by Erik Larson


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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, sixteen-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 eighties 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.

With a new afterword.

"Touches on all aspects of the gun issue in this country. Gives great voice to that feeling...that something real must be done." —San Diego Union-Tribune

"One of the most readable anti-gun treatises in years." —Washington Post Book World

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679759270
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/28/1995
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 115,809
Product dimensions: 5.15(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.66(d)

About the Author

ERIK LARSON is the author of five national bestsellers: Dead Wake, In the Garden of Beasts, Thunderstruck, The Devil in the White City, and Isaac's Storm, which have collectively sold more than 6.5 million copies. His magazine stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's and other publications and his books have been published in seventeen countries.


Seattle, Washington

Date of Birth:

January 1, 1954

Place of Birth:

Brooklyn, New York


B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; M.S., Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, 1978

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Lethal Passage 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Erik Larson's books, and for that reason this one was a big disappointment. Most of his works are extremely well-researched, and I did not find that sense of objectivity in this tome. There ARE many objective sources of recent data showing that of the 30,000 gun-related deaths, two-thirds are suicides (and most of these are veterans, shame on us!!) and the majority of the remainder are drug and gang-related (also shame on us!!). To say that this book opens the way for a dialog on gun violence is a stretch: if it was, it would treat the issues from a more open perspective and use relevant sources more extensively. Too bad it did not...
ddpdx More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a compelling, thoughtful reframing of the politically overheated gun control conversation (in fact, it does actually read as if the author is trying to engage in a conversation, backed by knowledge and an awareness of the practical realities, not hyperbole.) However, I do find the success marred by the age of the statistics in the book--it lists a 2011 publication date but most of the statistics and assessments of laws dates from the 90's. I kept wondering how/if things had changed appreciably, especially regarding the information on the regulatory environment for gun dealers and manufacturers. The afterword modestly updated it; a good prologue on the topic might have help me while reading. Still, an excellent read on a difficult topic--ignore other reviewers who denounce it as propaganda
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leave this on the shelf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess I have purchased my last Larson book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know why people whant to kill them selves i get it if u have a bad back round or are geting bullyed but u can over come that u dont have to kill urself if u are hopeless u can tun to god and tell people whats happining it saved me
Imani Braxton More than 1 year ago
This book is very inspiring, and not for one second did i stop reading ------- i suggest EVERYBODY to download this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I put this one up to read an account where a guy used his gun to kill an intruder in his home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont even bother reading it
guitaoist3 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never put a gun to your head. People who do that is so dum. Taking your one life , how is that going to help you. You have people who love you to much to see you die. It makes alot of sence
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wasup da snipa here