Thursday, July 4, 2013

One Foot in the Black Book Review

Kurt Kamm has wrote another heart wrenching story about a young firefighter named Greg. I was reading this book when the news broke out about the 19 firefighters who lost their lives this past week in Arizona. It was so weird reading about those last effort tents that they cover themselves with and then hear that is what they did, too.
The name of this book is called One Food in the Black and it's the story of Greg, who leaves an abused home as soon as he gets old enough.
Synopsis of book:
Greg Kowalski grows up in Michigan with an abusive father, a Saginaw city firefighter. Cut off from his family, Greg travels to California to become a helitack wildland firefighter. He is tormented by the contradiction of hatred for his father and the need to have his father’s approval and love. 
Greg moves on to the brutal LACoFD helitack training academy at Camp 8 where he graduates and begins work. He suffers traumatic stress after his crew is trapped on a mountainside in an explosive wildfire and his captain and mentor dies in a burnover. The night before this incident, Greg’s father is killed in a fire in Saginaw. 
Greg struggles to cope with these dual tragedies. He comes to terms with the loss of his captain, but has greater difficulty surmounting his father’s influence on his life. The title is a metaphor for the life of Greg Kowalski, a nineteen-year-old searching for his place in life.
This story at first made me a little mad because this boy starts out blindly thinking that he has to win his father's love and respect. It's almost as if he has no life other than to make his father love him. He forsakes friends, love, hobbies, pretty much everything. After awhile, I did not feel sorry for him one bit. Especially after he grew up and left home at 18.

It was brave for him to become a firefighter although I wonder if you took away the need to prove himself to his father, would he have really chosen that line of work. The whole time he is training it is all about his father and this will finally make him proud.

He was rude to people, lost his temper really easy and was rude to women he met, especially one he thought he might like but he ruined it by pushing her, trying to have sex, which is all he cared about, not the person. 

When tragedy finally strikes not once but twice, he finally understands what he has done to his life. It's a pretty sad story but he is not totally without blame. He refuses to get on with his life, he just wants to hate his father and blame everything on him.

I was glad to see that at some point he started taking some initiative to fix things. And it's a great chance to read about what the firefighters out west go thru when their are those massive forest fires. If you know someone in your circle of friends or family who is thinking about becoming a firefighter, then they really need to read Kurt Kamm's series of books on firefighters.

Happy Reading!

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.


spock7005 said...

This sounds like a very interesting book, but it might be too intense for me. These days, it seems I can't read about sad things that I could relate to the real world, even if they are fiction. So I stick mainly to authors like Stephen King and lose myself in utter fantasy. scain54 at aol dot com

ann said...

This is a book that I would like to read. My grandson is a Jr. fire fighter. It was very very sad when those firefighters all died recently. They to are our heroes. thanks for the review on the book.