Reviews of Bomb Built In Hell, a (2000)
Review by clong (2005-03-04)
There was a time when five new users signed up at iblist.com and all rated every Andrew Vachss title as a 10. Suddenly, Vachss (whom I had never heard of) was showing up as the top rated author. So I decided to find out about this author who inspired such loyalty from at least a small group of readers, and in exploring the Vachss website, I came accross this early book of his which was available to download as a free e-book. "Ahah!" I thought, "let's see what I've been missing."
"Not much" is the answer, at least from what I got out of this book. This is the story of the evolution of psychopathic Wesley from small time crook to murderer to hit-man to terrorist. It is moderately suspenseful, but far from compelling. The characters are neither likable nor believable.
The suggestion in the afterward that A Bomb Built in Hell was somehow eerily prescient of the Columbine tragedy was misguided to the point of being offensive.
Review by g_jones (2004-05-26)
An amazing look at how society creates a monster. Wesley is the product of the "system" from birth. Orpahnages, "training schools," prisons and the abuse found there all contribute to the making of the perfect assassin.
And kudos to Vachss for giving it away for free!