98k, Biography of a Rifle

Written by Maurice Kanareck
Review by Christoph Fischer

98k by Maurice Kanareck is an immaculately researched and very knowledgeable book about the story of one iconic rifle. From 1938 to 1982, the rifle changes possession and war locations on numerous occasions. The author clearly knows everything there is to know about handling a gun and about war and fighting and has incorporated amazing details into every chapter. The book is a huge vault of information, historically accurate and should find many readers who will appreciate the effort and expertise that has gone into the factual side of it.

It is an easy read and a labour of love, however, for readers of fiction the book may not hold enough character depth or development to appeal as a ‘story’. Of course this is the biography of an inanimate object and therefore at times must feel more like an illustrated documentary rather than an historical novel. The randomness with which the rifle changes ownership and sides, and the part about arms dealing after WWII were certainly fascinating, but I wanted more of a connection or link between the chapters, not just how the new owners felt about having such an iconic weapon.

On technical value the book’s Recommended retail Price (£14.80) seems slightly expensive for the small size (204 pages) and the double-spacing between paragraphs is detrimental to the presentation. These issues would be addressed in e-format, so maybe it would be better for the author to concentrate on the e-book version rather than a paperback edition?