“The Rifle,” by Gary Paulson

“The Rifle,” by Gary Paulson is a fascinating book that explores the life of a historical rifle while emphasizing an important message: “Guns don‘t kill people, people kill people.”

Primarily “The Rifle” is the story of a gun that kills a child. In exploring this fragile and emotional theme Paulson uses a very interesting technique. He develops the story of both the gun and the child on two parallel tracks. By showing us the work and skilled effort that went into producing the colonial era rifle, and the important historical events that occurred in the gun’s life Paulson makes the gun important to the reader. In addition, however, he introduces us to the child very personally, showing us his hopes and dreams so as to make the child important to the reader as well as the gun.

Paulson tells the entire story in a voice that is markedly calm and matter of fact. His aim is not to vilify guns and gun ownership but to show why it is important for people to handle guns properly. Throughout the story Paulson states facts, not opinions, because in the end, it is the facts that matter anyway.
I appreciated reading “The Rifle,” because of its unique writing style, its information about early gun making, and its important message about what can happen when guns are not handled in a responsible manner.

Inkweaver Book Rating:

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For other books by Gary Paulson see:

Hatchet

The Voyage of the Frog



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Inkweaver Review 2008-04-08T10:03:00-05:00

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