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Behind the Scenes with Tax Protestors Ed and Elaine Brown

He doesn't like to call it a compound, so I won't. It does have 10 inch thick concrete walls, though. When I heard that Ed Brown was allowing visitors to his "home" in New Hampshire, I had to visit.

Ed and Elaine Brown are a pair of famous tax protestors who are evading arrest in a standoff with the feds.

I exited the highway and passed a Wal Mart. Soon the road became only one lane each way. Soon it was winding through farmland. Shortly after it became a dirt road. The RV hopped over the potholes as veered left onto their street.

Review: Heart Of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

On Books In Progress

This book is undoubtedly most famous today for being the story behind the film Apocalypse Now and really comparisons between the two are inevitable.

The story itself is a story within a story, being related by a sailor on a ship while it is waiting at anchor in the Thames estuary. To pass the time he tells his crewmates of the time he spent several years previously working for a trading consortium in Africa, piloting a boat to the trading station up river to pick up ivory.

His manager is wary of the man who runs the trading station - Mr Kurtz. He believes he is ultimately after his job. It is clear that Kurtz is a very talismanic and polarising figure, some hating him and others talking about him as if he is some sort of deity. The narrator cannot wait to meet him but suffers many delays (including having to repair his boat) before he can set off up river. By the time he does the weight of expectation and anticipation has created his own expectations of what he will find. But what will the reality be?

This is s slim volume, and to be honest a slim plot. But the brilliance is in the telling of the story. Conrad carefully evokes the feeling of the oppressive heat and frustration of not being able to head up the river. But once underway the jungle closes in and is claustrophobic and full of mystery and hidden dangers. The attraction is not in the tale itself but in the way it is told.

By the time the trading post is reached the expectations of Kurtz have been raised in the reader as much as in the narrator and events unfold in an unexpected direction.

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