Print Reviews

The Alchemist’s Secrets of Explosive Chemistry

Print Review by James MacLaren

The Alchemist’s Secrets of Explosive Chemistry

by Thomas J. Moffatt

Paladin Press

What, may I ask you, could be more all-American than blowing shit up? Americans are good at this shit. They LIKE it. KeWHAM, and in a blaze of bright light, pretty colors, and a really cool noise, something gets rendered to smithereens in the blink of an eye.

Cool, huh? Just blow the fucker to HELL.

The reason Americans are so good at blowing shit up (and if you doubt our prowess at this stuff, I suggest you check with the Japanese, the Germans, or any of the other multitudes of folks around the world who’ve been on the receiving end of our little high-energy care packages) is ’cause they can get their mitts on books like this one.

Kids who cut their teeth on material like this can be fully expected to graduate to the big leagues of atomic weaponry, shaped charges, penetrating ordnance, and all the rest of it, in no time at all. That kinda stuff is a surprisingly short step up from what’s in this very book. What a swell career decision. Is this a great country or what?

Moffatt has produced a neat little package, just crammed fulla neato stuff.

We start out with a look at the “legitimate” industrial and military uses for explosives, take a quick look at the major players (folks like Nitro Starch and Lead Styphnate), tour the land of hardware and blast calculations, get a stern lecture on safety and how to maintain it, get the low down on setting up a laboratory, a primer on producing useful precursor chemicals, and then jump right in to the deep end with a whole slew of formulas for cooking up a little something special. Stuff they didn’t tell you about in high school chemistry class.

Nowadays, everybody and his Aunt Nellie is blathering about how you can just dial up this shit on the Internet. Why bother with some dumb book? Well let me tell you, sister, you can’t take your stupid Internet computer with you out in the woods to where you’ve set up your little shack with all the retorts, Bunsen burners, and curious chemicals. Another problem with the Internet is that you can’t trust the sonofabitch. Lotta incorrect stuff on the net. No safety lecture. Might just blow the whole end of your arm off. Who needs that?

Take it from me, this is just the book for you. Concise, accurate, easy to read, and endless fun for the whole family. Like I said before: Is this a great country or what?

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