|Plot Summary of Fire Lover: A True Story|
|"FIRE LOVER: A TRUE STORY
Morrow, May 2002, 25.95, 338 pp.
As a child in Los Angeles, John Orr revered firefighters watching them as if he was sitting in front of a TV set. He relished the way the firefighter risked his or her life in the line of duty. As a young adult, John joined the Glendale, California Fire Department and quickly became one of the best. Over time, he became a fire captain and eventually an arson investigator highly regarded by his peers as one of the foremost experts.
John also moonlighted as an arsonist who remained undetectable for years and whose fires killed four people and caused millions of dollars in damage. When he finally made an error and was caught, the entire firefighting community refused to believe that one of their heroes could be a serial arsonist.
The hardest thing about this true-life crime biography is that it is true crime caused by someone whose dangerous occupation most people respect even more so after 9/11. So chilling is this account this reviewer keeps wanting to paraphrase an old horror movie ad that it's only a book. However, Joseph Wambaugh brings the fiery duality of his subject vividly alive so that the reader observes a criminal considered by the FBI as "the most prolific American arsonist of the twentieth century". Fans of true crime will want to read this account that never slows down as FIRE LOVER: A TRUE STORY is Mr. Wambaugh at his finest.
Harriet Klausner, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Fire Lover: A True Story|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Period of greatest activity?
Subject of Biography
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Smarter than most other people
- very athletic
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 5 ()
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Book makes you feel?
Commentary on society?
- justice system
- wicked men
- a lot of stream of consciousness
Writer's slant towards subject:
- somewhat unfavorable
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of set of events during life
How much dialogue in bio?
- significantly more descript than dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 51%-75% of book
How much is philosophy rather than life story?
- 0-25% of book
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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