The Executioner's Song

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The Executioner s Song are Kindle This book is something Yup it surely is The Executioner s Song is one of those oxymoronically named non fiction novels In a non fiction novel the classic of t

The Executioner's Song are Kindle This book is something. Yup, it surely is. The Executioner's Song is one of those oxymoronically-named "non-fiction novels." In a non-fiction novel - the classic of the genre being Truman Capote's In Cold Blood - a journalist takes his research as far as humanly possible, right up to the boundary of unknown human thought, and then fills those gaps with reasoned speculation. It's kind of shady. Well, it's really shady, especially since it's never clear what is hard-fact and what is guesswork. Shadiness aside, this type of book is also hugely entertaining. The Executioner's Song tells the story of Gary Mark Gilmore (funny how killers and child stars always go by their full names), a lowlife thug who'd spent over half his life in prison before ruthlessly murdering two men while on parole. Instead of fighting his conviction on appeal, Gilmore forced the State of Utah's hand, essentially daring them to execute him. Coming on the heels of the US Supreme Court's moratorium on the death penalty, Gilmore was the first person executed in the country for 10 years. That's the story in a nutshell, but there's nothing about The Executioner's Song that is nutshell worthy. To begin with, it's written by Norman Mailer. In fact, that might be the most important thing about The Executioner's Song: the Norman Mailer-ness of it all. If you don't believe me, just look at the front cover: a small picture of a gas station (where one of the murders occurred); the title of the book, in small print; and then the author's name, NORMAN MAILER, in huge font, dominating the negative space. I wasn't yet born while Mailer was in his prime, and he was dead before I read his first book, but I've read enough of his work, and read enough about him, to understand that Mailer made himself the foremost character of everything he wrote. He does this in The Executioner's Song by the simple fact that he wrote a 1,000 page book about Gary Gilmore. 1,000 pages about a pseudo-folk hero who never did a redeemable thing in his life. He may have had a genius level IQ, and a talent for drawing, but he was unexceptional in every other way. Even his crimes were garden-variety: two cold blooded murders of young white men that occurred while in the course of botched robberies. Tragic, yes, but not shocking or, unfortunately in this country, out of the ordinary. Moreoever, despite what the publisher's copy would have you believe, Gary Gilmore didn't "fight for his right to die." Instead, he sat on his sociopathic ass while the State of Utah battled the ACLU over the date of his execution and his own lawyers battled over who would get paid for the rights to his stories. In short, there's not a lot of story. So what does Mailer do: he writes a 1,000 page monster, a white trash epic, a hillbilly War and Peace. It's unlike anything I've ever read. You realize you're reading something unique, as soon as you get to the first page. The book, you see, is written in bite-sized paragraphs that are separated by double-spaces. At first, this is kind of obnoxious, and a little pretentious. Then, you realize it's sort of awesome. Each of these lonely word-chunks represents its own contained thought; and as you move from one thought to the next, you get into a kind of rhythm that is both engaging and oddly-poetic. I have no idea how Mailer sustained this style for so long, but he does. Mailer's greatest achievement is his voice. The book is seemingly written in the third-person, but it actually shifts subtly to the point-of-view of the subject of each paragraph. It's almost as if these characters are telling their own story, with their own constricted lexicon. Mailer restrains himself from using fancy words or elegant descriptions or complex sentences. Everything is simple, hard, flat, and colloquial, the way that Gary or his girlfriend Nicole might tell a story. (Of course, Mailer being Mailer, he can't resist throwing in a few malaprops that certainly didn't come from any interviewee. I'm thinking, specifically, that the phrase "competent glasses" is a Mailer-ism, and possible inspired the insufferable Murray from DeLillo's White Noise). While on the topic of restraint, it should be mentioned that Mailer has attempted to do the hardest of things: create a work without judgment. This is both an asset and, eventually, a liability. Mailer simply tells the story: this happened, then this, then this. It's almost like he's acting as a conduit, rather than an author. He adds no commentary to the actions of his central characters. For a reader accustomed to being told how to feel, this might feel odd and a little disorienting. For instance, there are dozens of scenes of Gary, a pathetic conman, fruitlessly trying to bend people to his will. Instead of noting how Gary was acting like a low-rent Jedi with his silly mind tricks, Mailer remains silent. This reticence is especially true with Nicole, who is actually the central character of the book. Nicole Barrett was first married at the age of 14, and in subsequent years, and through subsequent marriages (and two children) she slept with dozens and dozens of men, women, and children (sadly, I am not exaggerating). She is constantly saying how much she loves Gary, even while sleeping with her ex-husband, and a stranger she meets at a bar, and a random hitchhiker. The natural inclination of an author is to note the incongruity in her thoughts (faithful love) and actions (sex with any sentient beings in her path). Mailer resists this urge and the resulting portrait, with all its inherent (and human) contradictions is all the richer. (You are forced to balance Nicole's victmhood - she was sexually abused as a child - with her own consistently poor choices and subpar parenting). Of course, it's impossible to write entirely without judgment. Mailer's judgments come from his elisions. His focus is on Gilmore and Nicole, their "love" affair, Gilmore's incarceration, and finally, Gilmore's death. What is missing is the crime and its victims. Mailer devotes perhaps 12 pages to the family of Max Jensen, the first victim, and half of that to Ben Bushnell, the second. The crimes themselves are told in a couple sentences: the shootings are bloodless, vaguely-detailed affairs, which stand in contrast to the graphic retellings of just about every other incident in the story. This is simply unacceptable for a book that spends hundreds of pages following peripheral characters. In the most egregious example, Mailer spends half a chapter following the day-in-the-life of one of Nicole's former lovers. Mailer seems to relish the opportunity to describe this man having sexual intercourse with a fifteen year-old girl, right down to their exact positions (hint: 70 - 1 = literary statutory rape). After this sordid event, this man disappears from the book. Yet for all that, Mailer can't be bothered to flesh out the lives of the victims, or their wives, or even describe the violent acts that put Gilmore in jail. Unnecessary detail is the lifeblood of The Executioner's Song. In the first half of the book, which starts with Gilmore's release from prison, follows him through his destructive courtship of Nicole, and ends with him in the clink, these digressions are mostly forgivable. In the second half, however, frustration sets in. This is mostly due to the fact that Mailer decides to follow every twist and turn of producer Lawrence Schiller, as he tries to secure the book and movie rights to Gilmore's life story. One starts to wonder why Mailer would decide to make a leech such a central character. Then you read the copyrights page, and the acknowledgments, and you realize that Mailer got most of his research material from Schiller. At this point, you see these sections of The Executioner's Song in a whole new light (the phrase "mutual masturbation" springs to mind). One of the mysteries of The Executioner's Song is the extent of Mailer's involvement. We all know that Capote famously went to Kansas, spent time with the people of Holcombe, and interviewed killer Perry Smith. There is no indication that Mailer did anything similar. Most of the research appears to have been done by Schiller, and by Gilmore's two attorneys, who spent hours interviewing Gilmore for Schiller, instead of fulfilling their ethical obligations as lawyers. This is only really a problem with regards to Gilmore. While Nicole's life story is told front to back, in great detail, Gilmore - the putative focus - remains elusive. Mailer's portrat of Gilmore is pointillist; it doesn't come from him, but from the words and observations of all these different people who came into his orbit. Unfortunately, you lose a lot of information is that space between the points. Mailer compounds this problem by refusing to supply any basic biographical information. It's not until deep into the book that you learn why Gilmore was in jail in the first place (armed robbery, apparently). I still enjoyed this book, despite these problems. I couldn't help but admire the audaciousness, the narrative voice, and the amount of effort that must have been required to put this story together. Throughout, it had me questioning my own beliefs, my own perceptions: who were the victims? who were the perpetrators? was justice served or did the justice system fail? Mailer's refusal to give you any overt guidance draws those internal questions into sharp relief. Gilmore was shot through the heart four times on January 17, 1977. At the risk of injecting politics into Goodreads, I cannot resist a parting thought: How can anyone think it was a good idea to execute Gary Gilmore? The scenes at the end of The Executioner's Song show Utah's Attorney General and the Warden of the Utah State Prison at Point of the Mountain racing against the clock to kill Gilmore before the US Supreme Court can intervene. To what end were these men acting? Would it have killed them (pardon the pun) to wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the Stay of Execution? Does it really ennoble justice to be racing down courthouse hallways, trailing sheaths of paper in your wake, to call the prison and set the machinery of death in motion? Were these men or wolves? I can accept - because it is the law - that the Government can take a life; I cannot accept that it will do so with unconstrained eagerness. More than that, did anyone in 1977 stop to think: why are we doing what Gary Mark Gilmore wants us to do? I once visited a client in prison. He was being released and I wanted to check in with him, to make sure he "registered" with certain governmental agencies. This was the first time I'd ever been in a prison. And by prison, I mean the penitentiary, not the county lock-up where defendants are held pending trial or to serve sentences of less than a year (I have to go to lock-up all the time, unfortunately). It sat on the edge of town, on a flat stretch of prairie with bluffs in the distance. It had chain link fences and razor wire and towers and guards. It wasn't Marion or Supermax, but it sure wasn't Six Flags either. To get in, I showed my ID, registered, and locked all my belongings in a locker. Then I went through one set of locked doors, then another, then another, and another. After that, I was escorted outside, to another building, another set of doors. When the visit was over, after 20 minutes, I wanted to leave, but I couldn't, since there was still an hour left in the visitation block. So I had to wait with all these cons and their families, who could sit close but not touch, and who were watched by guards and cameras and who were chided when they got too near. Imagine that kind of hell: to see but not touch the people you love. Anyone who says prison isn't punishment has never been to prison. It sucks. When I left, I sat in the parking lot for ten minutes, gulping free air. Everything about prison is regimented and lock-step. You wake when they tell you, you sleep when they tell you, you eat when they tell you and stop eating when they tell you, you go outside when they tell you and come back in when they tell you. You're always watched, by guards and by cameras. Some lights never go off. There is always noise (Gilmore hated the noise): doors opening and banging shut; guards yelling commands; other convicts talking and threatening and acting out. There are wags who will tell you it's nothing but laying around all day, watching television or reading. Right. Except try doing that surrounded by several hundred felons, all of whom will con you, some of whom will rape you, or beat you, or kill you; try watching the boob tube while sitting on molded chairs with an armed robber to your left and an attempted murderer to your right; try getting through a single page of a book with all that clanging and hollering. Gary Gilmore didn't want to die because he felt remorse. He was unable to feel remorse because he was a sociopath (it would've been nice had Mailer interjected himself enough to analyze Gary's condition, but even without any outright discussion, Gary's psychopathy is self-evident). He wanted to die because it was preferable to prison. Fundamentally, Gary Gilmore was a coward. He was scared of prison. He'd spent a lot of time behind bars, and his great fear was waiting out the remainder of his life in a place without hope. More than that, he'd worked himself into such a state over Nicole - whose breakup with him precipitated his killing spree - that he didn't want to live with the thought of her sleeping with other men. Essentially, Gilmore was attempting state-assisted suicide. And the State agreed. Wholeheartedly. How is it punishment when you give the prisoner exactly what he wants? If Gary Gilmore had not been executed, he would be 70 years old right now. He would have had to endure 33 years of short, plain meals; 33 years of brief outdoor trips to the yard; 33 years of clanging doors, shouting guards, lockdowns and prisoner counts; 33 years to think about the life he'd never lead; 33 years to miss all the technological advances; 33 years to think about the women with whom he'd never sleep; 33 years to miss Nicole. If justice is possible, I think it looks something like that. Instead, the bloodlust of Utah's body politic and the cowardice of Gary Mark Gilmore conspired to stage a violent farce. Utah gave up a bit of its soul, and Gary Gilmore managed to escape. . In what is arguably his greatest book, America s most heroically ambitious writer follows the short, blighted career of Gary Gil, an intractably violent product of America s prisons who became notorious for two reasons first, for robbing two men in 1976, then killing them in cold blood and, second, after being tried and convicted, for insisting on dying for his crimeIn what is arguably his greatest book, America s most heroically ambitious writer follows the short, blighted career of Gary Gil, an intractably violent product of America s prisons who became notorious for two reasons first, for robbing two men in 1976, then killing them in cold blood and, second, after being tried and convicted, for insisting on dying for his crime To do so, he had to fight a system that seemed paradoxically intent on keeping him alive long after it had sentenced him to death.Norman Mailer tells Gil s story and those of the men and women caught up in his procession toward the firing squad with implacable authority, steely compassion, and a restraint that evokes the parched landscapes and stern theology of Gil s Utah The Executioner s Song is a trip down the wrong side of the tracks to the deepest sources of American loneliness and violence It is a towering achievement impossible to put down, impossible to forget.Winner of the 1980 Pulitzer Prize. Popular Ebook The Executioner's Song I never got round to reviewing this mighty five star masterpiece before because I thought it spoke for itself. But I just reread one long chapter and was again knocked out, it’s just beautiful stuff. Not having read anything else by stormin’ Norman except his dubious, lubricious “biography” of Marilyn Monroe (I liked it but the pictures were better, I mean to say, he had about 8 wives himself and he was moaning out loud that he’d never married Marilyn, really it was a bit gross) I had thought he was one of the most style-conscious American writers but in this book, it being one of those “non-fiction novels” like In Cold Blood, he throws “style” right out the window and it’s all written in ironed-flat just-the-facts affectless Carver-speak, an absolute delight to read. Of course, what a story. There’s this scene, you know it’s gonna come up, Mailer knows, Gary knows – he’s in prison, Mailer is interviewing, and they discuss who’s going to be playing Gary in the inevitable movie.what he got was Tommy Lee Jonesand his own Juliet, Nicole Bakergot Rosanna ArquetteThey couldn’t be complaining none.The Executioner’s Song is pure underclass literature, like Random Family (Adrian LeBlanc), the essays of Theodore Dalrymple, Crimes in Southern Indiana (Frank Bill), The Beans of Egypt, Maine (Carolyn Chute), London Labour and the London Poor (Mayhew) and so on, and it might possibly be the best, because most detailed, of all of these attempts to portray life at the bottom; which is hard to do, because those who come from the bottom tend to be trying to get away from it in their writing (Genet, Jack Abbott), which means that the writers who try to portray these complex, frenzied lives are looking from the outside in, and often the whole thing is beyond them, how could it not be. Mailer got everyone on board, talked to everyone, laid everything out, let everyone speak for themselves. It was a feat. Brilliant. Must read.
The Executioner s Song TV Movie Nov , Directed by Lawrence Schiller With Tommy Lee Jones, Christine Lahti, Rosanna Arquette, Eli Wallach The story of Gary Gil, a convicted murderer who lobbied for his own execution. The Executioner s Song The Executioner s Song Mailer, Norman, Eggers, Dave Beginning as a tale of a career criminal, the Executioner s Song evolves into what is tantamount to a modern day morality play During a release on parole, in a terrible twist of fate for his victims a gas station attendant and a motel manager , Gil, in the course of robbery, murdered two people family men both in cold blood, execution style, for no greater reason than he needed The Executioner s Song film The Executioner s Song Rotten Tomatoes Nov , Adapted by Norman Mailer from his own book, The Executioner s Song originally aired in two parts on November and , It has since been boiled down to a minute theatrical film for The Executioner s Song by Norman Mailer Oct , Top Five Executioner s Songs Bodies, Drowning Pool Heads Will Roll, Yeah Yeah Yeahs How I Could Just Kill a Man, Cypress Hill Party Rock, LMFAO The Lord High Executioner s Song, The Mikado, Gilbert Sullivan Problem is that this is not just pages of a dude in a black hood doing the watusi to LMFAO Look, I get what Mailer s doing here.

About Author

  • Norman Mailer Post author

    Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, but which covers the essay to the nonfiction novel He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award once In 1955, Mailer, together with Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, first published The Village Voice, which began as an arts and politics oriented weekly newspaper initially distributed in Greenwich Village In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from The National Book Foundation.

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  • This book is something Yup, it surely is The Executioner s Song is one of those oxymoronically named non fiction novels In a non fiction novel the classic of the genre being Truman Capote s In Cold Blood a journalist takes his research as far as humanly possible, right up to the boundary of unknown human thought, and then fills those gaps with reasoned speculation It s kind of shady Well, it s really shady, especially since it s never clear what is hard fact and what is guesswork Shadiness aside [...]

  • I never got round to reviewing this mighty five star masterpiece before because I thought it spoke for itself But I just reread one long chapter and was again knocked out, it s just beautiful stuff Not having read anything else by stormin Norman except his dubious, lubricious biography of Marilyn Monroe I liked it but the pictures were better, I mean to say, he had about 8 wives himself and he was moaning out loud that he d never married Marilyn, really it was a bit gross I had thought he was on [...]

  • Gary Gil s died in photographs are black and white They are all mugshots Gray faced still if they were to be in color mug shots of crimes of who knows what Living or dead Gray smirks and flat lines and nothing reaching the eyes because they are always somewhere else Some live to get to heaven and another hopes it won t be as bad the next go around Crimes to be and crimes of the soul The photograph captions might say, We always knew he d be up to no good The inside caption says, I don t know what [...]

  • There is a TED talk by Bryan Stevenson, about racial and class injustice in the prison system, that asks what I have come to realize is the hardest and most important question about capital punishment It is not does a guilty criminal deserve to die but does the state have a right to kill This is a basic and obvious question, but it seems to take a backseat to the first question in discussions about the death penalty The argument over capital punishment is as much or gut driven as it is reasoned [...]

  • Long read 1,050 pages of history about the life and death of an American that was executed by firing squad in 1977 in Utah This is Norman Mailer s answer to Truman Capote s In Cold Blood that was published in 1969 and started a new literary classification called non fiction novels.I read this with a lawyer as a reading buddy We spent 14 days 1 day per part Here is the discussion thread containing our daily thoughts Sorry if some of the phrases are in Filipino.Gary Mark Gil 1940 1977 had spent ha [...]

  • I can t resist the deliciously apparent metaphor provided by the circumstance that it took me pretty much exactly from Christmas to Easter to read this epic, 1100 page book about the life and death of Gary Gil 1100 pages I ve only read one longer book in my life, The Glass Bead Game, which was so good it took less than a week to read Obviously, this book wasn t in the same league.But it was much better than expected, since I d otherwise been nursing a nascent hatred of Mailer initially spawned b [...]

  • GARY MARK GILLMORE IS DEADThis book is a faboulas account of Gary Mark Gill and those who shaped his life Gary was a thief from the beginning and served over half his life in prison Coming out of prison as a thirtyfive year old man, not knowing how to work, cary on relationships, or do any of the day to day tasks we all face, Gary kills two people This decision gets him the firing squad in Utah While he is on death row many family members and lawers as well as the press are trying to stay the ex [...]

  • D elatova pesma je na tankoj granici izme u romana i onog to se kod nas zove dokumentarna proza Utoliko verovatno nije ba najreprezentativniji primer Majlerovog stvarno ne mogu da prelazim na Mejler dok me ne nateraju stila Ali jeste zanimljiva i na svoj na in kvalitetna knjiga Hiljadu i sto strana deluje kao malo previ e za poslednjih godinu dana u ivotu sitnog kriminalca, ali ovo je zapravo vrlo detaljan prikaz dva odre ena segmenta ameri kog dru tva s kraja sedamdesetih u pitanju su s jedne s [...]

  • I should start out by admitting that I m wary of inordinately long books I decided that this, my first Mailer, had a reputation such that I would give it a shot Then, a few days ago, a sensation akin to exasperation and or fatigue set in which I don t think related to the quality of Mailer s prose I was on page 802, and had a moment of terrifying clarity in which it became real for me that I still had another 250 pages to go Thereafter, I started to find it difficult to maintain the proper persp [...]

  • Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP it is not being reprinted illegally The CCLaP 100 In which I read for the first time a hundred so called literary classics, then write reports on whether or not they deserve the labelEssay 52 The Executioner s Song 1980 , by Norman MailerThe story in a nutshell One of the last great hurrahs from the so called New Journalism of the countercultural year [...]

  • Top Five Executioner s Songs5 Bodies, Drowning Pool4 Heads Will Roll, Yeah Yeah Yeahs3 How I Could Just Kill a Man, Cypress Hill2 Party Rock, LMFAO1 The Lord High Executioner s Song, The Mikado, Gilbert SullivanProblem is that this is not just 1100 pages of a dude in a black hood doing the watusi to LMFAO Look, I get what Mailer s doing here He s using the case of murderer Gary Gil to raise big questions about good and evil and free will, and it s a smart thing to do and he does a good job But t [...]

  • In the Summer of 1976, Max Jensen had been married one year He had just finished his first year of law school He managed to get a job working nights at a gas station in Utah One night, Gary Gil pulled in and put a gun to Jensen s head He took what money was on hand Then Gil said This one s for me and shot Jensen in the head.It the Summer of 1977 I had been married one year I had just finished my first year of law school and, not being well connected, managed to get a job working nights at a secl [...]

  • This book is a total slog The description calls it meticulous I call it boring It kind of lands in gray area between fiction and non fiction, and it s pretty obvious that neither Mailer nor Schiller the principal researcher journalist producer opportunist actually did a face to face interview with Gil.As a subject, Gil just isn t that interesting One of the journalists suggests that Gil is mediocrity enlarged by history, and that pretty much sums it up He was a mediocre criminal and an awful hum [...]

  • Holy shit I picked this off the shelf after a trip to SLC Knew Utah was related Didn t know I d devour 1000 pages so fast I think this should be required reading in the US of A As a lover of Vollmann, and unfamiliar with any of Mailer s novels or longer works, I now compare his non judgemental style and pathos to WTV, only he writes in a manner any one who made it to HS could understand I dunno Gonna be foisting this fucker on many people in the near future I seriously got a near wrist sprain fr [...]

  • It is the end of a year marked by poverty, isolation, an inability to raise funds to continue studying Linguistics at Brooklyn College, and abortive attempt at academia in Asshole, Pennsylvania, and nothing to look forward to but the prospects of snagging a paralegal degree while one by one copyrighting my manuscripts, wishing I was elsewhere, staring at my books in a cramped room which an Okcupid Why must this Cupid merely be OK date recently pointed out there was a hole in the wall and a spide [...]

  • In the Executioner s Song, Norman Mailer chronicles the life of Gary Gil a man responsible for murdering two people in Utah in 1976 The book takes a particular interest in the events surrounding the murders, trial and execution of Gary Gil and follows the lives of people who have come into contact with him.The first part of the book leading to the murders is engaging whereas the second part is dull as it provides lengthy accounts of secondary characters that are irrelevant to the story of Gil Ma [...]

  • The law, and the randomness of it, geographically and demographically, has always disturbed me Additionally, the comingling of it from disparate precedents only exacerbates it, and the courtroom turns itself into a Wheel of Fortune Money is made by layering one brick of precepts on top of another What you end up with is an expensive wall without doors, made poorly and soon to crumble There is a way out but only for the officers of jurisprudence and their fraternity If you want to leave with them [...]

  • I had this book on my list as must read classic I don t know where that came from It was one of the most boring books I ever read I cannot believe I ploughed through 1,000 pages of excrutiatingly detailed narration of the true crimes, trial and execution of Gary Gil I didn t give anything away it s on the book jacket After reading how each person dressed, how they were raised even the minor players whose names you can forget right afterwards , their exact words in every exact circumstance, the t [...]

  • I m not a big aficionado of criminal chronicles And even such scrupulous and voluminous analysis of crime as The Executioner s Song didn t really move me deeply He was ready to argue there was no rational way you could justify the death penalty, except to admit it was absolute revenge If that, he would say, was the foundation of the criminal justice system, then we had a pretty sick system All those thieves, robbers, rapists, murderers do their obnoxious crimes and when caught they declare that [...]

  • Mailer dug into the world of Gary Gil and it s a none to happy place He must have had just a plethora of access to this guy This is Mailer s attempt to do the Capote non fiction as narrative and he pulls it off As stark and alarming as In Cold Blood is, Mailer s gift for the English language, his attention to detail, the length of the novel it s a long one and the subject matter make Executioner s Song the classic of the this genre.

  • Boy was this a read, up there with prairyerth on shoe size i felt if i didn t finish this extended case history of one man s journey through the court, parole and prison systems of america then mailer was going to punch my ears once gil does the double deed and ends up in the pokey the yarn stretches a bit thin much like THE ONION FIELD with court details that start to veer into true crime territory What keeps it interesting from start to finish is the relationship between Gary Gil and the quite [...]

  • I m working on this thing where I m going to stop feeling guilty for getting bored with books and I m going to abandon them with well, reckless abandon The thing is, this is not a boring book, not at all But as can happen with books that are nearly as long as the Old Testament, when I lose my momentum, it can be hard to jump back in That s what happened here A few thoughts from my reading of the first 333 pages, though Straight from my Google Drafts folder where I was keeping notes for what I im [...]

  • Much of an ambitious book than I realized when I began it Was an engrossing tale of a man released from prison, his inability to deal with the outside world and his surprising successes and shocking downfall But the book goes on as an expose of media frenzy, the legal system, the judicial and correctional systems and American pop culture of the 1970s.I also think Mailer wrote so well that there were revelations about America in the 70s he may not have realized he was preserving For one, I enjoy [...]

  • What you suspect is wrong with the true crime two pounder The Executioner s Song by Norman Mailer is confirmed when you watch the movie adaptation The purposely visible fingerprints of the Lawrence Schiller, the man who worked his ass off to turn the unprecedented story of a killer sentenced to death into a made for TV movie.Gary Gil had spent most of his life incarcerated by the mid 1970s when he was released from prison and into the hands of his once adoring cousin Brenda in Utah She sets him [...]

  • I can t remember a book I ve read that evoked so many emotions and thoughts This is clearly one of the finest novels of its type and, perhaps, one of the finest novels of any genre A masterpiece.

  • Original post here.My preferred genre is fiction, and I hardly ever touch non fiction books unless it is absolutely necessary read for work or for reference purposes So it s a first time for me to pick up a non fiction book just for the sheer pleasure of it I buddy read this book with Kuya Doni, the senior book club moderator, for exactly 14 days The Executioner s Song is the true account of the life, conviction and eventually, execution of Gary Mark Gil, a 30 something convicted felon with an i [...]

  • It has been years since I read Norman Mailer s book The Naked and The Dead , an outstanding novel of World War II and a difficult act to follow I ve started some of his other books but never really got into them He s had a couple published recently, book Harlot s Ghost and book Oswald s Tale , that have been reviewed quite generously, so I thought it might be time to take another look In 1979, he published The Executioner s Song That book piqued my interest because it ostensibly dealt with crimi [...]

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