32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Those who wish to comprehend this tragedy must read this,
By A Customer
This review is from: As If (Paperback)
This was a book I wanted to read for some time. Coincidentally, as I finished it (Jan 2001), news broke that the two convicted boys will be granted anonymity on their release. Shortly afterwards, a telephone poll in the media reported 94% of the public disagreed with this judgement. Those 94% would rather the boys' location be public knowledge, inviting retribution. Those 94% should read this book. Blake Morrison doesn't have all the answers to the questions thrown up by this tragedy, nor does he claim to. All he does is implores them to be asked, implores us to ask them of ourselves. For example, do we not all have a memory, however vague, of some incident in our childhood which we are now at a loss to explain? It doesn't have to be murder, nor even violent. The point being there exists in all our formative years some act which we now, as adults, find morally questionable and so prefer to forget. The author recalls such events, and made me do the same. Sadly, it seems the majority of the public are too happy merely to demonize these boys, the more comfortable option. Now, I'm a father of a little boy, also called James. I found reading the detailed description of the route to murder (abduction finally culminating in the act itself), hard going; difficult to avoid thinking about my own son. However, this book is not about morbid fascination. It raises topics about upbringing, parenthood, nature/nurture, all in the quest to answer THE ONE QUESTION: WHY?