6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Mailers song hits the "high, white note",
This review is from: The Executioner's Song (Arena Books) (Paperback)
This jaw-dropping book recieves less than flattering reviews because for some reason people want to be spoon-fed "answers" all the time to people like Gary Gilmore. What Mailer delivers instead is a truly outstanding feat of journalism, far surpassing any fiction, by painstakingly building Gilmores story from thousands of discrete, taut, unsentimental blocks of prose - allowing us to cement them together and giving us room to think for ourselves. Readers expecting Mailer to provide plot, climax, titillation, shocking details or answers as to "why" will rightly be bored, and have missed the point. Mailers neutral measured prose provides just the right angle of entry into a life that was devoid of plot and reason, just action and reaction. It is a clear white light cutting through the interests whose story he tells so skilfully in this book. Yes the length does not help, and you should do yourself a big favour take it on holiday and read it in a long hard week. But do it with an open mind and you will be infinitely rewarded... and glad you did. Unique, and to be treasured.
Once you've read this, grab more gems of late 20th c. American journalism - start with Hunter S Thompsons "The Great Shark Hunt" and Tom Wolfe's "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test".