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Missoula Paperback – 15 Jan 2016
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"Excellent. . . . Krakauer doesn't just tell the story of these crimes. As he has done so brilliantly in his other books . . . he sets the story firmly in the context of social history." --The Boston Globe"An important, difficult and timely subject. . . . Meticulously reported, fascinating and deeply disturbing." --USA Today "Jon Krakauer began his career as an author of taut, finely reported outdoor adventures; seven books later, he emerges as the conscience of a nation." --The Christian Science Monitor "Missoula will be a touchstone of any future correction to the rape culture we live in." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "Jon Krakauer began his career as an author of taut, finely reported outdoor adventures; seven books later, he emerges as the conscience of a nation. . . . Investigative reporters--and Krakauer is one of the craft's finest practitioners, diligent, dogged, and artful--are nothing so much as trial attorneys with pens rather than costly silk ties." --The Christian Science Monitor "Compelling. . . . Meticulous. . . . Krakauer is a writer committed above all else to asking difficult questions. . . . [A] timely and important book." --Los Angeles Times "Meticulously reported, fascinating and deeply disturbing. . . . By probing the specific, Krakauer illuminates upsetting generalities. . . . Krakauer--a journalist who is also a compelling writer--artfully keeps the books from becoming a compendium of facts. . . . It's an important, difficult and timely subject." --USA Today "Compelling. . . . Clear and dispassionate, offering level-headed, in-depth reportage." --Chicago Tribune "A narrative nonfiction page-turner. . . . Krakauer skillfully strengthens his sources' recollections without taking away their agency." --Buzzfeed "A devastating exposé of colleges and local law enforcement. . . . A substantive deep dive into the morass of campus sex crimes, where the victim is too often treated like the accused." --Entertainment Weekly "A good and needed thing. . . . Powerful. . . . Krakauer has done a great service by taking on this subject." --Newsweek "Krakauer exposes the cavalier attitude of police, prosecutors and football fans toward victims of acquaintance rape in the Montana town full of fanatics for the University of Montana football team." --The Denver Post "A clear and undeniable picture of a broken system. . . . Krakauer's straightforward writing resists sensationalism. . . . This is a book we all needed." --Missoula Independent "A harrowing read. . . . Missoula stands as both a reminder of the forces arrayed against women raising their voices, and of the tremendous power of the telling of their stories." --The Toronto Star "Krakauer's evocative reporting, honed to a fine edge of anger, vividly conveys the ordeal of victims and their ongoing psychological dislocations. . . . A hard-hitting true-crime exposé that looks underneath the he-said-she-said to get at the sexist assumptions that help cover up and enable these crimes." --Publishers Weekly (starred) "Riveting. . . . A raw and difficult but necessary read." --Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Jon Krakauer is the author of eight books and has received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. According to the award citation, "Krakauer combines the tenacity and courage of the finest tradition of investigative journalism with the stylish subtlety and profound insight of the born writer."www.jonkrakauer.com
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Women do not get raped because they weren't careful enough.
Women get raped because someone raped them."
Jessica Valenti ~ The Purity Myth
I'm always aware when reviewing a non-fiction book that I'm reviewing the book, not the subject matter, but in this case it's quite hard! In Missoula, Jon Krakauer has brought to our notice the shocking lack of credibility given to acquaintance rape, or non-consensual sex, with reference to a spate of such crimes that occurred at the University of Montana.
Of course, the occurrences make for gruelling reading. In all instances, the alleged assailants were members of university football team the Grizzlies, which is a source of much pride within the town. Few of the assaults were properly handled by either the university or the local authorities. The case I found the most disturbing was that of Kelsey Belnap, who was gang-raped by several members of the team. Her girlfriend, sympathetic at first, turned against her when she said she was going to report them; I was shocked at the attitude of many of the women I read about.
"The adoration of the Griz football team created a pernicious atmosphere of entitlement. Coaches reinforced the team's sense of perogative by failing to report athletes accused of sexual assault or other crimes to university officials."
This book is a product of extensive research and interviews, and I feel the subject has been treated with great care, insight and intelligence, and without prejudice. I was most interested to read a small piece near the end about what made the author want to write this book, which, for me, underlined his sincerity. As with his other books, Mr Krakauer flits between different cases to make a particular point and at times I found this a little confusing as there were so many names and circumstances to remember (not helped by the similarity of so many names: Kelly as surname for one, first name for another, Kerry, Kelsey, Kaitlynn), but that only took a bit of concentration/recap to deal with.
The author stresses, near the end, that the prosecutors of such cases are often lacking in their knowledge of, for instance, why rape victims might not necessarily react in a way that jurors might expect, during and after such an incident; as an example, one victim actually drove her assailant home afterwards. She was in shock; she'd been conditioned to think that it might be her fault ~ had she led him on? Because of this lack of preparation, prosecutors can be unable to make a valid case. The discussion of the perceived myths about acquaintance rape made me see an event of many years ago in a different light, too ~ I think this book should be read by anyone who has had first-hand experience of anything similar, or ever found themselves thinking that a woman has 'asked for it'. Or just read the quote from Jessica Valenti again.
Mr Krakauer deserves many rounds of applause for writing this book.
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