This book is not for the kind of person who is easily offended, or takes things too seriously. I realize that considering it's comedy that should be aThis book is not for the kind of person who is easily offended, or takes things too seriously. I realize that considering it's comedy that should be apparent, but from some of the reviews I've read, some people don't quite grasp satire. If you want PC comedy, go grab a book of knock-knock jokes, and steer clear of this.
It was a little slow to start, and I was geared up for disappointment, considering this was recommended to me as being a hilarious read & I wasn't enjoying it much at first, but it actually picked up fairly quickly. The M&M story was my personal favourite. ...more
While I was interested in reading this book, I also had some healthy skepticism about what would be written on those pages. I was quite suprised.
I wilWhile I was interested in reading this book, I also had some healthy skepticism about what would be written on those pages. I was quite suprised.
I will admit, I had a bit of a stereotype in my head of the two types of women most often found in prison; the first being the angry, easily-enraged woman who is unremorseful of her actions, and in fact feels justified many times, and bitter about being locked up. Someone who is just passing time waiting to get out, rather than trying to improve their life, and stay away from crime.
Inmate stereotype - that of the "constant victim". They can manipulate with emotion. They will admit to their crimes, they will cry about them, they will apologize, but it always boils down to the fact that they are never responsible for their actions. They were always forced, or tricked, or manipulated into their crimes.
So, with those stereotypes in my head, I really was expecting this book to be full of stories about how these women were "innocent", or, if willing to admit to their crimes, that instead everything bad that ever happened to them is the reason they commited them.
Instead, I found that while, yes, these women related in most of their stories some of the struggles they went through as children and teenagers, including the stories you would expect of molestation, physical and emotional abuse, rape, teenage pregnancy, drugs, and mental illness, but they weren't being used as an excuse for committing their crimes - instead, the stories appear more self-examinatory than that, as though, rather than trying to justify and excuse their actions through telling the stories of their lives, they are in fact attempting to deal with it, and maybe, if only for themselves, to try to shed light on the turning point when it all seemed to go so wrong.
Unfortunately, these women will never really know for sure what that moment was. It would be a great fortune to the justice system, and society, if we could look back at the lives on criminals and narrow the timeline down to the one time or one thing that made them cross the line. Then, we could hope to intervene before they had a chance to 'break', and exhibit any criminal behaviour. It would also help if we all reacted and dealt with bad situations in exactly the same way - if only 2+2 ALWAYS equaled 4 in these types of situations. If only every person who was ever beaten by a parent reacted the exact same way to the trauma - then, once a situation was revealed, we as a society would know how this was going to affect the victim, and fix it. Instead, every second that goes by, another person turns victim, and it will be years down the line before we can ever hope to see the effect such a trauma has had on them.
That, more than anything, was what I took from this book. It's not an excuse, or a justification, unfortuntely, it's just a sad fact - most of the people in jail, were at some point, a victim themselves. They were a child hiding under their bed while their father hit their mother, they were the scared little girl wide awake all night long huddled under the covers waiting to hear the heavy footsteps in the hall, and praying that they continued past the door, they were the teenage boy who was teased in school day in and day out... no, it does not justify their crimes, or excuse them. Instead, it just gives us a little more understanding. If you've ever wondered how someone could commit a certain crime, it gives you just a glimpse of the picture of how they could get there.
Most of all, it makes you realize that these women are real human beings, despite their crimes. That, if not for a twist of fate, if not for a chance in circumstances, you could very well standing in their shoes too, trying to look back on your own life and figure out if there was one point where it all started to go wrong. Have you ever been so angry that you wanted to hit someone you loved? Have you ever been so desperate for something you wanted that for just a second the thought of slipping it into your pocket and walking out of the store crossed your mind? Have you ever gotten so caught up in a moment you felt as though you had no control? There is a tiny bit of a criminal in all of us, buried deep. Have you ever wondered just what might make your inner criminal come out?...more
"Meh" is the best word to describe what I think of this book. I am astonished by the amount of 4 & 5 star reviews on this. I don't always tend to"Meh" is the best word to describe what I think of this book. I am astonished by the amount of 4 & 5 star reviews on this. I don't always tend to agree with the majority on most books, but at least I find the reviews and opinions understandable and valid. Even if I don't agree with other people, I can usually at least understand why they like or dislike something when I read their opinions. I have no idea how anyone could rate this boring, drag-on book 5 stars, and have actually enjoyed it.
I only finished it because I hate starting a book and not finishing it, and it wasn't completely awful. At times it was decent. Yet, at no-time did I marvel at the writing, or get really drawn in to any of the scenes. I just made it through. About 2/3rds of the way through the book I was just trying to get through with it by thinking about how much more I will enjoy the next book I read simply because it has to be better than this.
It was more of a disjointed novel than a book of short stories. Everytime I read Rhoda Manning's name again, I groaned inside. I didn't find her a particularly fascinating character to begin with, so as she popped up in almost every single story as the main character, it became too much of a not-that-great-to-begin-with thing. ...more
It's hard to rate a book full of short stories by a variety of authors. Overall, I wasn't exceedingly impressed by them. Most were only 'okay'. Some sIt's hard to rate a book full of short stories by a variety of authors. Overall, I wasn't exceedingly impressed by them. Most were only 'okay'. Some stood out though, and I really enjoyed those.
My favourites were; Ginger by Christopher Krovatin Eight Minutes by Tanuja Desai Hidler Jack and Dean by Kevin Brooks The Waitress by Matthue Roth The Birds of Fleming Park by Kevin Waltman
The rest were decent, mind a couple that I would almost categorize as bad. Honourable mention goes to "My Boyfriend Refuses to Speak in Iambic Pentameter" by Billy Merrell. It was set up as a play, not a short story, so I really didn't feel it fit in with the rest of the book. I liked it, and think it would actually make a good short skit. ...more