This is another I may have built up in my head. The subject fascinates me yet I barely got into this before deciding not to finish. (If anyone wants to...moreThis is another I may have built up in my head. The subject fascinates me yet I barely got into this before deciding not to finish. (If anyone wants to get ignorant about me rating a book I "barely got into" I'll make you a deal - I won't review books I didn't finish on YOUR page and you don't do it on mine. K? Good. Now go away.) Anyway, so yeah, I only got a few pages in before I was skimming. That was an immediate red flag because I'm not a skimmer. A few more pages and I decided to only browse the photos and the stories directly related to those. Huge red flag but I kept going. Another few pages and I closed the book. I *might* pick it up again at a later date but I doubt it. I think it's possible to find a book that suits me better down the road. I do think the author did a great thing here, as far as I can see, and I'm glad she decided to do this and tell these stories. Something else that turned me off as soon as I looked at the book - the size and shape. It's so awkward. There is no holding is comfortably. I don't know about anyone else but this isn't what I'd keep on my coffee table. Why not package it as a regular type of book? Shallow as it sounds I may have given it more of a chance but I got pissed every time I had to pick it up and adjust how I held it to read a little. :((less)
I came away with one good thing from this book - the phrase "curious collection of DNA". I plan on using this at some point, assuming I can remember i...moreI came away with one good thing from this book - the phrase "curious collection of DNA". I plan on using this at some point, assuming I can remember it. Best part of the book right there folks.
I was told this would change my opinion on the death penalty. It didn't. I'm very much for the death penalty. In fact, I believe if we carried it out more swiftly, instead of allowing all the appeals, etc. that about 98% of people would think before they act. If a person has a desire to molest a child, and knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if he or she were caught, they would be killed, many would think first. As it is they know a few things, the first being that they very well may not get caught. The second is probably that there are about a million and one things that could go "wrong" during the course of an arrest and/or trial that will get said person off on a technicality. It's bullshit. I'm not saying there shouldn't be rules. Of course there should. I'm not saying there hasn't been innocent men and women jailed and put to death. There have. What I'm saying is simply this - if you're proven guilty of a horrendous crime you should die. If you decide to break the law and kill another human being why in the living hell should anyone give you the courtesy you didn't have? Because you're sorry? Negative. I could go on and on all day long but I won't. I'm sure I'll get a comment or two that will further the discussion. Anyway, the book... I thoyught Dow would be less biased. I wanted him to be less biased. I knew his stance going in but I thought he'd try to sway people based on facts, not his little idiotic remarks. Mr. Dow, you may think I'm a "misguided soul" but I think you're a moron. There are a thousand ways to help people in this world and you're helping to give murderers another 24 hours to live. Bravo! Thank you for what you do for the world. Give me a fucking break. Dow supposedly keeps a stack of one dollar bills in his vehicle to hand out to the bums. What a good man. Don't donate this money to sick children, people affected by a natural disaster or abadoned animals. No, he donates to the bum on the corner with two good legs, two good arms and enough brain to know that if he stands there long enough he'll have enough for that nights party favors. Fuck you. Fuck you from all the sick children, needy people and animals the world over. "Prosecutors and judges kowtow to family members of murder victims who demand an eye for an eye." Really?! Tell that to all the people guilty of murder who are walking around free because some policeman forgot to use the word 'and' when reading the Miranda. And I take serious offense to how much Dow tried to show that the judges, lawyers, police, are shifty and will lie and twist things. Guess what? YOUR kind does the same damn thing. Forgot to mention that though, huh? One has to look no further than Jose Biaz or whatever the hell his name was than to see how flithy some defense lawyers are. There are slimy people in every area of the world, not just on the prosecutions side. But way to go for trying to make it seem like that. I'm sure a few people even bought into it. I'm not a death penalthy supporter because of "retributive impulse", as much as Dow would like to say. I'm a death penalty supporter because it's the only way to make these horrendous crimes happen less often. There is no other way. I'm also a supporter because I believe in punishment. Taking a life is against the law. You know if you take a life you have to face the consequences. If the consequence is death why should YOU get a pass? Because you're sorry, because you're mommy didn't love you enough, daddy hit you with a belt, you took one too many hits of the pipe that night, etc. I can go on and on and on and on. And each and every single one of those reasons is bullshit. Nothing more. Exactly one week ago my cousin was murdered. I've never had another family member die in this way. He was stabbed to death. His life was taken because he told another man to turn his headlights on while driving so close to the kids on the street when it was dark out. The man came back later, with a friend, and stabbed him in his chest. That, Mr. Dow, is your "retributive impulse". Not the fact that I believe this man should die for his crime. Because of his actions my uncle, and his father, lost his only son. His fiance lost her husband-to-be. Three children lost their daddy. Yes, I believe the man should be put to death. And I'd love every second of doing it myself. I would be able to do it with a smile on my face and I'd sleep well that night. I wouldn't give a rats ass about his family. If we're not going to be responsible for our actions what happens? We're halfway there now. No one was caught for stabbing my cousin. Why? Because his (and my) family aren't important. If he was the son of the chief of police you better believe someone would be sitting in jail right now. And if they ever catch this fuck next to nothing will happen. It won't ever come down to him needing someone like Dow. Why? Because the judge will give him a slap on the wrists and nothing more. And this, my friends, is why this fucker didn't stop to think that night last week. This is why my family is having services this week. This is why a 25 year old man is DEAD. I think I'll continue spending my time, money, prayers, etc. on the needy, not the criminals.
**Disclaimer** - I really don't care is this pissed you off. You know who you are, there are a bunch of you out there. If you feel you have it in you to comment and intelligently express your opinion I very much welcome it. If you're going to act like you have the IQ of 2 year old, I still welcome it, just know I'll make fun of you. If you're good with that, I'm ecstatic. I need some laughter in my days right now.
***Update on 11/8/12*** - I just finished reading the book Delayed Justice: Inside Stories from America's Best Cold Case Investigators and there are two quotes that caught my eye that are applicable here. The first is a quote by Franics Bacon - "If we do not maintain justice, justice will not maintain us." The authors, Jack & Mary Branson, stated the following, to which I agree 100% - "Revenge is personal, justice belongs to society." (less)
This was... less than okay IMO. But it didn't "suck" so I can't give it one star either. I was able to tell early on that I didn't like this guy. I fi...moreThis was... less than okay IMO. But it didn't "suck" so I can't give it one star either. I was able to tell early on that I didn't like this guy. I find him disgusting to be honest. In fact, I'm not sure how he can hold his head up after admitting some of the stuff he admitted here. Some of the reviews I read were seemed shocked that this guy got this sentence for his "joke". Well, I don't think his "joke" was much of a joke. I think it was much more along the lines of a "crime". How dare he say it was a joke. Had he gotten away with the money would it have been a joke? Or wait, let me guess.... he wouldn't have taken the money right? He'd have let the cashier in on the joke and walked out huh? Give me a break. He was a little loser who wanted to be cool or wanted money, couldn't get his hands on a real gun so he used a fake one and was too damn stupid to even rob a damn Fotomat or whatever the hell is was. I don't feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for the girl who had to endure this trauma, the trauma of this "joke". Because you know what? SHE didn't know it was a JOKE. She most likely thought she would killed. How did this little prick know there wouldn't be an elderly man in there that would have a heart attack? HE DIDN'T CARE. I will allow this, at 17 I don't think he should have been sentenced to a maximum security prison. But at the same time reviewers and readers seem to be glossing over the fact that he was already on probation. (I forget for what - did he mention it? I don't think he did.) That leads the judge to think he doesn't give a damn. You know why? Because he didn't give a damn! I've long been of the opinion that sentences need to be tougher for certain things and yes, armed robbery is one of them. It sure as hell is. And really? Page 21? Did I really need to read about his balls "regenerating" after jerking off? About his "shaft springing to unmanageable attention"? Really?! I'm no prude but damn. That really just could have been left out. I was already disgusting but after reading that I just kept looking at the little square author photo and trying to keep the food in my body actually IN my body. Because believe you me, it was trying to come up. Time after time after time. Alright, I'll be blunt here. My problem is this. This idiot only hates being raped when he doesn't like being raped. Doesn't make sense? Stay with me. When someone raped him in prison and it "felt good" all of a sudden it wasn't rape - it was bee-yoo-ti-ful. Fuck you. Rape is rape. Dick size matters not. Stamina matters not. If you orgasm matters not. Rape is rape. You don't get to pick and choose what's rape! If a big ugly bastard with a small dick who can't fuck takes your ass - whoops! Rape!!!!!! But heyyyyyy, cutie over there with the big dick and the stamina to back it all up? He can rape me all I want. I'll say this and I mean each word - if the group 'Stop Prisoner Rape' can make him president it's a huge damn joke. And you know what? For the record, I'm joining the group 'Stop INNOCENT PEOPLE Rape'. Or even 'Stop ALL Rape. NOT "Stop Prisoner Rape". THIS is what is wrong with this country. Why in the living hell should I care is some murderer is raped? I care about his murder victim. His murder victims family. His family even. The friends and extended family, co-workers, those people. Not the criminal. HE or SHE had a choice. They should have not raped, not molested, not murdered, and then, and ONLY then, will I have sympathy for them. There are far too many innocent victims in this world for me to care about some criminal being raped. This guy is a joke, a huge joke. How anyone can sympathize with him I'll never know. I still can't believe I read a book where the author describes his rape as being beautiful, sweet and tender. I'm at a loss for words on that one. This guy is a waste of space.(less)
I'm going to fail the author. When an author writes a book, especially one this good, they deserve a well written review for everyone to see. And I'm...moreI'm going to fail the author. When an author writes a book, especially one this good, they deserve a well written review for everyone to see. And I'm a reader, not a writer. I'm going to try but please know I'm not doing it justice. I'll get to the few "problems" (not sure if they are in fact problems or if I didn't understand) after awhile. The first thing I want to point out is that this is not for people looking for that "easy" read. You won't like it. This will make you think. It made me think and I've been thinking about the subjects brought up in this book for many years now. I think the best part of the book is that it'll get people that haven't been thinking starting to do so. This is somewhat small but it needs to be said - this is self-published and you can barely tell. I have more than a handful of friends who stay away from self-pub's because of the problems. Those are nonexistant here. Aoun's wife, Sonja, did the editing and she did a damn good job. This is edited far better any any self-pub book I've ever read. (It's edited better than a lot of others as well.) About the story. The main friendship that the story centers around is striking. I've thought for awhile on what word I could use to describe it and striking was the first word I came up with. After thinking more about it I till agree with myself. :) I don't know that I've ever read a book with a friendship like this. There is a large amount of dialogue here, more so than in the average book IMO, and a good many parts are one-sided. An example is maybe Scott, one of the main characters, on the phone with someone. We only get Scott's side of the conversation. Aoun makes it so the reader can tell exactly what's being said. It's different than anything I've come across but it works here. I would have liked the ending to have been drawn out a little more and I'd definitely have liked Scott's wife to have a larger role. No spoilers so I have to be vague but there is one part nearing the end when Scott's wife is riding a bus and gets off for one reason or another right before something major happens. Some questions are raised and the story seems to be going one way and then goes in the opposite direction. I don't mind that, it worked for sure, but I would have liked to have seen that part more detailed also. Like why were those questions raised in the first place? Was there anything that came after or was the end of all of the questions directed at her finished right then? One part with Scott's wife that bothered me was (and it's hard to convey this without any spoilers so hang with me here) about a certain condition she was in. One minute she's in that condition and the next she's not. Why she's no longer in that condition is mentioned but it's not explained really. If that would really have happened the previous incident would have had to have been a little different. Lastly, when the book begins we're in 1960's America. Part II of the book is in Jerusalem today. What I don't understand is that there is no lag time. What was ending in the first part was still ending in the second part. There was an interview winding down at the end of Part I that was still winding down in the beginning of Part II. I don't need to say that a 40+ year long interview is fairly looooong. But I'll be real quick to say that maybe I didn't fully understand what Aoun was trying to do. I'm going to reread this and quite honestly I may reread it again after that. It's one of those books where something new will pop up each reading, if only a thought you hadn't had the previous time(s) around. The locations also gave me pause but this goes back to the timeline. Part I finds Joe, Scott, and 12 in jail and Part II has them in a camp. 'Camp' and 'jail' seem to be intertwined here but there is a question about the freedom each one has in Part II if they're still actually in this camp/jail. Maybe some of these questions will be answered after I reread the book. I don't want anyone to think that because I have these questions they will. Maybe they won't. Maybe I failed to understand something(s). I gave this story my full attention and didn't pick up anything else while reading it but that doesn't mean that I would automatically understand everything handed to me. Jerusalem Spring is well worth reading. In fact it's well worth reading more than once. I only wish I could articulate my thoughts and feelings better. I recommended this to a number of friends and I will keep doing so. I'm very, very interested in what my friend Felicia thinks and I hope she reads this soon. This is the type of book that will start a great many conversations.
Having just read a review on here one major question of mine was explained. The parallel setting. I do think that this was confusing and maybe could have been cleaned up a bit. But I will say that Aoun's writing is beautiful. If he keeps writing I'll keep reading and I think he'll only get better and better. He travels that fine line between too detailed and not enough - he manages to get it just right.
This was a mistake for me to have picked up. I know next to nothing about this man or this case but was/am interested in learning more. Being that I d...moreThis was a mistake for me to have picked up. I know next to nothing about this man or this case but was/am interested in learning more. Being that I don't know a lot about this I can't come to a conclusion on whether I think he's innocent or guilty and whether or not I think the trial was biased. I'm inclined to assume he's guilty. Most people convicted are guilty. He may be one of the few with mitigating circumstances, I don't know. But the little of this book that I read was someone crying about prison conditions. Um, yeah, prison sucks. Don't kill people. Don't rape kids. Don't rob old ladies or banks. I'm fairly positive I wouldn't like prison too much.... so I refrain from commiting crimes. Or, I'm sorry, should we fill the prisons with king sized beds and gourmet food? Or maybe have no prison at all? Just let everyone do whatever the hell they want? If anyone knows of a book that I could learn more about this man's case from I'm be interested in getting the recommendation.... I do NOT, however, want to read about how prison life is lacking. (less)
This is one I'd give 2 and 1/2 stars to if I had the option. I don't think I've ever read a book written more beautifully than this. She has great tal...moreThis is one I'd give 2 and 1/2 stars to if I had the option. I don't think I've ever read a book written more beautifully than this. She has great talent when it comes to writing and that much is obvious on the very first page. But I don't like her. At all. Not even a little bit. Most of the book I was able to understand and sympathize and whatnot while there were pieces, major pieces for me, that really bothered me. That bothered me to no end really. When Bendele talked about Rashid being locked up she seemed to fault the prison. Um, that's what we do with murderers here. If this man, or any other human had killed MY son, I'd want him locked up and I think there's a decent chance that if someone came along and snuffed the life from Bendele's little girl- she's feel the same way. Yet she wrote as if Rashid was just plucked off the street one day and charged with a murder he didn't commit. He commited murder! I'm don't mean to say he isn't deserving of love or anything else. From what I learned of him in the book he seems like a "decent" guy. (That was kind of hard to write being that he killed someone but it's how I feel.) But since he did in fact take the life of another human, he has to deal with the consequences. Like waiting for conjugal visits, no peace and quiet in the visiting room, etc. I'm also willing to bet the victims mother hasn't had a bit of peace and quiet since her son was killed- EVER. That bothered me to know end. Maybe, hopefully, I took it wrong but that's the way her writing seemed to me on that aspect of the book. The abortion.....what to say about this. As far as I know, and I think I know, being pro0life does NOT mean having the government decide when I start my family. That's basically what Bendele said. Now, if she has to work through her grief and justify an abortion in her own mind that's all good and fine. But I happen to be pro-life and I have a daughter. I chose when to get pregnant and when to start my family. Not the government or anyone else for that matter. I was CAREFUL until I was ready. Excluding certain extreme instance where the woman has no choice in the matter, there is BIRTH CONTROL. Take advantage of it for God's sake! So, in Bendele's eyes apparently, being okay with abortion is having the "right" to start your family when you choose. The pro-lifers apparently do not have this option. That's a load of horseshit and I think she's smart enough to know it. Maybe in her grief- that's a whole other thing there- she hops up on a table pregnant, hops off not pregnant a little while later, then actually tells Rashid that if it happens again she'll have it! Freaking awesome if you ask me. Um, why did we just kill the baby again then Asha? I don't know. For the most part she gave a great look into what it's like to stick with your man through his bid. On the other hand, she's not the most likable person in the world. (For all the people who are dying to start a "fight" with me about my feelings- the fact that I don't like her has nothing to do with her being pro-choice. I have family members and friends who are pro-choice.) I am looking forward to reading her novel and I may even read her other non-fiction book, the one about Nisa. Not sure yet though. (less)
Great book for teens and pre-teens I think. Very simple writing and a fine way of depicting prison life without glorifying it which is hard to do toda...moreGreat book for teens and pre-teens I think. Very simple writing and a fine way of depicting prison life without glorifying it which is hard to do today with so many kids (and adults) thinking most anything negative translates into something positive and "cool". I think this book should be made available to every kid, not just those who live in the city or gang related areas. Crime is everywhere- not just in the cities and kids fall victim to it everywhere. I appluad Williams for trying to change the world and make amends for his mistakes. (less)
This was good, as anything that Wally Lamb is involved with is in my opinion, but nowhere as good or even similiar to She's Come Undone or I Know This...moreThis was good, as anything that Wally Lamb is involved with is in my opinion, but nowhere as good or even similiar to She's Come Undone or I Know This Much Is True. Pretty much a collection of short stories from women who are serving time. Most are good stories and all are well written. Not really what i expected, even knowing ahead of time what the book was about, but I'm still happy I spent the time on it. (less)