I guess I'd find God too if I were her... Don't know if I'll read this - saw the listing and recognized Barfield's name. I may read it at some point....moreI guess I'd find God too if I were her... Don't know if I'll read this - saw the listing and recognized Barfield's name. I may read it at some point. Just to see what a beautiful, wonderful, caring human she was. (less)
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)
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.