Taracuda's Reviews > A Thousand Cuts

A Thousand Cuts by Simon Lelic
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May 09, 10

Read in May, 2010

The premise is a cop investigating a school shooting, and in the course of her investigation, she discovers a bullying epidemic. The set up is topical, bordering on cliche, but how the story progresses really pulls you in. It's also set in England, which added some complexity to me as an American reader.

The story is told from both the investigating reporter's POV and from her reports as she interviews all the usual suspects. There are the bratty undisciplined kids, the jock of a gym teacher, the parents in denial, and the totalitarian headmaster. And politics. There are always lots and lots of politics, both at the school and at the police station.

There are hundreds of articles and editorials out there crying out against the epidemic of bullying, especially with children and schools. This book goes a step deeper to look at a system that builds and encourages them, all the while blaming their victims. There is a devastating line where the police chief blames the female inspector for the actions of harassers by saying "there weren't any problems till you came along."
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