Trish's Reviews > A Thousand Cuts

A Thousand Cuts by Simon Lelic
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's review
Oct 14, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, mysteries
Read on October 14, 2010

An outstanding piece of work. As direct and in-your-face as a Broadway show, and as searing and unforgettable. At times I found myself imagining the staging--I loved the author giving chapters to different voices. Even without knowing who was speaking initally, we are drawn in until there was no question who the speaker could be. Life in a corporation was never so baldly drawn, and one can believe life in a public corporation like the police force would reflect some of the insanity it deals with daily. A lone voice speaks truth to power and we want to stand and cheer, nay, scream that we support her. How did we become so mean to one another? Whatever has happened to civility? Was it a myth? Wasn't education meant to lead to understanding?

This is the story of a police department investigating a school shooting. Some deliciously familiar elements of a police procedural remain, but they are so stripped down that mere elements comprise the scene--we imagine rest--just like a modernistic Broadway stage. The effect is powerful and chilling in this author's hands, leaving us little comfort and much to fear. Echoes of Vernon God Little and Columbine came to my mind as I read, but this book stands on its own as a marvelous achievement.

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Reading Progress

10/14/2010 page 150
49.0% "The voice in this is completely fresh--young, piquant, sorrowful. It is a British police procedural with some traditional elements, blended with the thoroughly inexplicable modern tragedy of a school shooting."

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