Tiffany's Reviews > Final Appeal: Anatomy of a Frame

Final Appeal by Colin Thatcher
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's review
Apr 30, 2009

did not like it
bookshelves: 2010, i-want-my-time-back
Recommended for: Absolutely nobody.
Read from January 28 to February 02, 2010

I'm not even finished with this book, but I have to write my review now before I explode.

For reasons I cannot disclose, I know exactly when Colin Thatcher was shopping for a publisher for this book. A few months later, when I discovered the publication date, I couldn't help thinking, Gee, that's awful soon....

AND IT SHOWS. This book is an absolute editorial fail. It's incredibly convoluted, off-putting in tone, aimless, and rife with redundancies and repetitions.

This book should have been revised with a fine-tooth comb. It's obvious that Colin Thatcher is out to convince the reader that he did not kill his wife on January 21, 1983, for which he served a 22-year sentence. With this in mind, the publisher and the author had to have known that any convolution in language or arrogance in tone would undermine that message, rendering the book ineffective.

And indeed it did. Caused no doubt by Thatcher's inability to focus on one point for any significant amount of time, the text jumps from one "injustice" to the next: the Crown withholding evidence, a fake credit card slip, circumstantial evidence, etc., ad nauseum, They were picking on meeeeee!

Thatcher demonizes those who "hindered" his case while putting those who helped him on a pedestal, and he gets personal and petty with his comments. At one point he calls Maggie Siggins, author of A Canadian Tragedy, "a squat woman with the face of a frog." Nice, real nice.

One glorious little interlude that comes completely out of nowhere and would have been edited out had the book not been rushed through the publishing process is Thatcher's charming opinion on the prison system. Without acknowledging his bias in the least, Thatcher educates us on how he thinks a prison should be run, including the fact that he "makes no apologies" for believing that women have no place in the prison system. Had this been expressed in a more inviting and dual-sided tone, I may not have been so offended when he wrote, "women in positions of authority in Edmonton [Max:] frequently compensated for a lesser physical presence with meanness, vindictiveness, and pickiness." (Yes, "pickiness.") Not once did he say, "in my experience" or "my personal experience is". He used this kind of narrative and an isolated incident to "prove" his point. He does the same in regards to a gay parole office, within the same chapter.

I'm not interested in Colin Thatcher's innocence. I acknowledge that we'll never know for sure whether or not Thatcher committed the crime. I even acknowledge that, if I'm understanding his case correctly, there may not have been enough evidence to convict him. But at the same time, Thatcher does NOTHING to benefit his case via this book. All he does is further validate his asshole reputation, which is probably the last thing he needs. Not that cares now, seeing as he's living a quiet life on his farm in Saskatchewan after being paroled in 2006.

He should have left things alone. What do they say? He who protests too much...
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Reading Progress

01/28/2010 page 20
4.55% "Might be an editorial fail, but too early to tell. The tone remains arrogant when that may be what they wanted to avoid. We'll see."
01/29/2010 page 91
20.68% "Convoluted, badly written, arrogant in tone. He's not helping his case, IMO."
02/01/2010 page 212
48.18% "OK, now I'm just fed up with this crap. I hate that I HAVE to finish a book before moving on to the next one."
02/01/2010 page 234
53.18% "Wrote my review ahead of time. One day I will be finished with this horrible book."
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