Tracy's Reviews > Bully: a True Story of High School Revenge

Bully by Jim Schutze
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Mar 18, 14

Read in June, 2009

** spoiler alert ** seriously one of the more disturbing true crime tales i have ever read (and this coming from the girl who reads about the likes of the manson family, elizabeth bathory and h.h. holmes, among others). somehow, this one single murder (and of a guy who arguably kind of had it coming) seems so much more brutal and cold.

i suspect, however, that it wasn't the murder itself that made me shudder and my skin crawl. i think it was the murderers/co-conspirators themselves. they just... didn't get it. they didn't seem to grasp what they had done or what it meant, not in their own lives or to society as a whole. their parents didn't seem to grasp it either. it sounded like all those stories you hear about girls who get date raped, and all anyone seems to care about is that the poor dude doesn't get his life ruined over "something so small." it's just so... sick.

although, admittedly, strangely fascinating. i couldn't put this book down. every single time there was a decision to be made, everyone involved seem to pick exactly the opposite of sanity. sure, bobby was an abusive asshole. while he thought he was breaking poor marty down into a maleable little slave, he was actually chipping off the humanity until he was left with a monster even worse than he was. but lisa... i just don't understand her. i can't even glimpse where she was coming from. i mean, i get the alienation she felt. i get the insecurity of being seemingly the only girl in town not getting her slut on. but then she finds marty, and it's like it just breaks her brain. she becomes this exotic creature i've never even heard of, who thinks that her abusive ass of a boyfriend is the center of the universe; more important than ANYTHING ever. and that he can be fixed by something as simple as killing his "best" friend.

even more apalling, she tells EVERYONE she knows about her plan. most of them decide to join in. only one guy in the whole bunch even expresses reservations with the "plan," and even those are half-hearted at best. i just... there aren't even words.

and the single most insane thing about this whole sordid ordeal: they totally had even odds at getting away with the whole damn thing if everybody had just not been stupid. and even after they were caught and HAD CONFESSED the whole thing, still they (and their families!?) were shocked (shocked!) that they might actually have to take the rap for MURDERING someone. the insanity just piles up. it's insane to want to kill your boyfriend's best friend. it's insane to tell other people you want to. it's insane that they would agree that that is, of course, the best possible course of action. it's insane that they all actually did it. it's insane they all went around telling everyone around them all about it. it's insane that they didn't expect to get caught. it's insane that they were all surprised when they were found guilty.

so, now i'm renting the movie. because my mind is still just... blown. i mean.... wow.

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