Leigh's Reviews > Justice: Crimes, Trials, and Punishments

Justice by Dominick Dunne
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's review
Oct 30, 2009

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bookshelves: 2010
Read in January, 2010

I've been reading Vanity Fair off and on for about three years now and Dominick Dunne's column was always my favorite. So when he passed away recently, I decided to go back and read this collection of his work.

I really enjoyed it; perhaps because so many of these trials happened during my childhood, so it was all new to me. My only complaint is that the "OJ Section" dragged on too long. It was interesting, though, because I realized that my irritation at turning the page to find yet another OJ article ("Is this damn trial over yet??") was an echo of the same irritation I felt as a high school student when the trial was actually happening. However, the other articles were all wonderful and wonderfully fascinating. A good mix of modern and historical, domestic and international, but at the root all the same - crimes committed in the name of money, jealousy, and flat out passionate anger.

Some criticize Dunne for being a name dropper, but I rather enjoy his casual style. So what if he's a name dropper? He's just telling you who he spoke with, ate with, etc. Personally, I rather enjoy his blunt honesty - because as often as it manifests itself as name-dropping, so too does it appear in his opinions on the case. He makes no secret of whom HE thinks is the guilty party; he does not try to pretend that his passion for his subjects isn't influenced by his own experience with his daughter's murder. He's not interested in a good sound byte or mollifying anyone's ego. Dunne knew all too well that the justice system isn't perfect and sometimes guilty men go free, or get away with a slap on the wrist. His motive was simply to present any and all facts that he could get his hands on about a case and then let the public decide for themselves. Sometimes jail isn't the worst punishment - for some, it's simply having every door shut in their face, having no real life to return to at all.

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01/13/2010 page 61
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