Allison Morgan's Reviews > Monster

Monster by Walter Dean Myers
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Dec 10, 09

bookshelves: english-420
Read in November, 2009

Genre/Category: audio book/fiction/Read for class
Felony/murder/trial/gangs/friendship/talents/film

Summary: Steven Harmon, a sixteen-year-old from Harlem, is on trial for felony murder. While in prison, he decides to write a screenplay of his experience over the past six months in his notebook. This screen play includes his trial and moments in prison, as well as reflections of life in general. He is called a "monster" and really believe his new life in prison makes him a monster.

Listening to this book on CD was a very interesting experience. I didn't realize it was written like a screenplay, so the book on cd was also dramatized like a movie with different actors playing different characters. This brought the book to life. I was impressed by Myers' writing, especially the dialog. I thought the courtroom scenes were brilliant, as if Myers had once been a lawyer himself. The idea of "monster" was also very interesting. I had never thought of prisoners believing themselves as monsters until "proven innocent." When O'Brien told Harmon to show the jury that he's human, I realized how people really think that way--as if anyone who has made a mistake like Harmon was accused of makes him no longer human. It was interesting getting inside the mind of a convicted murderer, especially one so young. I wanted to believe him innocent from the beginning, but I realized that if I had been on the jury, I probably would've thought the opposite as well: that Harmon was a monster.
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