Sara's Reviews > The Executioner's Song

The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Aug 20, 2007

it was amazing

i think that this book got another big pump from matthew barney's cremaster cycle's and thank god. it's incredible. mailer tracks the life and execution of gary gilmore, a man who saw more time inside of a prison than outside-by a large margin-and eventually randomly murdered two mormon men in utah, where he lived for almost nine months after being released from prison and before he was incarcerated again. there's no doubt that this is gilmore's book. and no one else's.

there's no way to summarize the book without being more trite than the book deserves. it's certainly a massive work, but you forget how long you've been reading every time you pick it up. mailer, unlike capote in "in cold blood" was given an open line of communication with gilmore's lawyers, the interviews, letters and drawings gilmore produced while on death row, the man who represented gilmore's privacy and entertainment rights in his death, nicole and various other family members who he stayed with or depended on during his nine months of freedom in utah.

while saying a lot about capital punishment, mormons, lawyers, entertainers, criminals, prisons, obsession, love between family members and romantic love, mailer manages to weave his opinions on all of these things into the story, every once in a while through a gilmore rant, but more often through the interactions and action of the novel itself.

3 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Executioner's Song.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Cat (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:12PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cat yeah- i agree with you about the "bump" this book got from cremaster. it's also, independently, a classic in the "true crime" genre (obviously).

back to top