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Killings Paperback – June 4, 1985
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Top Customer Reviews
"Killings" examines the sudden deaths of a dozen or so ordinary Americans. Although Trillin touches on the manner of their deaths, what "Killings" is really about is the detail of these victims' lives. It is utterly absorbing and that rarity, a book you will enjoy even more on the second or third read than on the first. Trillin's apparent artlessness ensures that he, as author, never gets in the way of his wonderful, wonderful stories. Highly recommended!
Trillin says that the story inherent in a sudden death-homicide, suicide or accident-is more often about how people live or the society in which they move. He finds understanding the place essential to understanding the crime. Most of the deaths are due to murder (the Penguin paperback cover blurbs say all are, but that's not true), and most take place in neighborhoods and among people of which townsfolk would say, but that wouldn't happen here and to them. Even when the death occurs in Miami (a prominent defense attorney), a barrio in Riverside, California, or in Tucson where alarms and guard dogs had become a way of life, the death is still a surprise.
KILLINGS is first class journalism. The author's prose is fluent, immediate, and his information is beautifully ordered. You never know at the outset of a given story who will be the killer or the killed. He keeps himself entirely out of the action and is never judgmental. In an afterward he notes that one of the key players in a story later said of what appeared in the magazine, "If he had come two weeks later, he would have written a different story.Read more ›
I have only one minor complaint, not even enough to subtract a star. That is, I wanted to know more about the ultimate outcomes of the cases. I'd like to see an updated edition with more information!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A portrait of the environment, atmosphere, and circumstances in which death has occurred. I found it engrossing to read these accounts which originally ran in the New Yorker... Read morePublished on January 13, 2013 by R. Barrell
I read this book just as I was taking a job as a crime reporter in Stockton, California. It is simply tremendous in every way: engaging stories, well told, terrific reporting. Read morePublished on July 22, 2010 by Sam Quinones