94 of 104 people found the following review helpful
, March 25, 2009
This review is from: The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of his Life--His Own (Hardcover)
I really wanted to like this book, and because of that I forced myself to read the final 200 pages, even though every instinct in my body told me to stop halfway through. I should have followed my gut. This book lacks any sort of actual depth. You don't get a good sense of what he went through, and I'll have to take his word that it was awful (it clearly was, but only because I know what his experiences were like, but he doesn't present the emotions in any way that you can connect to). Furthermore, I found the vast majority of it to be self-indulgent, almost as if he wanted to shout "These terrible things happened to me, and I did terrible things to others, but I'm actually a great, smart, funny, good looking guy!! I swear!!" A perfect example of this is as the end of the book he finally gets around to talking about the interviews he did with his daughters. An excellent opportunity to demonstrate how his behavior took him from being a God in their eyes to showing how he low he could fall. Instead what does he do? In a 3 page chapter covering both daughters he has about a paragraph from each of them, and in each paragraph they both say how intelligent he was. He doesn't conduct any interviews with the people who don't think he's great. For example, he talks about meeting his wife and how people told her to stay away from him. Why didn't he talk to any of them about what he did that made them hate him so much? Instead of interviewing some of his former employees who hated his guts he talks to the ones who say he was the best boss they ever had. I'm not saying he's a jerk, but everyone has people that dislike them, and in order to truly understand the awful things he did and how they affected people he should have talked to some of them. Instead, as his daughter says, this book feels like an attempt at catharsis whereby he can say he's looked at the horrors of his past and dealt with them without ever having to really sit down and deal with those issues. Having said that, I don't want this to sound like I'm attacking what he did, because I respect him for doing it, and I truly hope it did him a great deal of good in his personal life. All I'm saying is that reading the book gives these impressions, and leaves one bored, frustrated, and wishing for more.
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