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Death Wish: A Novel Paperback – February 26, 2013
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About the Author
- Item Weight : 4.8 ounces
- Paperback : 160 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781468303667
- ISBN-13 : 978-1468303667
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Harry N. Abrams; Reprint edition (February 26, 2013)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 146830366X
- Best Sellers Rank: #896,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book is different from the movie. In the movie there is a subplot involving the Detective Ochoa character and his pursuit of the "Vigilante." You'll get none of that pursuit subplot in here. However, you do get a full interview with Ochoa in a magazine that pretty well sums that storyline up. So basically, less fluff and fewer pages, but I'm glad. Too often, crime novels get bogged down with pointless subplots, of which this book has none. It's all about Paul Benjamin's dark journey through dealing with the death of his wife and the loss of his daughter who seeps into madness from the attack that has already happened when the book opens. The graphic account of this the movie gave would have been better left out in my opinion although I can see the idea of showing the brutality of if, seeing as how the audience might be more inclined to feel pity for the vigilante and be on his side. For me, knowing they were brutalized is enough.
This book is short read. I read through it in one day and I must say it was a day well spent. I marked steady on the question about pacing because it is quite steady through about three quarters of it, but don't worry. I'd check fast after that. If you liked the movie, you should love this one as it delves pretty well into the psychology of the vigilante and what he's really thinking which surprised me on some levels and not in a bad way but you just get a deeper look at the man which is the point of reading books over watching movies for me. I highly recommend this one in every way. It will leave you wanting more. Death Sentence is now on my reading list.
It stands up over time.
It's important to keep in mind that it was written in 1972. As a result, you'll find some casual slurs that grate today, but were quite normal back then.
What I really liked, aside from our main character's righteous vengeance, is that there is some thought that goes into it. He fights himself as he starts to see all people of color as the enemy or as he stops himself from killing two gay guys, realizing that these two men are simply going on with their lives. It's vengeance, but not blind vengeance.
And while he does become a bit of a monster, he still manages to remain somewhat true to himself.
It's a good read. It entertains while giving the reader some moral quandaries.
Happy with my reread of this one!
Garfield achieves this dual status by allowing the reader to remain empathetic to the plight of Paul Benjamin after his wife and daughter are attacked (and the wife killed) by drug addicted street thugs, but doesn't manufacture exterior excuses or rationalizations for his increasingly misanthropic worldview and behavior, enabling one to understand without condoning, or conversely, to cheer on Benjamin without losing sight of the disconnect with humanity caused by his actions. In other hands, Death Wish would be just another men's adventure novel (exactly what the film franchise became, ironically), but instead it is a journey into the depths of human desperation, obsession, and ultimately, personal retribution.
Top reviews from other countries
terrific writer. then go buy his sequel Death Sentence to continue the story. don't be put off by the film Death Wish 2 that is a totally different story.
One example worthy of note is when he sees a group of teenagers. He views them with distrust and suspicion, whereas he self-acknowledges that before the attack on his family he would have been thinking along the lines of voting for community resources to go into a sports project of some description to engage them.
The book's not oversized and can be read in a short space of time which makes it perfect as a bridge to jump directly into the sequel which is Death Sentence.
I found the film entertaining and it achieved what it wanted, i.e. to make you root for the victim and relish the summary justice he delivers to them in unwavering fashion, but, and this is the big BUT, the book begins to make you consider the ill effects of vigilantism on the character. It grips you rather than entertains you, but is all the more compelling for it.
Nevertheless, somewhat uneven.