Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Warning: Post May Cause Extreme Drowsiness. Marginally Interesting Insults Aimed at a Bad Book Contained Herein. Read At Your Own Risk
I'm up in Lawrenceville again today. My mom's at a quilt guild meeting and I'm here to take the dogs out should any prospective buyers drop by to look at their house. No one yet. I finished watching the third season of The West Wing this morning and when mom called to ask me to house and dogsit, I decided that to do at least ONE productive thing with this day, I would bring a book I ordered used off of Amazon called Blind Vengeance: The Roy Moody Mail Bomb Murders (pictured to the left -- I'll bet you'll never guess where I got the image from), and I would start reading it. The reason I bought it in the first place is because there's a pipe-bomb explosion in my still-in-progress-novel, and I wanted to see how the pipe-bomb murder was investigated in real life. It's written by a Pulitzer-prize winning jounalist so I thought, at the very least, it would be well-written.
Not so. The author, Ray Jenkins, is indeed a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, but he won the award in 1954 while working for a very small Georgia newspaper. He wrote the book almost forty years later in 1992. Judging by Jenkins's level of writing ability exhibited in this book, he was either too old to write in '92 having lost his writing-mojo from when he was a younger man, or, and I think this may be the case, they gave them the Pulitzer not because Jenkins' story was well-written, but because a conservative, bigoted newspaper in the conservative, bigoted Southern state of Georgia had published a series of stories about an injustice perpetrated against a black person by a white person. Because this was unusual and progressive, the award was political. This was my conclusion after slogging through a 25-page introduction that had nothing to do with Roy Moody, the mail bomb murders, or any of the victims, but everything to do with Ray Jenkins himself. Jenkins doesn't actually get to the bombing until 3/4 of the way through the book. The investigation itself is largely ancillary. Jenkins's point in writing this book seems to be to tell the story absolutely no one was even slightly curious to hear: how the stories of the bomber and his two victims neatly describe the opposing sides on the race issue in the South during the Civil Rights era. Yawn. I guess I should have known better. Judging by title, which people should obviously never do with a non-fiction work, I thought the book might have had something to do with Roy Moody and his mail bomb murders. Oh well. I'm the dummy.
The dogs are now growling for me to take them out, so I'm gonna.