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Early on the morning of September 22, 1986, Mike Jackson shot and killed a man he had never met--his newly appointed parole officer, Tom Gahl. Out of that single act of violence the award-winning author of Big Sugar has created a work of journalism that lays bare the full scope of the concern over violence in our society.
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When we read about violence, we hunger for explanations that will reassure us that violence is understandable, perhaps preventable. Yet this elegantly written book--about a madman who kills his probation officer then goes on a rampage of carjackings, robberies, and more murders across southern Indiana--offers only facts. As Christopher Lehmann-Haupt writes in the New York Times, "Surprisingly, one of the most powerful effects of A Violent Act is to make you feel how callous to violence we've been made.... By telling an apparently simple story yet not presuming to understand what made it happen, Mr. Wilkinson has restored the mystery and terror of violence to their true and properly overwhelming scales." This is true crime as an accomplished nonfiction writer tells it (portions of the book were first published in The New Yorker): in a soft tone of voice, with silences in which the pain and horror can be keenly felt.From Library Journal:
What causes violence and what are the consequences of that violence? Wilkinson ( The Riverkeeper , LJ 8/1/91) tells the story of Mike Wayne Jackson, whose adult life was characterized by acts of rage, followed by imprisonment or commitment to a mental institution. Society, within its limits, tried to cope with Jackson, offering as much assistance as possible, but his behavior became more and more erratic. Ultimately, he killed his probation officer and then went on a rampage, killing two more people. After eight days of sheer terror for the small town he hid in, Jackson was found dead, killed by his own hand. But this book is also the story of the dead probation officer's family. Tom Gahl left a wife and two young sons, who have struggled to make their lives whole but who are constantly haunted by that one senseless act of violence. This is a powerfully written, searing story of violence and grief that forces the reader to confront the realities of an America not totally in control. Recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/92.
- Sandra K. Lindheimer, Middlesex Law Lib., Cambridge
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Vintage, 1994. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110679749829
Book Description Vintage, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0679749829
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0679749829