The Executioner's Song

The Executioner's Song

Book - 1993
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Winner of the 1980 Pulitzer Prize In what is arguably his greatest book, America's most heroically ambitious writer follows the short, blighted career of Gary Gilmore, an intractably violent product of America's prisons who became notorious for two reasons: first, for robbing two men in 1976, then killing them in cold blood; and, second, after being tried and convicted, for insisting on dying for his crime. To do so, he had to fight a system that seemed paradoxically intent on keeping him alive long after it had sentenced him to death. Norman Mailer tells Gilmore's story--and those of the men and women caught up in his procession toward the firing squad--with implacable authority, steely compassion, and a restraint that evokes the parched landscapes and stern theology of Gilmore's Utah. The Executioner's Song is a trip down the wrong side of the tracks to the deepest sources of American loneliness and violence. It is a towering achievement--impossible to put down, impossible to forget. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: New York : Modern Library, 1993, c1979.
ISBN: 9780679424710
0679424717
Branch Call Number: MAILE
Characteristics: x, 1002 p. ; 22 cm.

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Katrina1979
Jul 05, 2017

This book was absolutely amazing!

CMLibrary_sfetzer May 17, 2016

The Executioner’s Song is perhaps Norman Mailer’s most ambitious work, both in scale and in style. Told in the tone of a journalist presenting only the facts, this “true-life novel” follows Gary Gilmore as he is released from prison, kills two men, and is ultimately executed. Mailer’s immense work spares no details as he documents the disheartening life and death of Gilmore who had been incarcerated for most of his adult existence. At turns heartbreaking, hopeful, depressing, and even grotesque, Mailer manages to capture not only a single human being but a whole community and its myriad residents. Readers who enjoyed Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood but were left wanting more will love Mailer’s masterpiece.

Armdis Aug 26, 2014

Long (1109 pages!), sometimes incomprehensible account of the disturbing life, imprisonment and death of notorious Utah armed robber and killer Gary Gilmore. The pop culture references are somewhat distracting at times, the narrative style can be rather confusing, and I'm reasonably sure that this story could have been told in way less than 1109 pages, but,here it is: Norman Mailer's ultimate salute to his fetishistic obsession with criminals, criminality and penitentiary life. I get the feeling Norman Mailer would gladly have held the inside-out-turned pockets of anybody with a scary enough rap sheet and enough years behind bars. Anyway. it's a decent enough book, if only for the reason you can tell people that you were bad-ass enough to survive this 1109 page killer.

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