- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted July 3, 2002
Vivid Modern Day Mississippi Tale
This book is an extraordinary mix of suspense, humor, history, and sociology, seasoned with football, racism, Court TV, and violence. I found it to be an intensely personal account of the author¿s experience in Mississippi. The characters are rich and the story is shocking and fascinating. The author is a nice Jewish boy from New York who takes his first job out of the Ivy League as a sports reporter on a small Mississippi newspaper. From his arrival on a Greyhound bus he is clearly naïve to the Mississippi of the 1980¿s, but grows to know the people and ideas very well indeed. I loved this book and recommend it strongly.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2002
Death and Disillusionment in the Deep South
Okay, I don't live in Mississippi. But I live in Alabama, and I think that qualifies me to say that in 'Confederacy of Silence,' Richard Rubin -- who quotes someone calling him 'a Yankee Jew' as soon as the book gets going -- has drawn one of the most well-rounded and thoughtful portraits of this never-boring place we call The South. Most Northerners would come down here with their minds made up, ready to stereotype, ready to poke fun and use a whole bunch of dialect (when Rubin uses it, which isn't much, it's really effective and makes a character come to life). Not Rubin. He doesn't know what he's going to find, and while he has some preconceived ideas, he discards them along the way and shows himself doing it. He really *lives* in Mississippi--he gets into his community, he finds things he thinks are fascinating, and he shares them with all of us in a way that makes us think they're interesting too. So that's one part of the book. Another part of the book is about Handy Campbell, a high-school football star whose amazing senior season Rubin covers, and his trial for murder six or so years later. I won't give away the ending, but what makes it so compelling is not just whether Handy is guilty but how Rubin feels about Handy and how the trial affects that. I read a review somewhere that compared this to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. And it's kind of true, because Confederacy of Silence shows us an entire community and how the way various people live in the community can lead to a murder and how that affects the town. Anyone who liked 'Midnight' will like this. It's not just a memoir, it's not just reporting, it's not even just true crime. It's a really well-rounded view of a whole place, the Mississippi Delta, and its history and its culture and what they lead to. It's great reading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.