(A few months ago now) I finally got around to finishing Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, an epic non-fiction book about the crime, trial, and execution of Gary Gilmore. Gilmore was executed in 1977 in the state of Utah, the first man to be executed in the US after a several-year moratorium on the death penalty.
Because this book is so long and there are many things I want to talk about, I've decided to divide these blog entries into two parts. This first part will consist, more or less, of my personal book review of TES. The second part of this entry will deal specifically with how I read this book as a non-fiction writer. The second half of the book deals with the media frenzy that begins with Gilmore's death sentence, and from there, the mad scramble of several writers, journalists, and movie producers vying to win the exclusive rights to Gary Gilmore's life story. In addition to a number of ethical and legal dilemmas that emerge from said scramble, a number of situations regarding the dilemmas specific to writing non-fiction also emerge.
But we begin with my stupid little book review.