Cold-blooded murder or self-defense?
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Killing your stalker: Cold-blooded murder or self-defense? Romy Hall has been sentenced to two consecutive life-sentences for ending the life of a man whose obsession with her had grown exceedingly troublesome. She could have accepted the consequences, if she didn't have a son to think of. But with her behind bars and noone to ... Killing your stalker: Cold-blooded murder or self-defense? Romy Hall has been sentenced to two consecutive life-sentences for ending the life of a man whose obsession with her had grown exceedingly troublesome. She could have accepted the consequences, if she didn't have a son to think of. But with her behind bars and noone to care for him, she's determined to get out of there. Most of my knowledge about prisons comes from watching shows like "Orange is the New Black" and "Prison Break". So, going into "The Mars Room", I expected it to be something along those lines. But it isn't at all and that's by no means a bad thing. I think it's great that Kushner goes into a different direction here, but I still could not quite get into the story. To me, the book felt all over the place at times and I didn't connect with the characters at all. I don't know if it was her intention to alienate the readers from the characters, but that's what happened in my case. I like that the book is told from multiple points of view, but there's one narrator who has no connection to any of the other characters (that I picked up on) at all, which I found quite confusing. I did enjoy the ending, however. I am kind of on the fence about "The Mars Room". To me, neither the story nor the characters were outstanding, but just okay. However, reading this you inevitably have to think about what's right and wrong, how the system deals with criminals and if the sentences are always justified. And that's what I enjoyed - I just love it, when a book is thought-provoking and forces me to ponder things that I usually don't have a reason to think about.
The Mars Room
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • TIME’S #1 FICTION TITLE OF THE YEAR • NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2018
FINALIST for the MAN BOOKER PRIZE and the NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
LONGLISTED for the ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL
“Gritty, empathetic, finely rendered, no sugary toppings, and a lot of punches, none of them pulled.” —Margaret Atwood via Twitter
“A page turner…one of those books that enrage you even as they break your heart.” —The New York Times Book Review (cover review)
“Brilliant and devastating…a heartbreaking, true, and nearly flawless novel.” —NPR
“With her richly textured third novel, Kushner certifies her place as one of the great American novelists of the twenty-first century.” —Entertainment Weekly
From twice National Book Award–nominated Rachel Kushner, whose Flamethrowers was called “the best, most brazen, most interesting book of the year” (Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine), comes a spectacularly compelling, heart-stopping novel about a life gone off the rails in contemporary America.
It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision.
Stunning and unsentimental,
The Mars Room demonstrates new levels of mastery and depth in Kushner’s work. It is audacious and tragic, propulsive and yet beautifully refined. As James Wood said in
The New Yorker, her fiction “succeeds because it is so full of vibrantly different stories and histories, all of them particular, all of them brilliantly alive.”
Rachel Kushner is the bestselling author of three novels: the Booker- and NBCC Award–shortlisted
The Mars Room; The Flamethrowers, a finalist for the National Book Award and a
New York Times top ten book of 2013; and
Telex from Cuba, a finalist for the National Book Award. She grew up in San Francisco and lives in Los Angeles.