Archive for December 1st, 2008

food for the soul

I’ve just finished the Amsterdam Free Library’s annual selection, Murder in the Adirondacks, by Craig Brandon. It’s a satisfying read; fattened up with enough meaty detail to impress and yet served swiftly enough that interest in the story never wavers. It is a classic tale of intrigue – innocence lost, murderous self-interest, righteous indignation and political pandering – stuff that inspired Theordore Dreiser’s novel, An American Tragedy, and the torrid 1949 film, A Place in the Sun, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Shelly Winter.

All-in-all, it is a very good read and I encourage all to give it try. The library is conveniently selling copies and will be hosting special events that invite discussion and greater community involvement.

I must admit, the story of a wronged, young girl and the dandy that brought about her demise is compelling, as is the ensuing trial. The characters are well researched and developed wholly, from protagonists to villains, policemen, socialites, hotel clerks, farmers, factory workers and religious zealots. In this cauldron, I find an intense fascination for the portrayal of the press and the impact it had on the lives it so cavalierly touched.

The 1906 press was as judgmental and deliberately incendiary as they were uninformed. It hardly seems possible, does it not? I look forward to upcoming library events to discuss this subject at greater length with my fellow literary enthusiasts. I send a hearty message of gratitude to the organizers of this year’s annual read, for the selection they have made and the opportunity for healthy discourse this will inspire.

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