Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Folsom's 93 -- A Totally Not Impartial Book Review

Seriously, how can I be 100% impartial about a book that I watched grow from a stack of mug shots and documents in a cardboard box....and was written by a woman who was one of the founders of my critique group formed at the end of 2003?

As a result, you'll have to take what I say about Folsom's 93: The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison's Executed Men by April Moore as my honest opinion about a work that's almost as dear to me and the rest of our critique group as it is to the author. We saw its birth, its childhood, its puberty, and its maturity. We witnessed the growth of the writer and her immersion in the research. And finally, we shared the joy when the manuscript quickly found a publisher.

Folsom's 93 is an important piece of prison history for the state of California, a biography of the 93 men who were hung at Folsom before the practice was discontinued, and a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the victims and their families as well as the families of the convicted men. The book is highly readable, and the sidebar historical notes interesting, even to those of us who are not Californians.

I'd tell you about a couple of the stories in the book, but I saw this clip of a short television interview April just did in California, so I thought it would be more fun to have you hear her tell it herself. Just click on the link and enjoy.

April's post, No Talk of Executions at the Dinner Table Please, was published here on July 11th.

7 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Interesting and powerful topic for a book. I'll bet she discovered things she never thought possible while researching it.

Margot Kinberg said...

Pat - I'm so glad you enjoyed this as much as you did. It is, as you say, an important piece of history and what fascinating background information!

Julie Luek said...

This book is on my to-read list. It's right up my interest alley!

Jemi Fraser said...

Impressive! Love when I see a crit buddy's work come to fruition :)

Dean K Miller said...

My review can be found on Amazon.com.

Loved this book. Interesting, insightful, detailed, strange (considering the subject matter...maybe no so much) and a great read.

April Moore said...

Thanks so much, Pat. I know without a doubt, that I would not have finished this book without you and the rest of the amazing writers in the group. And thanks, Dean, for the glowing review! Much appreciated!

John Paul McKinney said...

You're so right, Pat. This is an interesting and readable book...fascinating.