Bury My Heart at Redtree
Title: Bury My Heart at Redtree
Author: Patrick Chalfant
Patrick Chalfant weaves a tale that is a mixture of psychological suspense, Native American mysticism and revenge in his sophomore novel Bury My Heart at Redtree. Redtree follows Taylor, a promising young psychology student as he builds his masters thesis around the revenge he has planned for those who are responsible for his parent's death.
Taylor is aided in his vigilante justice by his friends Elijah and Keith and hunted by the local authorities, detectives Stan Jennings and Carol Parker of the State Bureau of Investigations. With a cast of a characters that also includes a na´ve, yet insightful girlfriend, a mystical and manipulative Native American chief and a business man with shady dealings that could put Kenneth Lay to shame, Bury my Heart at Redtree is entertaining, suspenseful and exciting, albeit a little predictable and underdeveloped.
Chalfant's use of Freudian psychology as a plot device is original and ingenious as Taylor uses his criminal spree as a means to prove his thesis regarding Freud's idea of the id, ego and superego. Also, the opening sequence of Redtree, a daring and bloody convenience store hit, is one of the best opening sequences of a novel I have ever read. And I must say Gayland, the resident wealthy business man and all out bad guy is a well written and deliciously evil, villain. You love to hate him and hope and pray that he gets what he deserves.
Redtree manages to be fresh and engaging in a genre that can easily be stale and unoriginal and that is all do to Chalfant's masterful storytelling and innovative use of the old themes of revenge and redemption.
However, Redtree does have some problems, the biggest of which is Chalfant's lack of character development. With so many characters you don't expect to be up close and personal with everyone but the main characters, particularly Taylor and Jennings should feel like close friends, or at the very least people you'd care about if something happened to them and that closeness just isn't there.
Chalfant doesn't offer much in the way of motivation or understanding for their behavior or their thoughts, so as a reader you don't have much stake in what happens to them good or bad. He does a great job at portraying Gayland as a corrupt and soulless man but lacks the same depth with the rest of the characters and that lack of depth ultimately hurts the story he's trying to tell.
Also the novel gets a little too preachy, as the subplot about a high profile drug case becomes the springboard for a rant on the criminal justice system and how with enough money and the right attorneys one can get away with anything. It is fine to feel passionate about a topic but not too many people like to be preached to and after awhile the rants about the justice system just felt like a combination of whining and preaching.
Despite these criticisms Bury My Heart at Redtree is worth your time and money. It's a good and fast read and while the surprise ending isn't really a surprise you'll still find it satisfying and fulfilling.
Tamika Johnson is a freelance writer and owner of PrologueReviews.com. To read more reviews by Tamika or to have your book, movie or film reviewed visit www.prologuereviews.com">http://www.prologuereviews.com
Fox 2000 has acquired the best-selling novel "Where the Crawdads Sing" and has tapped Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine to produce a feature film adaptation.
Witherspoon's involvement is not a great surprise. The Oscar winner has been a champion of the book, selecting it for inclusion in her Reese's Book Club.
An ongoing crisis in the Brazilian publishing market "that combined steady declines in the price of books with rising inflation" is raising concerns about the future of the book trade in the country, the Guardian reported. Book chain Saraiva, which had announced the closure of 20 stores in October, said late last month that it was filing for bankruptcy protection. Rival chain Cultura has also filed a reorganization plan to avoid bankruptcy. Brazil is in the midst of its worst recession in decades, and the recent election of far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro as the country's next president is "sending ripples of fear through the country's cultural community."
Daniel T. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, compares audio books to print books and concludes that each is best suited to different purposes, and neither is superior:
... listening to a book club selection is not cheating. It's not even cheating to listen while you're at your child's soccer game (at least not as far as the book is concerned). You'll just get different things out of the experience. And different books invite different ways that you want to read them: As the audio format grows more popular, authors are writing more works specifically meant to be heard.
Our richest experiences will come not from treating print and audio interchangeably, but from understanding the differences between them and figuring out how to use them to our advantage - all in the service of hearing what writers are actually trying to tell us.
The UK publishing trade magazine, The Bookseller reports on authors' concerns about the effects of Brexit on the UK publishing industry:
Novelist Joanna Trollope has warned that Theresa May's government will "fatally undermine the whole UK publishing industry" if it fails to protect in law the UK position on exhaustion rights ahead of a major Brexit vote next week.
Trollope joined fellow authors Linda Grant and Joanne Harris to urge the government to ensure the UK's reputation as a world leader in culture and creativity is preserved after Brexit.
The authors were speaking out in support of calls from the Society of Authors (SoA), published in a new briefing, that politicians must protect free movement, copyright and trade while warning the sector is "not to be used as a bargaining chip in future negotiations"...
The Strand Bookstore in New York City is asking its many customers to attend a public hearing on Tuesday morning morning to help the store "make a case against landmark status" for its store at 826-828 Broadway. The bookstore is concerned that, if the building is given landmark status, "for every repair and every upgrade, the Strand would have to go through the slow bureaucracy of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which adds to the expenses to keep the Strand alive.... The Strand currently runs on thin margins as a bookseller and retailer in New York City, fighting to survive in the era of Amazon. We have over 230 employees--most whom are unionized--and unlike large online retailers (like Amazon), have never asked or received tax breaks or other economic assistance to insure business profitability."
Ironically, it seems that the move to give the building landmark status is in response to the many new tech hubs that are being built in the area. And so, "in a trade-off, the Strand and a few other buildings along Broadway are now being calendared for landmarking."
The Literary Review has announced an all-male shortlist for that least-coveted of literary prizes, the Bad sex in fiction award.
Haruki Murakami, often named as a contender for the Nobel prize, makes the cut for passages from his latest novel Killing Commendatore ... The controversial US novelist James Frey was selected for a scene in his novel Katerina described by judges as "almost like wish fulfilment" ... continued
In the wake of increasing controversy over the naming of bestselling mystery author Linda Fairstein as one of next year's Grand Master Edgar recipients, Mystery Writers of America has withdrawn the award. Tuesday's announcement had sparked numerous protests on social media and prompted MWA to respond by saying it took the objections seriously and would reexamine the decision. The focus of the protests is Fairstein's role as a member of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in 1989's Central Park Jogger case, which resulted in the wrongful imprisonment for years of five minority teenagers.
The New York Times has an extensive and moving interview with Anna Burns, who won this year's Man Booker Prize for her novel, Milkman which will be published in the USA on December 4:
Burns is one of the more surprising recent winners of the Booker, one of literature's biggest awards. Milkman was this year's outsider, up against Richard Powers' ecological epic The Overstory and Esi Edugyan's heralded slavery-era Washington Black, among others. It was also labeled an "experimental novel" because its characters are nameless and its paragraphs sometimes run for several pages. Her victory provoked think pieces about the "bold choice."
"I don't understand," said Burns, when asked why it had picked up such an awkward label. "Is it the whole nameless thing? Is it really difficult? The book just didn't want names." (The tag does not seem to have put many off buying it. Faber, her British publisher, has sold over 350,000 copies so far...
Netflix will create an original animated series of Roald Dahl stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and The Twits.
"ald Dahl stories have long inspired award-winning feature films and stage productions," Netflix said in its announcement. "But now, for the first time, Netflix will bring together the highest quality creative, visual, and writing teams to extend the stories in this first-of-its-kind slate of premium animated event series and specials for audiences of all ages and for families to enjoy together."
Following two years in which Margaret Atwood's classic dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale saw a skyrocketing in readership and new cultural relevance, both on television and in society at large, the author has announced a sequel.
The Testaments, set 15 years after the final scene of The Handmaid's Tale, will be published on September 10, 2019, by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, with an announced first printing of 500,000 copies.