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
David Lagercrantz, who continued Stieg Larsson's Milllennium series after the latter's death in 2004, has stated that he will write just one more book in the series, to be released in 2019. This would bring the series to six books - three by Larsson and three by Lagercrantz.
In an op ed for the New York Times, Matt A.V. Chaban, policy director for the Center for an Urban Future, discusses how libraries in New York City, and potentially, in cities across the country, could find much needed funds to modernize and stay relevant for the long term through partnerships with housing and office developments:
"In 2014, the city selected the Fifth Avenue Committee to undertake the novel task of redeveloping the Sunset Park branch. There, an eight-story building will rise, with the first two floors dedicated to a library 75 percent larger than the one there now. The floors above will have 49 apartments, all of which will be rented to low- and middle-income families in perpetuity.
Imagine if the city did the same at the branch in Corona, Queens, where cramped quarters force study groups to huddle on the floor; or Red Hook, Brooklyn, where families from the nearby housing projects are eager for more job training; or Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where rising sea levels and storms like Sandy threaten its very operations."
Two TV series based on books scooped the top honors at last night's Emmy Awards:
The Handmaid's Tale won five awards including best drama series, best actress for Elisabeth Moss and best supporting actress for Ann Dowd.
Big Little Lies took five prizes in the limited series categories, including wins for Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern.
James Hohmann, national political correspondent for The Washington Post and author of The Daily 202, leads Monday's issue with a look at the many books Hillary Clinton turned to after her election loss:
"What Happened was quickly strip-mined for political nuggets after its publication last Tuesday. As I went through it over the weekend, though, what struck me most was how the wounded Democrat coped after her crushing defeat last November.
In short, Clinton has read voraciously and eclectically for escape, for solace and for answers.
The collection of works that she cites across 494 pages showcases a top-flight intellect and would make for a compelling graduate school seminar..."
The widow and the biographer of the beloved British children's writer Roald Dahl told the BBC in an interview this week that Charlie Bucket, the young boy whose life is changed by a golden ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was originally supposed to be black.
Mrs. Dahl made the remark during a conversation with Donald Sturrock, her husband's biographer, on BBC Radio 4's "Today" program. "It was his agent who thought it was a bad idea when the book was first published to have a black hero," Mr. Sturrock said. "She said people would ask why."
After a nine month dispute, Manhattan's Federal District Court has ruled that Matthew Lombardo's theatrical parody, Who's Holiday! a dark and decidedly adult sequel of sorts to Dr Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas does not violate the copyright of the original story.
Politico reports on how America's high school English teachers are adapting curriculum to the current political climate:
After watching the tumult of the 2016 presidential election play out inside their classrooms last year, and after a summer of hate-filled violence, many are retooling the reading lists and assignments they typically give their students. They worry that the classic high school canon doesn't sufficiently cover today's most pressing themesquestions about alienation and empathy and powerand that the usual writing prompts aren't enough to get students thinking deeper than an average cable news segment...
Stephen King's record-breaking horror film "It" may already be a hit with audiences, but one group is not celebrating the success of the latest adaptation of Stephen King's novel: clowns.
For a community already struggling to combat perceptions of clowns as scary rather than fun, the emergence of Pennywise, the movie's child-killing clown villain, played by Swedish actor Bill Skarsgard is truly the stuff of nightmares. Even before the film's release the World Clown Association was warning that the film could cause its members to lose work, even going as far as publishing a press kit to prepare clowns for the damaging effects It might have on their reputations.
The many sides of one of the UK's most beloved fantasy authors are reflected in an exhibition called Terry Pratchett: HisWorld, which opened this weekend at Salisbury Museum, not far from Terry Pratchett's Wiltshire (UK) "manorette" where he died in March 2015.
The memorabilia is as eclectic as the author's writing, from his first typewriter a manual Imperial 58 bought secondhand for £14 to his trademark leather jacket and Louisiana fedora.
The $1.2 trillion FY2018 budget bill (H.R. 3354), which passed by a 211-198 margin, includes full funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), including all programs administered under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), as well as the Department of Education's Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program.
The vote comes after the House Appropriations Committee in July approved a Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) funding bill which proposed roughly $231 million for the IMLS, including $183.6 million for LSTA, programs, and $27 million for IALessentially level with 2017 funding. In addition, the bill passed yesterday also increased funding for the National Library of Medicine by $6 million.
In addition to voting to preserve federal library funding, the House bill also would save the National Endowments for the Arts, and Humanities, which are funded as part of the FY2018 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill.
The House vote caps an intense lobbying effort, and comes after President Trump in May doubled down on his call to eliminate the IMLS and virtually all federal funding for libraries, as well as a host of other vital programs and agencies.....