Happy Reading

Toni's bookshelf: read

The Godfather of Kathmandu (Sonchai Jitpleecheep, #4)
Ape House
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Operation Napoleon
Walking Dead
The Sentimentalists
The Heretic Queen
The Midnight House
Cross Fire
Peony in Love
Finding Nouf: A Novel
City of Veils: A Novel
First Daughter
A Place of Hiding
Peter Pan

Toni Osborne's favorite books »

Monday, January 24, 2011

"The End of Marking Time", by C J West

This fiction is a disturbing account highlighting the seriousness of the problems within the prison system. The tale is a bit off the beaten track, borderline experimental and told in a unique and particular way.

The protagonist, Michael O'Connor, an accomplished thief since a very young age, is finally caught after a long string of burglaries. He never considered what he was doing to be abnormal or even wrong but the justice system saw it differently, his lack of remorse earned him a stiff sentence. His luck took another drastic turn on his way to prison when a fellow prisoner's breakout earned him a bullet and four years in a coma.

During the four years laps, the judiciary system is overhauled and a stronger emphasis is placed on re-education instead of incarceration. Under the new system, Michael's world changes again, he is required to wear a locator bracelet, further his education and function as a law abiding citizen. The system is designed to educate, test and measure the decisions he has to take in normal life. His past history takes its toll and he finds it difficult to understand what is expected of him. At what point will he realize that his decisions determine his freedom and could possibly have life or death consequences.

The story is told mostly in Michael's own words, the language and tone reflect an easy-going and simple protagonist. The author presents an interesting look into the reform of the penal system. He has written quite a dystopian scenario regarding crime and its punishment, an untypical mystery with a psychological twist.

I had a hard time getting into the story, although it was captivating enough at first, as I read on, my interest dwindled. I slowly lost empathy for Michael as he spun in circles trying to solve his assignments, I found myself not caring or interested in his predicament even when it took an unpredictable turn. The end result left me totally un-fizzled. I had accepted the fact that this looser would never see the light or be an asset to society.

Yes Mr. West, I did press that red button....Was this your objective?

The novel may not have been one of my favourites; however it did succeed in stimulating my thoughts towards the justice system.

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