The most powerful and haunting book of our time. Destined to be an American classic, this book tells more than the story of a troubled American family--it tells the story of a troubled America.
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"I have a story to tell. It is a story of murder told from inside the house where murder is born. It is the house where I grew up, a house that, in some ways, I have never been able to leave."
Mikal Gilmore is a Rolling Stone writer and the youngest brother of murderer Gary Gilmore, who became, in 1977, the first person to be executed in the United States after a 10-year hiatus, a case which was subsequently recounted in Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song. This brave and eloquent book is the story that only Mikal Gilmore knows: the violence in multiple generations of his family, what the Gilmore house was like as he was growing up, his relationship with his brother, and his experience of the dramatic events surrounding Gary Gilmore's determination to be executed as planned, without appeal. Shot in the Heart pulls off the rare feat of conveying intense emotion without sentimentality or self-pity. The author's struggle is to set himself apart from the lurid true-crime fraternity of his father and brothers yet remain able to understand why he feels both guilty and lonely over his exclusion from his family's violent history. --Fiona WebsterFrom Kirkus Reviews:
In a narrative that holds all the morbid fascination of a bad car wreck, the kid brother of Gary Gilmore--immortalized in Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, he campaigned for his own death and became the first person to be executed in America after the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970s--details a sickening family history of violence, rage, and lies that spans several generations. Mother Bessie, who was traumatized by her unforgiving Mormon parents (her father who was beaten with his own father's wooden leg, in turn would batter Bessie's brother until the gawky boy passed out), married Frank Gilmore, a Catholic 20-some years her senior. Frank neglected to mention that he had six ex-wives and several abandoned children. The son of a mother who withheld her love, Frank became a drunk and a thief who left home for months at a time and moved his family frequently to evade the law. To get back at him, Bessie had an affair and became pregnant by one of his sons from a previous marriage. He suspected Gary was not his (in fact, the oldest, Frank, Jr., wasn't) and particularly disdained him. Frank regularly and savagely beat Bessie, and Mikal's older brothers Gary, Frank, Jr., and Gaylen, and robbed them of all shreds of security and self-esteem. Gary, a gifted artist and very intelligent teenager, was sent to reform school because of his father's recalcitrance, and there he became a criminal. His stints in jail further turned him into the monster who senselessly murdered two young Mormon men. Mikal humanizes Gary, and tells of the wrenching legacy he and his other brothers inherited: alcoholic Gaylen died of knife wounds, probably inflicted by a jealous husband; Frank, Jr., cared for the mother who hated him until her death, and then became a recluse; and the youngest, Mikal, now a senior editor at Rolling Stone, lives with the guilt of being his father's favorite and the shame of being Gary's brother. Articulate, brave, and heartbreaking. (15 b&w photos, not seen) (First serial to Rolling Stone; film rights to Alan Pakula; Book-of-the-Month Club featured selection; Quality Paperback Book Club selection; author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Doubleday & Company, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Special Booksellers Preview in gilt-stamped slipcase. In original publisher shrink wrap. Bookseller Inventory # 67960
Book Description Doubleday & Company, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Special Bookseller's Preview in gilt stamped slipcase. Bookseller Inventory # 67959
Book Description Doubleday, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M014016670X