Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Hellhound on His Trail
by Hampton Sides

Even though I knew the outcome and actually lived these events as a peace-marching, patched-pants, socially aware young adult in NYC, this book made me sweat with anxious anticipation. I was cranky when my reading was interrupted. It’s a page-turner, as they say.
The exquisite detail prompts visual and visceral reactions, the prose logical, compelling and propelling; the tale unfolds, rumbles forward, is nuanced enough to feel fresh and reminiscent enough to ring true.

Author SIdes neither canonizes Martin Luther King nor demonizes James Earl Ray. That would be too flat, too easy. In an almost cinematic delivery, we are ushered through the plotting, the parallel doings of these two men as well as full enough insight into their families, their lovers and  their movements in the months before the shooting. Although I was there, in a contemporaneous sense, this book offered the chance to be even more there.

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