I’m really conflicted about this book…
I love the story and think this is such an incredible story that everyone should read. Everyone in the
US should be familiar with the
circumstances surrounding private Slovik’s execution. He was (as the author
remarks in the end) a very self-absorbed man, constantly be wooing him self (“They
are out to get me” rhetoric) regardless of what others may be suffering. His
wife had two miscarriages and is suffering medically and here he is saying they’ve
had it in for me hon, never mind your hardships. I actually would say he
reminds me of someone suffering from depression.
But, in the end he did make some very poor choices and even though at the time of his execution there were 49 other death sentences, his was the only one carried out. And the fact that no one had been executed for desertion since 1864, and no one since, does make you think about how maybe writing a confession about things you never actually did isn’t such a good thing.
What I wasn’t crazy about is the flow of the story, you start out with the viewpoint of a witness at the execution, then work your way back to before, around the time he and his wife met and then you work your way back towards the execution ending with one of the executioners. The different view points in each chapter threw me off on the going back part, once the story was turning back to the actual flow of events, it wasn’t as bad, but all that in itself made it hard for me to read this book and I think detracts from the story. Others might be fine with it and even think that this disjointed way of presenting the story even adds more to it.