Wednesday, February 8, 2017
At the End of the World by Lawrence Millman
At The End of the World covers the little-known Belcher Island Murders, where nine people were killed in the winter of 1941. The reason?
An Inuit named Charley Ouyerack believed himself to be Jesus Christ, and revealed another man - Peter Sala - to he God. More than a few believed, and those who didn't were killed because they were 'Satan'.
Sadly, the book doesn't do a good job of writing about the murders. There are a few problems, such as the choppy writing. The author mentioned that this was once all notes, and it certainly reads like a collection of notes. Many chapters didn't seem to have a point (why devote so much space to his dislike of the Internet and other technology?) and even within chapters, he tends to jump from one topic to the other.
I think it took about ten or so chapters before I realised this was about the Belcher Island Murders. Luckily, the chapters are short.
Another problem the book has is that the link between the present and the past is not clearly established. The author mentions that the present was necessary for him to write the book, but personally, I didn't get it. How do his reflections on technology, on 9/11 relate to what happened in 1941?
There were parts of the book that I liked - the chapters on the murders, and the trial, which I wish was explored in more detail. However, those parts were rather scarce, and a good portion of the book was confusing and disappointing.
Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.