TITLE: Paris Trout
AUTHOR: Pete Dexter
PUBLISHER: Penquin Books
This "contemporary american fiction" was written by a local Sacramento newspaper columnist. I like his column and I assumed I would like this book as my copy is covered with glowing reviews.
The book is about a murder of a fourteen-year-old black girl by a semi-respected, older member of the white class in a small Georgia town. It explores anyones reactions to this terrible crime: the murderer's wife, the defense attorney, the "black folks".
I didn't find it as shocking as I am sure it was supposed to be. I did enjoy the character development of the murdered girl, the wife, the attorney, and some other minor parties. They seemed very real to me. I know there are people just like them, some with very limited understanding of the environ they are in and especially of that outside their world and some with all too clear of an understanding. For this the book was good.
I did not like the development of the murderer himself. If he really believed that his act was justifiable, why did he fall apart so early on? I would have liked a little more disbelief on his part about how the town's people did not support him. I also did not enjoy how he fell apart. We needed a little more from his point of view.
All in all it was a good book. I read it at one sitting (on a long plane ride).