Friday, November 30, 2018

The Mars Room; Rachel Kushner


AUTHOR: Rachel Kushner
PUBLISHER: Simon and Schuster Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2018
SETTING:  CA
FORMAT:  - library download
RATING: 4/5 stars

The Mars Room is a fictional look at women in prison. The central character, Romy Hall is 29 year old white woman, serving two consecutive life terms at Stanville Women's Correctional Facility in California. Romy had worked at a strip club called "The Mar's Room" as a lap dancer but, after she attacked a stalker and killed him her life behind bars, shut off from the outside world, becomes her new normal.

The story follows Romy from her bus ride to prison and bit by bit we learn of her backstory and sad childhood.  There were a few story lines that I wish were explored in more depth but, it was evident the author did a lot of research on the California Penal system.  Although this book was a work a fiction, it makes you understand just why our criminal justice system needs to be reformed.

The story is raw and gritty to the point that there were a couple of times I needed to skip ahead with the audio version. Although I thought the book was well done overall, I wasn't a fan of author/narrator's performance. (I'd recommend the print version if you are considering this one).

15 comments:

  1. Most bloggers liked this book a great deal despite the grit.

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    1. Yes, I think most who've read it thought it was pretty good.

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  2. Interesting review... not sure whether I'll give this a try or not. If I do, it will be in print. Thanks.

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  3. I can definitely handle raw and gritty better in print so that would be the way I'd tackle this one.

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    1. I know what you mean Kathy - it's easier to skip a bit in print.

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  4. Reading prison books, whether fiction or nonfiction, gets frustrating for me when I realize how badly the system works.

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  5. I admired this one quite a bit. One of my reading groups will discuss it in December. I read the print version. My review: https://keepthewisdom.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-mars-room.html

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  6. I heard an interview with the author on Bookworm and immediately adding it to my list. It does sound very gritty and bold though.

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  7. This book's new to me. Thanks for your honest review. It sounds like print is the way to go!

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  8. It sure sounds like a better read than a listen!

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