The Executioner's Song
"The big book no one but Mailer could have dared...absolutely astonishing". -- Joan Didion, The New York Times Book Review
In what is arguably his greatest book, written in 1979, America's most heroically ambitious writer follows the short, blighted career of Gary Gilmore, an intractably violent product of America's prisons who -- after robbing two men and killing them in cold blood -- insisted on dying for his crime. To do so, he had to fight a system that seemed intent on keeping him alive long after it had sentenced him to death.
Norman Mailer tells Gilmore's story -- and those of the men and women caught up in his procession toward the firing squad -- with implacable authority, steely compassion, and a restraint that evokes the parched landscapes and stern theology of Gilmore's Utah. The Executioner's Song is a towering achievement, impossible to put down, impossible to forget.
"Literature of the highest order". -- Miami Herald
"A harrowing account...elevated by Mailer's genius into art". -- Houston Chronicle
What people are saying - Write a review
Review: The Executioner's SongUser Review - Miriam Schmidtgesling - Goodreads
I lost interest once Gary went to prison. There were far too many characters being introduced. I could not keep track of who people were and the story was dragging. Read full review
Review: The Executioner's SongUser Review - Lianna - Goodreads
Got so dragged out by the time I was half way through that it was a chore to read. There is no reason this book needs to be 952 pages. Most of it was about as entertaining as watching paint dry, which is a shame because there was some good stuff mixed in. Read full review