The Executioner's Song

Front Cover
Vintage Books, Apr 28, 1998 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 1056 pages
854 Reviews
"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

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Mailer's prose is vivid, active, and easy to read. - Goodreads
Uneven, but a pretty amazing feat of research. - Goodreads
Best love story ever! - Goodreads
Ultimately, Mailer's writing fell flat for me. - Goodreads
It is a VERY detailed coverage of everyth - Goodreads
I disliked the writing style intensely. - Goodreads

Review: The Executioner's Song

User 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 Song

User 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

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About the author (1998)

Norman Kingsley Mailer was born on January 31, 1923 in Long Branch, N. J. and then moved with his family to Brooklyn, N. Y. Mailer later attended Harvard University and graduated with a degree in aeronautical engineering. Mailer served in the Army during World War II, and later wrote, directed, and acted in motion pictures. He was also a co-founder of the Village Voice and edited Disssent for nine years. Mailer has written several books including: The Armies of the Night, which won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and a Polk Award; and The Executioner's Song, which won the Pulitzer Prize. In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. He published his last novel, The Castle in the Forest, in 2007. He died of acute renal failure on November 10, 2007.

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