Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Thousand Cuts by Simon Lelic

From Goodreads:
A stunning debut novel that unravels the hidden story behind a school shooting

It should be an open-and-shut case. Samuel Szajkowski, a recently hired history teacher, walked into a school assembly with a gun and murdered three students and a colleague before turning the weapon on himself. It was a tragedy that could not have been predicted. Szajkowski, it seems clear, was a psychopath beyond help. Yet as Detective Inspector Lucia May- the only woman in her high-testosterone office in the Criminal Investigations Department-begins to piece together the testimonies of the various witnesses, an uglier and more complex picture emerges, calling into question the innocence of others. But no one, including Lucia's boss, is interested.

As the pressure to close the case builds and her colleagues' sexism takes a sinister turn, Lucia begins to realize that she has more in common with the killer than she could have imagined, and she becomes deter­mined to expose the truth. Brilliantly interweaving the witnesses' accounts with Lucia's own perspective, A Thousand Cuts is a narrative tour de force from a formidable new voice in fiction.

Samuel, who was a new history teacher at the school, went into an assembly and killed three students and a co-worker before shooting himself. Samuel was a victim in this story. He was called names by students, someone shit in his briefcase, and he was just plain bullied by students. He tried going to the headmaster, but didn't get anywhere. The headmaster told him that he is a teacher and needs to maintain order and that he should not be intimidated by students. He was pretty much just blown off.

Lucia is a detective inspector in this case and she said the school should have stopped the bullying. She said the school is accountable for what happened. She felt sorry for Samuel. She felt like he was driven to do what he did.

Maggie was going out with Samuel, but then things didn't last between them. Maggie started going out with another co-worker TJ. He smacks her ass in the staff room right in front of Samuel. Samuel was in love with Maggie still and he couldn't stand to watch that.

Also, the students started a blog and they made it look like it was written by Samuel. They wrote about how he was in the hospital and how he was worrying that when one of the students pulled down his pants that he had "skid marks" in them and things like that. Even the teachers were reading the blog.

P. 204"There is plenty of blame to go around Mr. Travis. The simple fact is that you could have acted to prevent what happened but you did not. More than that, you were obliged to act. You knew -- you know -- about the bullying that goes on in this school. You know who the victims are and which children, which teachers, are responsible."

I think this book has an important message. Bullying is not something to be taken lightly, even when it is an adult that is being bullied.

I am glad I read this book.I gave it 3 stars because I liked it, but it is kind of in interview style and sometimes I wasn't sure who was being interviewed.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting for sure. What a different twist with having the teacher being bullied!!!