Monday, November 10, 2014

Books are so long

I'm reading Tim Tyson's Blood Done Sign My Name, which is a good book.  It's about racial politics, the KKK, and so on in North Carolina, specifically in Oxford, NC.  This is rather close to home.  My mom's dad owned a couple auto parts stores, one in his hometown of Roxboro, the other in Oxford.

The book is kicked off in 1971, when a black guy goes into a store in the ghetto owned by a virulent white racist, and is chased out into the street, pistol-whipped, and then shot dead.  This was when I was 5.  My granddad's store was right around there.

Not shockingly, some violent rioting ensues, rather Ferguson-like.  Black people burn up a bunch of shit, then the white power structure of the town lays down the law and puts a curfew in effect.

Anyway, it's a good book, I'm glad I'm reading it, but it goes on for 320-odd pages.  I feel like the material could have been handled in maybe 200-250 or so.  It seems like there's a bias in non-fiction towards bulk, as if a shorter book can't encompass a serious topic.

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