About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Thoughts on Questions and Answers with Gordon W. Dale

I have been thinking about Gordon’s Answers to my Questions and today's post contains my thoughts. Tomorrow I conclude my quartet of posts involving Gordon W. Dale and his book, Fool's Republic, with a short autobiography. My thoughts are:

1.) With regard to the world of white prison I have been in a monochromatic environment. It would be hard not to have the mind dulled. I do expect to hear in real life of a prisoner being tormented by being put in all white prison.
I have had sensory deprivation when I had a spinal anesthetic during surgery. The bottom half of my body was no longer there. I felt I was half a body floating in nothingness.

2.) Wyley dropped out as a youth rather than turning to the violence of the SDS. Today the excesses of the War on Terror have not roused the national student upheavals that took place in the late 1960’s against the Vietnam War. As with most people Wyley is moved to action on his principles by a personal event. Rarely do we take on the forces of authority because of abstract convictions.

3.) Gordon chose not to make his hero a male immigrant of Arab descent to emphasize the risks to everyone in society. The War on Terror is indiscriminate. The reliance on computers to pick out persons considered risks adds to the fear factor. Where once we were at the mercy only of humans in authority now we are also at the mercy of machines in authority.

His reference to Bradley Manning is to the young American soldier accused of leaking confidential American information to WikiLeaks. He was held in solitary confinement for over a year and has still not had a trial.

4.) Gordon indicated his prison was not a copy of any existing prison. He did create a prison so real I had wondered if it actually existed. I hope no authorities are inspired to turn the imagined prison of white into a real prison.

5.) Gordon obviously has a wide and varied vocabulary. Wyley is certainly a puzzle to his interrogators. I am sure it has been a rare day during the War on Terror when they questioned a detainee learned in philosophy. It is intriguing to have a character befuddle those questioning him by his command of the English language.

6.) Gordon “would like to say not” on whether his novel could have been set in Canada. He is right to be careful. I equally hope not but Canada has its own history of arbitrary detention in wartime. During World War I we interned Ukrainian and German Canadians. In World War II there was the shameful confinement of Japanese Canadians. I worry what would happen to our rights and freedoms if there was a 9/11 style attack in Canada. When a few FLQ terrorists took action in Quebec in the early 1970’s the Federal Government swiftly enacted the War Measures Act.

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