I’ve never been all that interested in the Amanda Knox case, but I was intrigued by this review, mostly because Kakutani strikes me as being quite naive here, in that she even reviewed the book at all. In the second paragraph, Kakutani mentions that “the Knox family, which hired a public relation company … soon after her arrest, … have promoted an image of [Knox] as an American innocent abroad who got caught up in the gears of a dysfunctional Italian justice system.” The book, you might be shocked to learn, presents Knox as an American innocent abroad who got caught up in a series of terrible mistakes. It might as well be a press release from Knox PR, but Kakutani treats it as a real account of Knox’s growth as a person. She still ends with a shrug, I’m just not sure why she didn’t start there.
This probably only appeals to a subsection of the reading public, but if you’re one of those select few, a measure of caution: Lezard says the “puzzles” are “infuriatingly complex,” though he later deems it a worthwhile read. If you’re of the school that believes that misreading a poem can reveal its beauty, you stand a better chance of liking it. If that statement made you roll your eyes, give it a miss.
This study of the Occupy Wall Street movement was written by an anthropology professor with “anarchist politics, scholarly virtuosity and [a] long history of activism.” That sounds like about the best person to write a study of Occupy.