October 32nd ~ Larry Rodness

October 32

Date Completed: 12/9/15

Rating: 4/10

The writing style was very different from what I am used to. October 32 is written in 1st person, but it includes quite a bit of personal thought. The writing switched back and forth from dialogue, scenery and timeline, and personal interjections, thoughts, and opinions, which was a little hard to follow at times. I don’t particularly like the personal interjections, for example, “I check my watch for the time. It’s an obsession I developed after I began booking appointments on the road. Never wanna be late to an appointment.” For some reason most of these interjections feel trivial and unnecessary.

I found this book to have some underlying racist and sexist themes. The concept of tokenism (Tokenism is the policy and practice of making a perfunctory gesture towards the inclusion of members of minority groups.[1][2][3] The effort of including a token employee to a workforce usually is intended to create the appearance of social inclusiveness and diversity (racial, religious, sexual, etc.), and so deflect accusations of social discrimination.[3]Typical examples of tokenism are purposely hiring a black man or woman in an occupation usually dominated by white people, or hiring a woman in a profession usually dominated by men. Found on Wikipedia) is apparent in October 32. There is only one character who is a person of color, and he is described based on his race as “an elderly black fellow,” pg 26 (unlike any of the white characters – their race is not included in the book because they are “normal”). When he finds his family, they are identified as a “black woman and her daughter. It doesn’t take much to figure out who they are” pg 443.  While I don’t think the author is racist, these comments leave me feeling unsettled, as a person who notices when race is called out for people of color but not for white people.

The women in this book are shamed for their sexual proclivities and seem to have very little plot other than being mothers or sexual beings. I believe this would qualify as an “attitude or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of gender roles,” the primary definition at dictionary.com. While I don’t believe this makes the author sexist, I think perhaps the roles of women in this book could have been better thought out.

I’m glad Rodness didn’t reveal Alexander’s entire background story at once or there would have been far fewer twists. As it was, this book was rather predictable. I also have to say I appreciated that several times Rodness waited to tie up all the loose ends until the book was nearly finished. He subtly drew everything together while reminding you of something that happened a couple hundred pages ago that you hadn’t thought about since you read it the first time, but that really gave this story a clean ending. The only problem is that then he introduces a bunch of new information right at the end, leaving you wondering what was real all along. The conclusion was well done, if he wanted to leave his readers unsure.

I received a copy of this book from Deer Hawk Publications per Larry Rodness for an honest review.

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3 thoughts on “October 32nd ~ Larry Rodness

  1. Dear sir or Ms, I am personally offended by your judgement of this book as being ‘racist’ because one of the characters is black. Do you know what ‘racist’ is? It means that you denigrate a person’s entire character based solely on the color of his skin. I dare you to cite one instance where I as the author have done that. Secondly, there are not ‘many’ temptresses in the story. There are two sisters who are competitive with each other insofar as their sexual proclivities which has everything to do with their character and motivation throughout the story. The other major female, Missy Claridge, is not driven by sexual desire but by a need to save the children of her town. Whether you like the book or not is up to you and I have no issue with that. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But to label a book racist and myself by association is irresponsible and reckless. I demand an apology and that you to delete that part of your review. If you still feel justified in your opinion I’d advise you to go to Goodreads to see what other reviewers have written. None have mentioned any racist attitude or that I have used sex gratuitously.
    Larry Rodness

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    1. I’m sorry you feel that way. I updated my review to cite instances, as per your request. Perhaps it would have been wise to read my other comments on racism and sexism before requesting that I read your book. I don’t believe you are inherently racist or sexist, but several sentences in the book left me feeling as though women and people of color were called out specifically for their gender and race. I am not labeling you as racist, but I ask that you examine why it’s necessary to call certain people out for their race but not others, and why women were the only characters used to discuss sexual infidelity and undoing in this book. I’m sorry that this personally offends you, a white man who has probably never experienced the sting of being called out time and time again for a stereotype based on your race or gender. I’m sure plenty of people will love your book, and the storyline itself I thought was wonderful. I promise you there will be more books from other authors to come that will be worthy of similar comments.

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      1. Because I mention the fact that the character is an elderly black fellow makes me racist? Is Harper Lee a racist because only 2 of her main characters, Tom Robinson and Calpurnia,are black or is she racist because she mentions them at all? That aside, I am now I am now accused of tokenism. In fact I have 3 characters who are black – Titus, his daughter and his wife. And in fact Titus is one of the more important figures in the story because he is one of the few who seeks and finds redemption for his past behavior. Many of the other (white) characters do not. The fact that I describe a character as being black does not make me either racist or someone who employs tokenism. It sounds to met that you would have been happier if all of my characters were white.But then you might accuse me of being racist because I ignored any other race. And again, racism is based on denigrating a race solely on their color of skin.
        2) The two women are not the only characters who are guilty of sexual misconduct. The deputy is also called out for the same misdeeds and has to account for that.
        Thirdly, you bring into question my insensitivity to ever having been ‘called out’ based on my race or gender. For the record I am Jewish and my first novel, “Today I Am A Man” which you can find on Amazon and Goodreads along with 5 star ratings will attest to my experiences of persecution due my religion. Lastly, don’t rely on the dictionary to back up your ignorance.

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