This book is a work of beauty about monsters. A prisoner sits on death row. A maximum security prison that is falling apart. No one cares. No one should. Our narrator is surrounded by horror and evil and monsters. He uses language to conjure beauty from the most miserable place imaginable. What has been achieved is extraordinary and must be read.
We know very little, names are forgotten and crimes don’t matter, not really. Our narrator doesn’t share much about his life before arriving in this place. Instead, he tells us the story of York. His execution date is set. No one cares, except for one person only known as the lady. She represents one of the central themes of the book: nature vs nurture. What made these men do bad things? The author has somehow made these prisoners inhuman by denying them a name and a voice, but complex humans with history, influence and feeling. A remarkable novel that must be read to be fully understood and appreciated.