|Plot Summary of Are You There Alone?: The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates|
Simon & Schuster, Feb 2004, 25.00, 281 pp.
The Andrea Yates's murders of her five children and the subsequent trial are graphically described by Suzanne O'Malley, a reporter who followed the case for TV and magazines. Not fascinating in any sense as Ms. O'Malley does not hold back in her details and her interviews. Most readers will struggle to get past the explicit details of a mother drowning her children. However, what makes this true crime story that sounds more like a horror novel remain above the sensationalism is that the author makes the key players seem real and human. Andrea Yates does not come across as a maniacal psychopathic monster, but instead someone suffering from mental illness, court ruling on competence aside. Not easy to read due to the horror of the crimes, Ms. O'Malley makes the case as stated by a neurologist that Ms. Yates “fit the definition of legal insanity-even in Texas." This strong look at the psychological issues of mental illness that makes justice so difficult to insure provides more than a ghastly look at perhaps the most hideous personal crime of the decade.
Harriet Klausner, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Are You There Alone?: The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea Yates|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
- criminal (killer)
Phys disability/mental struggle?
- mental illness
Period of greatest activity?
Subject of Biography
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- hard edged
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Average intelligence
- average physique
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Book makes you feel?
Writer's slant towards subject:
- very unfavorable
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of set of events during life
How much dialogue in bio?
- significantly more descript than dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 76%-100% of book
Click here for more information about this book
Suzanne O'Malley Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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