|Plot Summary of Deathwatch|
|"A young college student named Ben is hired to act as a seven-day guide for a “big wig” executive named Madec who is hunting for Bighorn sheep in a remote region of the desert. Ben knows the area well having grown up locally with his uncle learning to hunt and camp in the wilderness. On the third day out, a terrible accident occurs when Madec shoots at what he thinks is a ram but turns out to be an old hermit. Madec wants them both to lie to the authorities and leave the dead man in the desert. Ben insists on taking the body back to civilization, despite offers of hush money to remain silent. The desperate man will do anything to avoid the potential publicity and jail time that may result from the investigation, including forcing Ben to strip and wander in the brutal heat without food, water, or clothing. Ben tries to outwit Madec but the city slicker doesn't leave anything to chance, removing the clothing from the dead man as well as any provisions from his makeshift camp. Ben is lucky to find a slingshot and a dozen or so lead shot hidden in the camp
With his feet badly cut and in dire need of water Ben scales an improbable butte without any climbing gear but is spotted by the hunter. No longer willing to let nature take its course Madec shoots Ben in the arm, intending to kill him. Ben is able to locate a cache of dirty water and shoot birds for food. To his dismay, Madec is now using ropes and pegs to scale the monolith in pursuit of his quarry. Ben must take the fight to Madec or be hunted like an animal in a tree. His plan involves coming down at night and burying himself in the sand near the camp using the tubes of his slingshot to breathe and listen for movement. Once Madec has scaled most of the way up the wall of the rock, Ben attempts to leave in the jeep but the rotor has been removed. He sets fire to the tent to attract attention to the camp but to distract Madec. When the man comes hurrying back to investigate Ben tries to incapacitate him with the slingshot. "
David Fletcher, Resident Scholar
|"Madec and Ben are hunting bighorn sheep in the California desert. Madec holds the game license and Ben is his reluctant, but well paid, guide. Madec is arrogant, insistent, and cleverly persuasive that Ben not report an "accidental" shooting of an aged, unkempt prospector who wandered alone in the desert until Madec shot him, supposedly mistaking the prospector for a bighorn.
Ben, though confronted with several truths about why it could be needless to report the shooting, cannot override his conscience and insists that the death/murder be reported. Madec believes this course of action would be ruinous for him, his family, and his business; therefore, he decides to hunt Ben rather than bighorn sheep. Madec's interest is not in the actual killing of Ben, but rather making sure that the desert elements do it. Desert-savvy Ben, though stripped by Madec of anything useful, attempts to survive while Madec harrasses, wounds, and outsmarts Ben time and time again.
Eventually, a sheriff and a justice of the peace are alerted, people are punished, and a small desert town can never be looked upon in the same way.
JC Wright, Resident Scholar
|"This book is about two guys named Madec and Ben. Madec is trying to get a bighorn sheep head for his office. Ben has ben hired by Madec to help find the bighorn sheep in this desert, and he's trying to get money to go to college the next year.
Now Madec is not the guy Ben would hang around with, he's always bragging about the deals he has made. In all the deals someone gets cheated.
So they're in this desert then madec offers Ben a deal. He says that he's only out here for seven days, and he will never have another try at trying to get a head. So he wants Ben to help him and he'll pay for Bens tuition. Ben exepts since it's only seven days.
When they're hunting Madec thinks he sees a big horn sheep, but Ben advises Madec not to shoot. Madec shoot anyway, and kills it. They find out that it was a geyser. Madec doesn't want to tell the authorities, while Ben does. So they get in a Debate. Finaly Madec holding a powerful sniper rifle in his hands, gives him two choices. He can shoot him right now, or Ben can go to the nearest highway, which is forty-five miles away.
william Turanski, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Deathwatch|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
descript. of violence and chases - 40%
Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 10%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 10%
How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) - 40%
Tone of story
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
Time/era of story:
Exploring into the wild
- being chased through wilderness
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
How much violence does he/she use?
- just the right amount
How sensitive is this character?
- hard edged
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Average intelligence
- average physique
- business executive
How sensitive is this character?
- mean, arrogant
- very athletic
- dying of thirst, sunburn
- funny heat-delusions
Small town people:
- nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
Amount of dialog
- significantly more descript than dialog