|Plot Summary of True Notebooks|
|"When author Mark Salzman is half-cajoled, half-tricked into leading a creative writing course at a Los Angeles' Central Juvenile Hall, a prison for the city's most violent teenage offenders, he is full of apprehensions. Initially, he feels little sympathy for gangsters and criminals, and is not sure what he, as a successful white man from Connecticut, can say to connect with a group of boys from the LA ghettos.
His class begins with a group of four boys, but soon grows to almost unmanageable numbers; every student wants to bring along a friend or cellmate who is interested in writing. With simple prompts from Mark, the inmates write about their life experiences, thoughts, and fears through memoir, fiction, and poetry (excerpts of their work is quoted at length). Even though he knows that most of his students have been accused of murder and may spend the next few decades in prison, Mark finds many reasons to persevere. He grows to understand and care about the boys in his workshop, even to the point of attending a trial and offering to serve as a character witness. "
Jacqueline West, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of True Notebooks|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Kids growing up/acting up?
- committing crimes
Life in an institution
Period of greatest activity?
Subject of Biography
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
Biography of famous person?
- American (!)
How sensitive is this person?
- sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Strong but gentle sense of humor
- Very much smarter than other people
- average physique
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 5 ()
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
Book makes you feel?
Is book humorous?
If humorous, kind of humor
- eccentric personalities
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references
Lot of foul language?
Commentary on society?
- justice system
Writer's slant towards subject:
- very favorable
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of set of events during life
How much dialogue in bio?
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?
- 26-50% of book
How much is philosophy rather than life story?
- 0-25% of book
Click here for more information about this book
Mark Salzman Resident Scholar Profiles|
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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