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Knowledge of our past is our inheritance. What we do with that knowledge will shape our destinies...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Review Day: Driven to Kill + The Four Hour Work Week

Driven to Kill by Gary C. King is a true crime novel about the case of Westley Allen Dodd who was captured in 1989 after murdering three children.

I really like true crime and I'll admit to a mild-to-serious fascination with criminal psychology, especially serial killers. Reading about them can give me the willies, but it doesn't bother me much overall. I don't generally get freaked out by it. If I start to, I just read in daylight and I'm good.

This book was a little different. Not only is there the violence of the kills to deal with, but this book goes into explicit detail about the nasty, twisted sexual things that were done to them, and Dodd's horrible sexual fantasies. Gave me the willies in an entirely different and nastier way.

This is not the first Gary C. King book I've read. As always, his writing style is excellent. He tells the story in a straight-forward manner. One that's easy to follow and gives the reader a well-rounded view of what happened. Overall, it's an interesting story and gives a lot (maybe more than we wanted) of insight into the mind of a predator.

Just be aware if you pick it up that it's both explicit and disturbing, and not something you'll forget anytime soon.

I did really love the way it ended, so I thought I'd include some of the text. *Spoiler Alert* Because this is true crime, it's not quite the same thing as spoilers in fiction, but if you don't want some inkling of how this case ended, don't read the excerpt!

"Westley Allen Dodd was gone forever, as were his victims. Whether Dodd was sincere in his words of remorse toward the end will never be known.
Most importantly, if lessons are to be learned from this case, we must never forget about what happened to Billy and Cole Neer and Lee Iseli at the hands of Westley Allan Dood. To lose sight of this man's violent rampage would mean that the untimely and senseless deaths of those beautiful little children would have been in vain. Even though positive steps are being taken to combat the horrific problem of child molestations, pedophilia, and murder, much work remains to be done. Meanwhile, until such time that predators like Dodd can be effectively removed from our midst, society must remain aware that there are other Westley Allan Dodds out there at this very moment, lurking in the shadows and waiting for just the right moment to strike..."

The Four Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris 

This was another non-fiction book I took on more than a week ago. It took me some time to get through it, not because it wasn't great, but because I've been so busy I just haven't had time for it. (Where is that four-hour work week when you need it?)

So this book has some very interesting concepts. It's about stream-lining and out-sourcing work so that you have more time to spend and are working less hours. There are some great tips and concepts in this book, and I'm sure every one of them are true, but they're the kinds of things that have to be adapted to each individual life. 

For example, he talks about not checking email every day. I learned about streamlining email some time ago. If I respond to each email as it comes it, I end up being immersed in my inbox all day long. Instead, I check my email first thing in the morning, and once again in the afternoon, not spending more than an hour between the two times. Ferris says even that's too much. He says you should get to the point where you check it once a week. As a blogger and writer, that's not particularly realistic, but I do see his point.

Next, he talks about outsourcing work to automated assistants. I'm all for this, but it's not like the automated assistant can write my books or my blog posts for me. I suppose they could, but then I couldn't put my name on it. This is more a book for someone who owns and/or runs their own business, and I'm sure all his advice is practical. It just didn't all apply to me. There were large chunks of the book I scanned for that reason. Also I should note, this is the opposite of doing things yourself to save money. He talks about how it will actually be more economical for you to outsource (and has the numbers to prove it), but that's assuming you have quite a bit of revenue coming it. It won't help me to pay a personal assistant more than I'm bring in, if you see what I mean. Still, it's very sensible advice if it applies to your situation.

Ferris is a very entertaining narrator. I read another book by him--the Four Hour Body--and he's always the same--goofy, flippant, and immensely entertaining, which makes his work fun to read. 

Overall, an interesting book and one anyone who considers themselves a practical business person ought to flip through. 

What was the last true crime novel you read? Do you think the Four Hour Work Week would apply to you?

1 comment:

  1. Both of these books sound good. Although stories like the first always fascinate me in a train wreck kind of way, I'm not sure I could read anything that disturbing. It would permeate my soul too much. The second book sounds right up my alley though! Thanks for sharing.