Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Reading Response #2

The Honor Farm
By John Westermann
Pages. 1-33

So on Friday I decided to pick up a new book, and I am glad I did! The Honor Farm is a story about a Long Island police officer Orin Boyd, who nearing retirement falsely arrests a state senator. Instead of being fired, the Police Commissioner decides to give Boyd a break, on one term. He goes undercover into the “Honor Farm” a prison for bent cops, to investigate the possible suicide of the commissioner’s son, 2 days before his release.

From the beginning of the book, the protagonist Orin Boyd is portrayed as a likable maniac, if that makes any sense. I mean from the first page, it’s almost like you forced to like him, but in the back of your head you don’t completely trust Orin. He acts like a normal well mannered person, but it’s obvious he’s done something wrong. I can’t put my finger around it. Maybe he deserves to be in the Honor Farm, and maybe this was all just a set up to get him in there. I don’t know for sure yet. One part in particular really clued me in on this. It was when Orin was talking about how his badge always laid crooked on his shirt. He could never get it to stay straight! Maybe Orin’s badge is symbolic of him as a police officer, he’s crooked but he doesn’t know it or he doesn't accept it and although he tries to fix it he can’t.

Another aspect to the story I find interesting is the fact that the idea of death and suicide invade the thoughts of Orin. Throughout the beginning of the novel, the author jumps around from a 3rd person perspective to directly through the eyes of Orin and his partner. I think the author does this, so we see every situation from every angle,  we don’t get too flooded in one person’s thoughts, but whenever the story is told through Orin’s perspective, his thoughts seem to be surrounded by depression and the idea of death. It seems very ironic that someone who is possibly suicidal is investigating a possible suicide of another officer. I don’t know exactly where the author is going with this, but I predict sometime later in the novel, Orin will be faced with the challenge of possibly committing his own suicide. This reminded me, of a recent story on the news about a police officer in the US who committed suicide, and maybe this serves as a clue that Orin will do the same. That is my only prediction at this point.

I haven’t really been able to make any text to self connections, and that seems really bizarre being that my dad is a retired police officer. I think maybe this book falsely portrays police officer’s or it’s just possibly the author’s own perception of police that I don’t agree with. Never the less, I am yet to make a text to self connection.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty sure you've finished this book? What did think of the ending?