Title: “Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town”
Author: Jon Krakauer
Pages (paperback): 398 pages
Publishing Date: 12 January 2016
Synopsis (from the back of the book):
“In these pages, acclaimed journalist Jon Krakauer investigates a spate of campus rapes that occurred in Missoula over a four-year period. Taking the town as a case study for a crime that is sadly prevalent throughout the nation, Krakauer documents the experiences of five victims: their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the skepticism directed at them by police, prosecutors, and the public; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them. These stories cut through abstract ideological debate about acquaintance rape to demonstrate that it does not happen because women are sending mixed signals or seeking attention. They are victims of a terrible crime, deserving of fairness from our justice system. Rigorously researched, incisively written, Missoula stands as an essential call to action.”
Trigger warnings for the novel:
- description of multiple instances of sexual assault/rape (throughout the novel; some descriptions could be considered more graphic than others)
Before I read Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer, I knew the statistics about sexual assault, including the ones pertaining to women on college campuses. I knew how shitty the justice system is towards victims/survivors. However, once I started reading the novel, I became enraged. I didn’t realize how bad it is. How flippant people within the justice system (cops, prosecutors, everyone) can be with sexual assault cases. How much these people, like the general population, bought into all of the myths about rape. I honestly had to take this book in small chunks, reading ten or fifteen pages before stopping to take a breath, because I was becoming that angry over how these people who are supposed to “protect and serve” the community do just the opposite.
Outside of how angry this book made me, it was also easy to read. Krakauer’s writing style is smooth and precise. Everything is explained without being too wordy about it. The narration and the way quotes from the cases were used made it easy for me to read through such a challenging topic. Though, I do have to say, some of the descriptions of the sexual assaults can be pretty graphic, so keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to that sort of content.
To me, this book deserves five stars. It was concisely written, the narration was easy to follow, and in my opinion, Krakauer talked about this topic, and what particularly happened in Missoula, very well.
On top of that, after reading the novel, I now want to read The Purity Myth and Trauma and Recovery, both of which were featured in this novel.
If you are interested in sexual assault/rape on college campuses, I definitely recommend this.
If, for whatever reason, you wish to see my Goodreads review (which is practically the same review as this one), here is the link.
Until next time~