Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Book Reviews: From political histories to bad comics, to bad comics of political histories. And the occasional rant about fiction and writing.

It Isn’t Murder If They’re Yankees

Jerry Stratton, July 3, 2004

“It is, in theory, very easy to be a terrorist in America.”

So opens one chapter in Thomas Matthew Carter’s biography chronicling the terror spree of Washington, DC, terrorist “The Quiet Man” and rural virginia schoolteacher Carolyn Purcell.

If you’ve wondered who the Walkerville Weekly Reader’s editor is, where she came from, and what became of her, this novel by close friend Carter is the definitive source.

Thomas opens his novel the day of the World Trade Center bombing--the first bombing on Friday, February 26, 1993. The United States has a new president. Carolyn Purcell’s students have a new Macintosh.

And nobody is sure whether the bombing was the work of Arabs or Americans.

From February 26 until early 1994 Carter weaves a compelling account of what really went through this unique schoolteacher’s mind during the strange, almost Orwellian events of this unique year.

Carter, a truck driver for a Richmond trucking company, wrote this novel in late 1998 through 1999, well before the most recent World Trade Center attack, making this work all the more interesting for its sometimes prophetic statements about terrorism and America’s reaction to it.

All in all, we found this to be a fascinating read, and highly recommend it.

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