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Dead Season by Allan Berlow (Book Review Sample)


Dead Season by Allan Berlow


Dead Season by Allan Berlow: Book Review
Dead Season’s Book Review
Dead Season: A Story of Murder and Revenge, by Allan Berlow, New York: Vintage (February 24, 1998), 324 pages.
The book “Dead Season: A Story of Murder and Revenge” is written by Allan Berlow and presents a painful story using a brilliant and moody approach. It explains about three murders known to have taken place in Negros, a Philippine island. The first victim to be killed in the island is a wealthy landowner while the second is a farmer who is impoverished. The farmer is massacred along with his three children and wide. The third victim is a young soldier believed to have been killed by the guerillas with a communism idea having been given orders by their commanding officer. The most important thing here is that every death has a lot of stories to explain in the Negros Island. Berlow uses three related murders as a starting point for a conclusive discussion on the negative effects of capitalism, failed political system, and revolutionary forces thus being in a position to have a keener look into the soul of Philippines and the third world nations in detail.
Looking at the title and presentation of the book, it suggests that the country was experiencing a dead period whereby people kill one another in revenge due to political, ideological and economic differences existing. This helps the reader prepare himself to encounter murders whose motive is hidden. By so doing the author makes it possible for the reader to acknowledge and explore the factors leading to these deaths on Negros Island. Berlow uses this book to explore the mores and politics of the third world countries by exploring the lives of the poor people living in Negros.
From the very beginning, the author is dedicated to present the political, economic and social situation existing in the Asian continent in particular. From the manner in which the book is presented, we observe that the author begins by presenting three murders that take place on Negro Island. By doing so, he is determined to introduce the investigation aspect into these murders. While doing so, he explores new ideas and facts surrounding the politics and economics of the Philippines. The author believes he can explore the politics of the country by adopting this particular approach in writing the text. While exploring and investigation how such murders might have occurred, the author realizes that the situation has become worse in the country.
The author realizes that the president of the country has been unable and unwilling to offer the promises he had made to the people. However, the president’s family is rich and only concerned about its welfare. The president has also failed to facilitate land reforms as she had promised to the people. There is continued fight between the communist guerillas against capitalism and this is the cause of all the problems faced in Philippines. Basically, the author’s purpose is to explore the foundations and developments of the politics of Philippines between capitalists and communists. This would also give a wider picture on the politics of Asian continent. Generally, Berlow sets out to effectively explain and investigate the massacre at de los Santos and by so doing establish what exactly the people knew. He eventually realizes that all the deaths were linked, and revolved around the ongoing unrest and revolution in the country.
It is notable that the author of the book has successfully achieved the above purpose in writing the book. This narrative has explored the culture, politics and history to explain three murders which represent the deaths and oppression in the country. The story tries to determine the motives behind these three murders and by so doing explains how the politics of the country has changed. Basically, the representation and approach adopted by the author have made it possible to explore his purpose thereby presenting to the reader the situation faced by the Philippians, and Asians as well. Sadly, the author establishes that political violence in the country has remained unpunished for years. While searching for conclusive answers to the murders, the author realizes that the then Philippians President, Aquino Corazon, had been incompetent, unable to govern and also had great allergy for criticism thus making the nation a failed state. He also relates this with the conditions existing in the other countries in third world Asia.
Another important thing about this text is that the author has sufficiently provided the reader with evidence through which he supports his point. For instance, the author begins by presenting the three murders through which the rest of the story is based on. In search for answers, Berlow realizes that the murders appear to be related. In order to explain his purpose of writing the book to the reader, the author explores the quality of life in the country whereby the political situation has seen the lives of the wealthy going from intolerable to very worse. He also explains why Aquino’s misconduct and failure to bring the needed land reforms in the country. Because of that, we observe that conflicts continue to exist between the rebel and military forces in the country. The situation results in murders of innocent people. The author has therefore presented enough evidences and facts to support his point thereby making the text readable and significant. He says that many people are in search for not bread, but for life and freedom.
The author of this text is a person whose journalism has appeared in different works such as the New Republic and in Harpers. Therefore, with first-hand information as a journalist, Berlow is an authority in global politics and therefore he has offered a subdued analysis and treatment of all the events occurring in Philippines. He has therefore been in a position of exploring the egregious injustice occurring in this country and how the people continue to suffer as the military forces and rebels continue to fight. Alan Berlow’s career has given him the right tools and prowess to explore this subject matter in details thereby presenting the best details and information about the politics of the nation in the best way possible. The author is also not biased in his analysis and presentation of the political situation in the story. He has adopted a relatively balanced approach to ensure all the quality issues and developments have sufficiently been presented and explained to the reader. He has explored the three murders in keener details thereby explaining the exact situation as faced in the country. This approach makes the book significant and informative to the reader.
A number of themes are found in Berlow’s book. For example, the theme of political instability is widely expressed and explored in this book. The state is in constant fight with the rebels and as a result more people continue to suffer and even die in the process. Insecurity and injustice is also presented as another major theme in the story. The theme of murder is used to present the unrest and insecurity faced in the island. These themes therefore used by the author to deliver the intended message to the reader. This makes it possible to give a clear picture of the political situation of Asia as it was towards the end of the twentieth century.
It is acknowledgeable that the author has adopted an easy-to-read style in writing the book. This engages the reader thereby presenting the anticipated message by the author. Berlow has extensively used analytical descriptions and presentations thus helping the reader get the exact picture of what took place in the Philippines. The author’s style of writing flows smoothly with the cadence of the paragraphs being very engaging. This makes it possible for the reader to explore even the finest details of the text. He has also flashed out any form of characterization to make the work non-fictional. He extensively used facts and anecdotes in order to stress on the facts and purpose of his work. Everything in the text is therefore very helpful and the reason I would be the first person to recommend Berlow’s book to other readers.
Berlow’s Book and Relevance to Politics in Developing Countries
Having reviewed this book, we observe that it helps explain the wider picture of the politics in developing nations of Asia. For i...
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