Tag: race relations

Murder in Mississippi by John Safran

Posted October 14, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

Murder in Mississippi by John SafranTitle: Murder in Mississippi (Goodreads)
Author: John Safran
Published: Penguin, 2013
Pages: 304
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: ARC from Netgalley

Buy: Book Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

When John Safran was filming Race Relations he was going to include a segment where he announced at The Spirit of America Awards that Mississippi’s most notorious white supremacists Richard Barrett has an African heritage. This was no stretch as all bloodlines will eventually lead back to an African ancestor but the threat of legal action meant it was never aired. A year later this white supremacist was murdered and the killer African American. Safran heads back to Mississippi to find out just what happened.

I’ve been a fan of John Safran’s documentary series l highly recommend John Safran Verse God if you have never experienced his style. He is not afraid to push the boundaries and his mind works in an interesting way. This makes for great documentaries that are funny, entertaining, informative and will leave you thinking. So when I found out he wrote a true crime book, I needed to read it.

This isn’t just a standard true crime book either, this is part memoir. You get to learn about what happened to Richard Barrett and befriending the accused, but you get to read about Safran’s journey too. From the filming of the segment to deciding to write this book you will follow John Safran as he learns what happens and tries to work out how to write a True Crime book.

Written in the style that John Safran’s documentaries follows, Murder in Mississippi is part true crime and part memoir. I enjoyed the memoir side more than learning about the crime, I liked following Safran’s train of thought as he tried to work out the best way to approach the research and execution of the book.

John Safran’s writing style is a little weak but I didn’t expect a masterpiece for a first book. Hiss style feels more visual focused and might have worked better as a documentary but I still enjoyed the read. The journey is fascinating and Safran’s unique style was what made the book work.  Fans of documentaries, John Safran or true crime, I think you might enjoy this one as well.