Sunday, April 3, 2022

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Damage Done, by Michael Landweber {ends 4/11}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

The Murderer had been practicing sounding sorry for years. But he had trouble convincing parole board members he wouldn’t do it again. He had the hands and face of a killer – dead eyes and meat-hook fists. He couldn’t help that. All the apologies in the world couldn’t change the fact that he looked like someone you didn’t want to fuck with.

The words in the parole handbook, provided by a do-gooder nonprofit, blurred before his eyes. He had been reading it over and over, trying to identify the way out. The universe had provided the loophole – for him, for everyone in for murder. He was sorry for the past, and now, whether he wanted to or not, he couldn’t repeat his crime. There was no possibility he was a danger to society.

How much would a permanent relief—or escape—from violence change someone’s life? The answer varies so much on the individual’s circumstances.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: The Damage Done, by Michael Landweber {ends 4/11}
Violence is a thing of the past—but do new horrors lie in wait?
Imagine a world devoid of violence—a world where fists can’t hit, guns don’t kill, and bombs can’t destroy. In this tantalizing novel of possibility, this has—suddenly and inexplicably—become our new reality.

The U.S. president must find a new way to wage war. The Pope ponders whether the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is still relevant. A dictator takes his own life after realizing that the violence he used to control his people is no longer an option.

In the first days after the change, seven people who have experienced violence struggle to adapt to this radical new paradigm: Dab, a bullied middle schooler; Marcus, a high school student whose brother is the last victim of gun violence in America; Ann, a social worker stuck in an abusive marriage; Richard, a professor whose past makes him expect the worst inthe present; Gabriela, who is making a dangerous border crossing into the U.S.; the Empty Shell, a dissident writer waiting to be tortured in a notorious prison; and Julian, a white supremacist plotting a horrific massacre. As their fates intertwine, the promise and perils of this new world begin to take shape.
Although violence is no longer possible, that doesn’t mean that some among us won’t keep trying. Mindless cruelty is still alive and well—and those bent on destruction will seek the most devious means to achieve it.

This was a fascinating speculative story told from the viewpoints of seven people around the world, who later had some overlap between their characters, usually influenced by the sudden cease of violence that happened all at once. The different perspectives really brought to light that the elimination of violence, while obviously perceived as good at first glance, would affect people and populations in a lot of different ways. 

Several of their stories were haunting in their ability to keep the reader thinking about the possibilities changing around the world. While safety from violence is easy to dream about, what about the social changes and other positions of power that may have been achieved or maintained through violence? The book definitely attempted to look at the situation from many different angles.

Overall, I found this book to be quite thought-provoking in a way that tried hard not to pass judgment on the varied characters. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it as an interesting social commentary on a situation many would imagine as only good.

{click here to purchase}

Becki Bayley is a middle-aged wife and mom who enjoys using her few spare minutes to herself to read. Find out what else she’s been reading on her blog,


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of The Damage Done!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, April 11th, at 11:59pm ET, and winner will be notified via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond; if not, an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

The Damage Done, by Michael Landweber


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