Three star review, originally posted here on May 4, 2021.
Metzl brings up some very important topics in his book, but I cannot help but feel that the execution is off. It felt like the exact same information could have been much better and thoughtfully presented in a thorough Atlantic article than stretched out thin over a full book. At times repetitive, at times meandering, and at times unclear, this book just didn’t really click for me.
Some sections or topics worked better for me personally than others, though. I went in expecting this book to focus primarily on medical care, since that seemed to be addressed the most in blurbs, other reviews, and the prologue. But it turns out that medical care is just one of three equally-lengthy sections. To me the gun section worked the best. I started to lose interest in the medical section. And then by the time we got to education, I was pretty much checked out. Tightening everything up and drawing clearer paralells between the statistics, the anecdotes, and the message would have helped.
It’s worth noting that I listened to this as an audiobook, so there’s a chance I would have digested it better in written form. Definitely not the best choice for an audiobook. I was hoping it would sound like a smarty-pants podcast, but alas, it did not.