Guilt By Association: Meeting the Merry Band of Protesters

Chapter One | Main | Chapter Three Before I delve into the next chapter, I wanted to go into something I left out of my review of chapter one. One of the most frustrating things about Michael Farris’ writing is his propensity to write scenes where we, the readers, are supposed to empathize with his characters, but that end up making you dislike them. The first time I attempted to read Anonymous Tip, while I was in college, I gave up when Saintly Mom Gwen was contemplating kidnapping her daughter out of foster care and fleeing to Canada. We were supposed to feel for her and her distress about losing custody of her child, but all I got from it was that she was unhinged and there was no way I could root for her. When I finally managed to read all the way through, I ended up hating Saintly Mom Gwen and her entire family and wishing CPS would just take the poor kid away permanently before her bio family traumatized her for life. The paragraph I excerpted from the first chapter of Guilt By Association is another example of Farris making me dislike characters we’re supposed to like. Handsy Sidewalk Counselor Ginny and Creepy Colonel Danners are introduced to us as they’re invading a young woman’s personal space, with Ginny initiating physical contact without consent and Danners looming over the whole scene as an intimidating presence. These are people we’re supposed to like, and by page two I already want to get as far away from them as I can. That’s compounded by the part I didn’t mention last chapter where Creepy Colonel Danners puts a fatherly hand on Handsy Sidewalk Counselor Ginny’s shoulder, because well, none of these people respect personal space. Not to mention that from my[…]

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Introducing the new series: Ryn Reads “Guilt By Association”

Main | Chapter Two Those of you who follow me on Twitter may recall the time that I livetweeted my reading of Michael Farris’ debut novel, Anonymous Tip. I’ve wanted to do something like that again, but I decided to mix things up this time and blog my way through the sequel to Anonymous Tip, with the return of our hero, Author Avatar Lawyer Peter Barron (I’vedecided that’s his full name and I’m sticking to it), in the anti-abortion activism thriller Guilt By Association. Check out the Storify of my Anonymous Tip tweets to catch up on the adventures of our intrepid attorney Author Avatar Lawyer Peter Barron (and find out why I call him that). If you want something more in depth without actually reading the book, thus avoiding the lengthy and sleep-inducing section on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, blogger Libby Anne is currently reading and reviewing Anonymous Tip. [View the story “Anonymous Tip tweets #RynReads” on Storify] Without further ado, I give you Chapter One of Guilt By Association by HSLDA founder Michael Farris. Before I begin reading, I should note that this book was published in 1997, three years after the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) was signed into law. FACE was passed after a decade and a half of increasing violence at abortion clinics, including arsons and bombings, and culminating in the murder of David Gunn by anti-abortion activist Michael Griffin and attempted murder of George Tiller by Shelley Shannon, a member of the militant anti-abortion terrorist group Army of God (Tiller was murdered by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder in 2009). In July 1994, two months after FACE became law, Paul Jennings Hill murdered abortion doctor John Britton and his bodyguard, Lieutenant Colonel James H. Barrett, USAF (Ret.), and wounded Barrett’s wife June. While it had not yet been tied to him, in[…]

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