A Review of Walter Dean Myers’s Fiction Work: Monster
Steve Harmon’s potential involvement of a murder of a shopkeeper drags him into prison and the legal system. By the creative outlet of a theatrical play script, he records his experiences in prison. An internal struggle composed of self-confidence, misery, and hope, he works his way through to reflect on his current and past actions as he tried to become liberated from prison.
This novel brings many unique aspects that amplify the effect of the told story. The script format does bring to the table the biases of Steve Harmon’s character, while not making it obvious that it is him. The subtlety allows for a greater understanding of the character not just by receiving his direct thoughts, but also his actions, and the subtle biases behind word choices. This book also has many layers to it. The previously mentioned scripting, along with Harmon’s direct thoughts (that bring insight very difficult to replicate in a play), and the reflective nature of the book’s prologue provide a compelling perspective of what would just be seen as a two-dimensional criminal.
For those who consider themselves readers, or those who are like me—it might be worth a read, or two reads or many. The book gets a five from me, a five well deserved.