Five words from the blurb: Los Angeles, riot, race, revenge, control
All Involved is a fictionalised story which shows the horror of the 1992 LA riots. It didn’t sound like my sort of book, but when I saw David Mitchell raving about it I added it straight to my wish-list. Yet again David Mitchell has proven to be reliable with his recommendations – All Involved is an impressive book. It explains how numerous factors led to the escalation of the riot (in which a total of 11,000 people were arrested), and how different members of society were affected by the violence.
The writing was shockingly vivid throughout. Many people will find the brutal descriptions too distressing, but I was impressed by the honesty of the account. Explaining everything in unflinching detail led to a greater understanding of the event as a whole and I especially liked the fact that things were shown from the viewpoint of both the rioters and the emergency services.
Every person had a unique voice and the individual dialects appeared realistic. I occasionally found the gang members difficult to understand, but I can’t critcise this as it appeared authentic and added to the atmosphere of the novel.
This book did a fantastic job of enabling the reader to understand the factors which lead people into unthinkable acts of violence.
It was scary to see how precarious peace can be and how easily a bad situation can be inflamed.
The only problem was that the large number of characters meant the book felt fragmented. Whilst reading the novel I sometimes became frustrated by the way the focus of the story kept changing, but on reaching the end I appreciated the rounded picture the author was trying to achieve.
All Involved feels like a classic. If you like reading true crime, or gaining an insight into the criminal mind, then this is a must read.