Beyond the Book: Background information when reading The Blade Itself

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Blade Itself

A Novel

by Marcus Sakey

The Blade Itself by Marcus Sakey X
The Blade Itself by Marcus Sakey
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2007, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

This article relates to The Blade Itself

Print Review

Marcus Sakey was born in Flint, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan. He is married and lives in Chicago where he has recently completed his second novel, At the City's Edge (Jan 2008). To prepare for The Blade Itself he shadowed homicide detectives, learned to pick a deadbolt in sixty seconds, and drank plenty of Jameson.

Sakey was motivated to write a book after inviting author J.A. Konrath out for a beer following a speech Konrath gave at Columbia College, which Sakey attended for a short time. When they staggered out of the bar five hours later one particular comment of Konrath's was seared into Sakey's brain: "You could stay in school, and in a year you’ll have an MFA. Or you could leave and have a manuscript." Put that way, Sakey says the choice was easy!

"If there’s a platform to The Blade Itself, it’s the impact of prison and the flaws in our system of incarceration. America imprisons more people than any other nation, close to two million inmates. Many states spend more money on jails than schools. Seventy percent of inmates are illiterate. 200,000 are mentally ill. Amnesty International has actually condemned the American prison system.

And worst of all, prison is punitive. Because of the swelling population and shrinking budgets, there is almost no effort towards rehabilitation. There aren't programs to teach job skills, or even life skills. When they are released, inmates haven't learned anything except how to survive in prison.

Imagine spending seven years in maximum security. Learning to survive in a world built to hide the most dangerous of men.

And it got me wondering, what would that do to someone?"

- Marcus Sakey.

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Blade Itself. It originally ran in January 2007 and has been updated for the November 2007 paperback edition.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Call Me American
    by Abdi Nor Iftin
    As a boy growing up in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Abdi Nor Iftin loved watching action ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Collection
    The Last Collection
    by Jeanne Mackin
    What it's about:
    The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin follows the lives of two internationally ...
  • Book Jacket: Mrs. Everything
    Mrs. Everything
    by Jennifer Weiner
    Mrs. Everything spans six decades of an American family. We meet the Kaufman sisters Josette 'Jo' ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tip of the Iceberg
    by Mark Adams
    In the late 19th century, railroad magnate Edward Harriman decided he needed a break from his ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Collection
    by Jeanne Mackin

    A vivid novel about the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Volunteer
    by Jack Fairweather

    The true story of one man, an underground army, and the secret mission to destroy Auschwitz from within.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
The Guest Book
by Sarah Blake

"An American epic in the truest sense…"
Entertainment Weekly

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win In the Full Light of the Sun

New from Clare Clark!

"Evocative prose and excellent pacing make this fine historical a must-read for art history buffs."
- Publishers Weekly

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A A A Day K T D A

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.