The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry

Author David L. Carlson and illustrator Landis Blair created The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry, a haunting graphic novel about real-life blind poet Matt Rizzo, a one-time mob criminal.

Rizzo's son, Charlie, narrates the story, beginning with Matt telling him he lost his eyesight in a hunting accident as a child. He now sells insurance, but his true passion is poetry and writing, using a Braille typewriter. After his work is transcribed, Charlie reads it aloud to help proofread. As they work together, the father teaches his son about literature and life.

What he doesn't tell Charlie is the truth about his past, at least not until the boy becomes a troubled teen. He feels betrayed to learn that his dad lost his eyesight in an armed robbery and spent time in prison. There, a highly unlikely savior changed Matt's life: Nathan Leopold, Jr., the Leopold of the infamous "perfect crime" Leopold and Loeb murderers.

This immersive, captivating story is told through a variety of approaches, including historical facts, literary quotations and the dark, evocative crosshatched drawings that bring the characters to life. Relying heavily on Dante's Inferno, the story also references a range of literature, including Homer, Emerson, Keats, Nietzsche and more.

Imaginative and full of metaphorical imagery as well as factual details, this graphic novel takes the reader on an emotional journey through secrets and lies, delving into relationships between fathers and sons. Bits of primary sources are sprinkled throughout, making this compelling combination of story and drawings both entertaining and informative. --Suzan L. Jackson, freelance writer and author of Book by Book blog

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