Book Review: Without a Doubt – Marcia Clarke

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Overnight Los Angeles prosecutor Marcia Clark went from a hard working single mum dealing with a divorce and the cases that came through for her to one of the most recognised women in the world. In June 1994 O.J Simpson was accused of the brutal murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. As a result of the celebrity nature and an infamous car chase, Marcia was a central player in the media circus that became ‘the trial of the century’, this is her story.

I had never heard of Marcia Clark until last year when I watched the American Crime Story series on the Simpson case. I was instantly drawn to this woman, played by the magnificent Sarah Paulson, and wanted to know more. I watched interview upon interview. I liked that she spoke her mind, she was quick, intelligent and most of all, human.

Clark’s account isn’t a glamorised version of the case, nor is it an autobiography. She goes into detail that is relevant to her reactions to the case and that is that. I was exactly the straight talking, honest opinion I expected from Marcia. There are no ‘woe is me’ moments, she knows that there were things that should have been done differently and things that impacted the case.

Reading about the trial from Marcia’s perspective made the case more real to me than ever. I wasn’t even born at the time of the murders, but Marcia’s detail made me feel like I was. She talks without hesitation about her frustration and anger at the ‘dream team’, Simpson’s defence lawyers, at Judge Ito and his quest for fame and the seeming uninterest of the Jury.

The book goes through evidence and, basically, breaks down evidence and why the team did exactly what they did at each point in time. She doesn’t shy away from the problems, the Fuhrman tapes, the infamous glove, she tackles them head on.

There is also a spotlight on the mistreatment of Marcia by not only the public but those in the courtroom. It’s easy to see now that she was the victim of rampant sexism and badgering. Every inch of Marcia was judged and discussed in any type of media, from many accounts she was mistreated by Judge Ito and Simpson’s lawyers, to the point that her personal life was brought up in court. This wasn’t a woman hungry for fame or with media savvy, she just wanted to do her job.

I devoured this book via Audible (I like listening to memoirs in the author’s voice if possible). Of course, I gave it a five-star rating. This book is more than just a tell-all about a celebrity trial. You can feel through the pages the responsibility that Clark felt to get justice for Ron and Nicole, her anger and frustration at the verdict. This is an extraordinary read and I would highly recommend it to all.

 

Sunday Seven: 7th Feb 2016

As promised I’m starting a new weekly post about my favourite 7 things of the week! Some weeks it might be themed, others it will just be my favourite 7 things of the week, like this week! If you’ve got an idea of what you’d like to see in Sunday Seven then let me know in the comments!

One – Having my face plastered across the Uni 

Last year I won an award for Overcoming Adversity and to promote this years award there has been a very embarrassing picture of me and the other winners  all over Facebook, Twitter, the student paper and all around the screens at the uni. I’m nominated for 3 awards this year too which is awesome, but doesn’t make this picture any less embarrassing.

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Two – My Hamsters 

Hamski and Noodle are my fur babies and have been really active this week. We’ve had a lot of hugs, some lessons in not biting (Noodle) and a few mini photo shoots. I’m completely besotted with them both.

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Three – Fresh Flowers 

I’m a sucker for fresh flowers. I just love the smell and the way they brighten up a room, even if it’s rainy and horrible outside. My grandparents got me these on Monday to say get well soon, because they’re adorable.
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Four – New Books! 

I had some books I needed to exchange this week and came home with three that I’ve been desperate to read. Sex Criminals is a graphic novel and nothing like the title suggests, well it is but not what you think a sex criminal would be, it’s volume 2 out of 3 and so far, so good. The next two books are by authors I adore and have reviewed  before, both are Young Adult fiction and look to be brilliant.

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Five – Primark’s Star Wars Game 

The Force is strong in Primark. I absolutely love anything Star Wars since watching the original trilogy over my birthday, then of course the new film was fantastic. I popped into primark and got a kick ass pair of shoes for a fiver (!!), R2-D2 cup for £3.50, Storm Trooper knickers for £2.50 and the socks for about £2. This badass stuff and the Harry Potter stuff they normally have is one of the reasons I only let myself in there sparingly. IMG_6340

Six – American Crime Story 

Now, I don’t normally watch a lot of TV. There are a lot of ‘cult’ shows that I’ve never watched or I have watched and haven’t seen the appeal, I’m much more of a book girl. That said, I watched the first episode of American Crime Story and I am hooked and can’t wait for the next episode on Tuesday. It’s also made me interested in the trial itself, meaning I have a lot of reading to do after pouring over documentarys last month.

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Seven – Harley Quinn 

All hail Harley Quinn! This is the graphic novel that started my obsession. I absolutely love the character of Harley and today picked up another novel, making it my third. There’s another two I need to buy and of course I’m excited about the new Suicide Squad movie. I have to admit so far I like this version of Harley better, but we shall see when the movie comes out in August. IMG_4616

I’m Loving: American Crime Story

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As someone who doesn’t have a hooked up TV in their flat, it’s rare I get excited about TV programmes. Over the last few months I’ve kept seeing reports about the OJ Simpson trial, I knew nothing about it but I knew about the name. Nicole Brown-Simpson was murdered the year I was born, so while I have no memory of the trial being on TV I’d heard it mentioned before. The more I read the more interested I got and of course this was all build up to the new FX show, American Crime Story. This looked like it was going to be a great show.

I read and watched a lot to understand background and know the fact before watching the fiction, I wasn’t disappointed. I cannot wait for next week and the next installment, the acting so far has been incredible and I love the angle. There hasn’t been an overwhelming sense of O.J’s guilty or O.J’s not guilty in the first episode which was a relief. I didn’t want to watch something that was incredibly tainted with one person’s view. The fact that the case focuses on those around the case and how it changed their lives is also brilliant to me. Of course, there has been some criticism of the fact that the Kardashians as children will feature BUT the children of O.J and Marcia Clarke are also featured. Robert Kardashian Sr was O.Js best friend, and Kris Jenner Nicole’,s which means that their lives are going to be explored.

The show was fast paced and from what I’ve read is staying close to fact so far. For someone like me, who’s never had an interest in crime shows before to be so hooked they must have done something right. I cannot wait for the next episode and the next and the next. I know I’m going to be clearing time each week to sit down alone and watch, no matter what’s happening that week.

The show also brings up some big issues. The race element is still incredibly relelvent today, 20 years later which is a sad truth. Why is the US still dealing with racism and police brutality? It’s something that, in my opinion, took away from the heart of the case. Two people died, but this was turned into another race issue. Don’t get me wrong I agree that there were and still are great issues between police and the African-American community but for this hugely famous athlete I don’t think it was the case. We’re also confronted with the issue of domestic violence, something incredibly serious. Whether or not O.J Simpson killed Nicole and Ron Goldman, he did assault her. Domestic violence is something that is never ok, towards a man or a woman and from this terrible and shocking murder hopefully there is room for education about domestic violence.

Overall, I’m very excited about this series. It’s going to be a fascinating look at ‘The Trial of the Century’. I’m already thinking about next week and how the famous chase is going to be shot.

How about you guys? Have any of you been watching? What do you think so far?! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.