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Shot in the Heart
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About the Author

MIKAL GILMORE is an American writer and music journalist. Born in Portland, Oregon to Frank and Bessie Gilmore, he is the younger brother of famed murderer Gary Gilmore who was the first person executed by firing squad after the death penalty was reinstated in 1977. Mikal was the music editor for the L.A. Weekly and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and for twenty years has worked on the staff of Rolling Stone, where he has profiled many national figures. He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Reviews

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER • WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE

"One of the most beautifully written, moving nonfiction books published in the past five years." -- Deidre Donahue, USA Today.

"Remarkable, astonishing... Shot in the Heart reads like a combination of Brothers Karamazov and a series of Johnny Cash ballads... chilling, heartbreaking, and alarming." -- Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times.

"Mesmerizing... riveting and immensely moving... Shot in the Heart is a gesture of sustained courage that just happens to be a page-turner." -- Daphne Merkin,The New Yorker.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER * WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE

"One of the most beautifully written, moving nonfiction books published in the past five years." -- Deidre Donahue, USA Today.

"Remarkable, astonishing... Shot in the Heart reads like a combination of Brothers Karamazov and a series of Johnny Cash ballads... chilling, heartbreaking, and alarming." -- Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times.

"Mesmerizing... riveting and immensely moving... Shot in the Heart is a gesture of sustained courage that just happens to be a page-turner." -- Daphne Merkin,The New Yorker.

Executed by firing squad in Utah in 1977 after murdering two young Mormon men, Gary Gilmore, who insisted he be put to death, gained notoriety through Norman Mailer's book The Executioner's Song and a TV film. In a haunting portrait of a dysfunctional family that molded a murderer, rock music journalist Mikal Gilmore, Gary's brother, fills in multiple gaps in Mailer's account by unearthing family secrets, traumas and horrors. Gary, frequently whipped and abandoned by his con man father, Frank Sr. (who later became a respectable publisher in Oregon), had an extensive history of robberies, arrests, suicide attempts and drug and alcohol abuse before his rage exploded in murder. We learn that Frank Sr. mistakenly suspected Gary was not his own son but the offspring of his embittered wife, Bessie, and Robert Ingram, Frank Sr.'s estranged son by a previous marriage. We also learn that Frank Jr.--long believed to be Mikal's full brother--was the issue of that long-suspected union. Mikal, who covered the case for Rolling Stone, writes with sensitivity and probing intelligence, exorcising family secrets and the stigma of being a murderer's brother. Photos. Author tour. (June)

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