This is a near perfect example of a precise, exacting, clinical exercise in writing. Dexter uses words like a surgeon would use a scalpel. I read this my 1st year in college and was mote than a little blown away by it and equally in awe of it. Sadly, this second reading does not leave the same impression.Granted, the technical skill remains. In spades. But this time, this overshadowed the story and caused me to enjoy this far less.I picked this up again mainly because I remembered it being a tremendous example of using multiple narrators. I remembered it quite different than it was. The book is set up with chapters that relate to different characters, but the narrator remains constant and stable. I won't lie, I had hoped to learn something from this, but sadly the way I remembered it and the way it is actually is extremely different. Alas...As for the story. It is harsh. Intense. Hard not to look away from. Dexter understands the innate racism of the south extremely well. The kind that normally trails from statements such as: "I'm not racist, but....." And he does not dress it up in the slightest to make it mote presentable. It is ugly. And he allows the spectacle of it to bloom naturally and suffocate everything in sight.His task is not pretty, but he chronicles it well. I found the need to stop reading quite often, fearful that the disturbed reality he presented would envelope mine. The star of this book is clearly dexter's style. Though it is suffocating in its own right, as one might feel shameful in a sterile room full of chrome and glass with nary a fingerprint anywhere to let you know you were not the first person ever here.