I just finished Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir by Amanda Knox and much like everything about this girl I am deeply ambivalent. How can a book be so boring and fascinating at the same time? I believe she’s innocent, but that she’s also hiding something.No doubt a healthy dose of sexism and anti-American sentiment played a major role in her demonization. I empathize with her because I could easily see how the same thing could happen to many of us while abroad. International travel. Risky behavior. Could you imagine the field-day they would have with this website? G-SUS, I’d be tarred and feathered.
The tale of the American in Perugia is lush with paradox.
Italians are almost as famous for their pasta as they are their anti-African sentiment. I’m disgusted that during a round of intense interrogation she falsely accused an African, her boss Patrick. Her accusations flamed the prejudicial racial hysteria. Yet in an ironic twist, another African, Rudy Guede confessed, was convicted, and is now serving time for Meredith’s murder.
The prison medical staff erroneously informed Knox that she had AIDS. She didn’t have AIDS, but she does describe contracting herpes from a makeout sesh with a hot dude she met on the train. (Check out the meticulous brows, someone was threading her in the big house.)
If Knox were a better writer, she would have included even more details of her incarceration, however seemingly mundane. She virtually glossed over the perversely interesting incidents of unwanted advances from different lecherous prison staff and fellow female prisoners.
Based on her own descriptions of her personality, I suspect she’s rather annoying and lacking in self-awareness. The constant Amélie comparisons make me want to heave.
Amanda’s memoir is dry and procedural with just a dusting of scandalous moments. Quite obviously the investigation and trial were complete clusterfux poorly executed by bumbling, small town, murder scene novices. The investigators blundered a high-profile international case and couldn’t admit the prosecution’s salacious and far-fetched theory was profoundly implausible. This girl paid over a thousand days of her life for law enforcement’s stubborn unwillingness to broaden the search beyond Knox and Raffaele. In all likelihood, the co-conspirator in Meredith’s murder walked away free because of it.
If nothing else, the memoir is a worthwhile cautionary tale which reminds us how sometimes shitty things happen to regular people for no good reason at all.