Salt of the Earth: One Family's Journey Through the Violent American Landscape

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By Jim (Bremerton, WA) · ★★★★★ · August 22, 2010
The late Jack Olsen had a long career of sustained excellence, but it was not until he was well into his eight and final decade that he emerged with his masterpiece in "Salt Of The Earth" — a rich character study and profound exploration of loss wrapped up seamlessly in a first-rate crime story r... ...more
By Rachel (Corvallis, OR) · ★★★★★ · July 30, 2007
My favorite Olsen book. It's almost shameful to call this "true crime," because that genre has been cheapened by too many so-called authors. It's a portrait of the struggles, including a horrific crime, of one famliy in the modern American West. ...more
By Eva (Las Vegas, NV) · ★★★★☆ · July 19, 2008
A great Olsen book! So, so, so, happy I read this. He never fails to teach me something! ...more
By Mary (Albany, NY) · ★★★★★ · May 22, 2013
One day in September of 1985, 12-year-old Brenda Sue Gere was abducted from her family's home in Clearview, Washington. Her parents, Joe and Elaine Gere, were understandably devastated by the little girl's disappearance, and Joe said he effectively died on the day that Brenda was taken. It was le... ...more
By Jim (The United States) · ★★★★★ · January 06, 2010
You don't read much about the Hungarians and even less about the Slovenes-but this story captures the hard working spirit of a family that suffers the worst experience: the murder of their child.

Written by Jack Olsen, a journalist. Olsen's exhaustive research, clarity,and quotes make the reader k... ...more
By Lani (La Grande, OR) · ★★★★☆ · February 17, 2015
Typos Galore

This true crime story was extremely well researched and written. I found it captivating from start to finish.

However, it has the most typographical errors that I have ever encountered in a book, in the neighborhood of a hundred or more. The victim's family name Gere was misspelled ar... ...more
By Caren (Provo, UT) · ★★★☆☆ · March 19, 2011
TOO long! The editor really missed it...there were many details and characters that didn't need to be included and at times it seemed disjointed and repetitive. I was interested in the true crime story aspect though. ...more
By Chana (Seattle, WA) · ★★★★☆ · November 20, 2012
I am not sure what I thought this book was when I picked it up, but I didn't realize it was true-crime at first.
I like reading books set in places that I have lived and I spent a lot of my life living in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding desert areas. Although I was never in Fontana that I... ...more
By Sarah · ★★★★☆ · March 06, 2013
Salt of the Earth is just one of Jack Olsen's many true crime books, and an excellent one at that! Salt of the Earth is a perfect qualifier for the category well-known in the reading world as "Nonfiction That Reads Like a Novel", because it definitely does!

Salt of the Earth is a true story about... ...more
By Deborah L. Cutter (The United States) · ★★★☆☆ · February 10, 2015
Good True Crime

The story flows nicely, However the misspelled words and names are distracting. I wouldn't recommend anyone pay for this book until it has been proofread and corrected. ...more