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Literature / Death Wish

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Death Wish is a 1972 novel by Brian Garfield.

After his wife and daughter are assaulted in his apartment, accountant Paul Benjamin starts resenting how "softly" crime is being handled, and decides to take a more direct approach on law enforcement in his neighborhood.

In 1974, a successful film adaptation starring Charles Bronson was made. In 1975, a sequel novel titled Death Sentence was released (which was also adapted into a film in 2008). 2018 would see the original novel get adapted again, this time starring Bruce Willis but moving the location to Chicago instead of New York.

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This book has the examples of:

  • Angst Coma: The trauma that Carol went through eventually puts her into a vegetative state.
  • The Big Rotten Apple: New York is portrayed as a scum-infested city full of crime.
  • Karma Houdini: The perps that assaulted Paul's wife and daughter are never caught.
  • Mercy Lead: A policeman runs into one of Paul's vigilante acts, but he gives him time to leave the crime scene.
  • No Ending
  • Sock It to Them: Paul initial choice for self-protection is a sock with a roll of quarters in it.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Paul notes to himself how often this trope is used to defeat the "blackhats" in movies.
  • Vigilante Man: What Paul becomes one by the end of the book.


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