The Orientation of Dylan Woodger: A Central New York Crime Story
The Orientation of Dylan Woodger by Chiuba Obele chronicled the life of young Dylan, a vibrant freshman embarking on his college career at Hamilton College in upstate New York. Shortly after he arrived, Dylan was captured and tormented by the mafia, which resulted in him losing his memory for three years and a litany of amnesia-related emotional and mental health issues.
Upon Dylan’s realization of his lost years, he was determined to locate the memories of the past three years; memories locked deep within this subconscious were slowly released to his conscience mind for further exploration. As Dylan pieced his fragmented memories together, he discovered that he had stolen three million dollars from a merciless mob boss and did not remember how or when he committed the crime.
He learned that someone had ratted on young Dylan and drugged him with a memory deleting substance, which resulted in him ensconced amidst assassins, gangsters, detectives, and the heaviness of living with the crimes he had committed.
Also, Dylan grappled with the dichotomous nature of his psyche, which allowed him to commit egregious crimes and the other part of his conscience that inherently desired to live a civil life and do the right thing. Battling the polarized components of his personality, in tandem with PTSD symptoms, led him to seek help from a support group for trauma survivors, where he learned to manage his emotions and discovered tools for dealing with the traumatic memories associated with the past.
Furthermore, the novel tackles several macro-level social issues plaguing modern America regarding feminism, racism, sexism, and poverty. It gives the reader a bird’s eye view of the various personality and psychological traits of criminally inclined minds and a nuanced perspective of criminality and how it is a component of humanity’s past and present social problems.
Dylan’s story highlights the importance of mental health services for men and demonstrates the lack of emotional and mental health services for men who have survived trauma and how the dearth of these services has determinately affected the male population of traumatic abuse survivors. Also, Dylan’s survivorship provided an example of how men can heal and help each other find peace within support groups.
Although the mentioned social problems are controversial, it is crucial to ascertain nuance and an open mind when contemplating these social issues. Obele has provided an excellent framework for further discussions and thoughts about these ever-present criminalities and social problems that affect public health and safety.
The Orientation of Dylan Woodger is an excellent book for crime novel enthusiasts and anyone who would like to broaden their understanding of the macro-level social issues men face in the age of modernity.
|Fischer House Publications
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller