The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry (Hardcover)

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The Hunting Accident: A True Story of Crime and Poetry Cover Image
By David L. Carlson, Landis Blair (Illustrator)
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(Graphic Novel)

Staff Reviews

It is true that Matt Rizzo was blinded while committing armed robbery as a teenager, a crime which imprisoned him for life in darkness, as well as a literal prison for several years. It is also true that Matt Rizzo is a good man. The severity of the first truth obliterates any sight of the second just as surely as the shotgun blast obliterated Matt's sight, and so Matt never tells his son Charlie his troubled past until Charlie develops his own trouble with the law. The Hunting Accident, written by David L. Carlson and illustrated by Landis Blair, rushes headlong into the dueling nature of these truths and the question of what it means to be good. Based on a true story (or, perhaps, based on a true story within a false one, within a true one...), The Hunting Accident recounts Matt coming clean with Charlie about his time in prison, where he is celled with Nathan Leopold of Leopold and Loeb fame. The two become unlikely friends through their mutual love of epic poetry and learn that they can hope to become more than the sum of their crimes, waiting for their sentences, their lives, to run their course. Blair's art is murky and black, dense with crosshatching, evoking both the darkness of Matt's blindness and his surroundings, with points of light dappled at the end of metaphorical tunnels. A fun and engaging read fans of true crime and/or epistemology and hermeneutics - I couldn't put it down. 

— From What is Chris Andersen reading?


It was a hunting accident--that much Charlie is sure of. That's how his father, Matt Rizzo--a gentle intellectual who writes epic poems in Braille--had lost his vision. It's not until Charlie's troubled teenage years, when he's facing time for his petty crimes, that he learns the truth.

Matt Rizzo was blinded by a shotgun blast to the face--but it was while participating in an armed robbery.

Newly blind and without hope, Matt began his bleak new life at Stateville Prison. But in this unlikely place, Matt's life and very soul were saved by one of America's most notorious killers: Nathan Leopold Jr., of the infamous Leopold and Loeb.

From David L. Carlson and Landis Blair comes the unbelievable true story of a father, a son, and remarkable journey from despair to enlightenment.

About the Author

David L. Carlson has been a filmmaker, musician, car salesman, experience designer, and is the co-founder of Opera-Matic, a nonprofit street opera company in Chicago. The Hunting Accident is his first book. Landis Blair is a pen and ink illustrator, known in the Chicago independent comic scene for his cross-hatched drawings and delightfully morbid picture books. He is currently based out of Los Angeles, California. His books include The Trial: A Choose Your Own Kafka Adventure and The Hunting Accident.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781626726765
ISBN-10: 1626726760
Publisher: First Second/Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: September 19th, 2017
Pages: 464
Language: English