Buckle up, brace yourself and hang on for dear life! A visceral symphony of pain, suffering, and hope that blurs the line between fiction and reality, All Involved by Ryan Gattis covers the six days of mayhem, looting and murder that occurred during the Los Angeles riots from April 29 to May 5, 1992. Narrated in first person and told in chronological order, the saga jumps from victim to perpetrator to bystander to community service provider to government villain, unraveling the tragedy from all angles.
I found myself distressingly interested in even the most repugnant of these characters, swept up in the magic of Gattis’ writing as his ability to uncover the thoughts, feelings and motivations of each character organically flowed over the pages without prejudice or judgment. Full of empathy and depth, All Involved may challenge you to look at the riots, and the neighborhoods, in a whole new light. My only complaint: not knowing what will happen to, and for, these fictional souls after the book ended.
Having not ever read Gattis before, I had no idea what to expect. With pleasure, I’ve added All Involved to my “Favorite Top 20 list.” If you’re still not sure about picking up this title, I’ll leave you with the prescient final line of the short prologue: “As it happened, nearly 121 hours of lawlessness in a city of close to 3.6 million people contained within a county of 9.15 million was a long time for scores to be settled. This is about some of them.”
Enjoy the ride!