Rating: 5 / 5
Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill is a fast-paced, quick-witted investigative account of the inquiry into Harvey Weinstein’s wrongdoing and the network that tried to keep the reporting quiet.
Ronan Farrow, a contractor at NBC at the time of his initial investigations on Harvey Weinstein, walks readers through the investigation and his struggle with NBC to air his findings, and he does so with deep honesty, self-deprecation, and a healthy dose of related personal stories.
Please take caution while reading Catch and Kill if any of the following topics may trigger you:
- Sexual assault / rape
- Child abuse / pedophilia / incest
Catch and Kill is a unique piece of nonfiction – a hybrid of investigative thriller and memoir, if you will. Farrow’s attempts at humor and injection of personal stories are endearing, even if the jokes don’t always land. The writing is personable, yet dramatic. It’s all very, very good.
Starting Catch and Kill, I felt thrown into Farrow’s life and the story of Weinstein’s wrongdoing unprepared. It took me a bit to catch up, but once I understood the book’s format and the tone, I was able to fly through the book and catch the brilliance of Farrow’s writing. He leaves small, unassuming cliff hangers at every juncture, and picks them back up every once and a while to continue that specific narrative. This tactic adds to the drama of the “thriller,” leaving you bread crumbs until Farrow finally reveals the actually insane things that Weinstein was doing to keep the truth of his abuse buried.
I read She Said – a book on the exact same topic – directly before reading this book, so I was bound to compare the two quite heavily. Whereas She Said is more classic bipartisan investigative journalism, Catch and Kill employs more of a casual, narrative format. Both books primarily discuss Weinstein, but they also verge into other, extremely interesting, related topics. And I must say, I enjoyed Catch & Kill‘s – NBC covering up the investigation – more than She Said‘s – Christine Blasey Ford’s journey to testifying against Brett Kavanaugh. Overall, I do prefer She Said (check out that review for more information), but both were fantastic and gave me a great 360-degree view of Weinstein, the investigations, and their repercussions.
Catch and Kill is fascinating, fast-paced, personal, and theatrical. You will be stunned and disgusted by the heinous crimes of Harvey Weinstein and the networks that have tried to keep them buried, and yet you will feel hope that some people and publications are doing the right thing. I highly recommend this book!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Catch and Kill. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the book in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!