Robert Favole

Flywheel Publishing / 200 pages / (August 15, 2003)

ISBN: 1930826117

Johann Gutenberg, Dunblane, Thurston, Westside, W. R. Myers — a partial list of school tragedies, almost forgotten by all but the survivors, families, and communities. A roll call of carnage, involving students, teachers, parents, and outsiders, joined by the common link of guns, terror, and death. In every case and in dozens more, the question arises of why? What set it off? Shouldn’t someone have realised there was a problem? What if…?

Robert Favole tackles this controversial subject by addressing the possibility that eats away at all of us after such a massacre; what would we do if we had the chance to relive the day. Second chances, Monday Redux demonstrates in frustrating, plausible detail, are only as valuable as the quality of our decisions and the courage of our convictions.

Reginald “Rego” Poppel is dead centre in the hail of bullets of a student shooting. Given the opportunity to start the horrific day over, he is determined to prevent the deaths. Knowing what will happen and knowing how to stop it are two very distinct weapons, as he will learn.

Monday Redux provides readers with a unique perspective on an affliction that seems to have hit this generation on a worldwide scope. A young man finds himself facing the killer and his own reactions in the pressure of the moment. Seeing death in the eyes of an acquaintance forces him to examine the causes and contributing factors that led to the bloodshed. Was it lack of acceptance? Bullying? Lack of parental involvement? Wilful blindness to danger? And what part does the ever-present media playing in the continuing saga?

With his life in ruins around him, Rego must face his own shortcomings in order to prevent the shootings. What he sees in himself, what he does to aspire to the “cult of cool,” and what, in the end, really matters, are truths he has never taken an unflinching look at, though they control his every move. How the same factors affect the shooter is a shocking contrast, to Rego and the reader.

Does he make the best decisions? How successful will his intervention be? Why is he offered this chance? And by whom? After all is said and done, did it really happen the way he thinks, or is he the victim of the worst of nightmares?

That’s a lot of questions, but don’t expect Favole to hand you glib answers or work everything out for you. The importance of Monday Redux is that it will force you to think, really think about what’s gone wrong and if it can be fixed. There is no panacea or Hollywood ending, just more on your mind, perhaps, than before.

Oh! By the way, it’s pretty addictive reading, too. Shouldn’t leave that part out. And there’s enough adult in that young adult classification to keep anyone riveted ’til the end.