The Monster of Florence was a man who killed young couples (14 people in all) on the rural roads around Florence, Italy while they were making love in their cars. He then dragged the women off and cut out their vaginas. He once made a mistake and killed two German homosexuals, but one of them could have been easily mistaken for a woman.
I once made the mistake of listening to it just before I went to sleep and had terrible nightmares. Do not do this.
The real monster, however, was the Italian public, and the Italian Media, who made their own monsters and ruined the lives of innocent people. And the police, who enriched themselves while pretending to catch him. They never did, despite the most expensive, and longest lasting investigation in Italian history, which also ruined the lives of innocent people. Italy is the home of corruption and organized crime, and the police have become experts in dealing with them;and living with them. The Italian people as a whole in this book appear charming but incredibly foolish.
All in all, it's an interesting, but depressing story.
I really enjoyed this book. After reading some of the reviews regarding the "bad" Italian accent of the narrator, I hesitated to purchase it, but since I've never been to Italy and wouldn't know a good Florentine accent from a bad one, I rolled the dice. Aside from a few times where he dropped it when he shouldn't have, I was not bothered at all by his narration.
The story itself was interesting, shocking, confusing, and kept me wanting to know what happened next. The only reason I give this 4 stars instead of 5 is because by chapter six I was honestly lost. This is not the fault of the writers, rather the actual events were hard to follow no matter how clearly explained. Ultimately, I was able to follow generally everything that occurred and the few areas I was lost did not affect my overall understanding of the book.
I do have to say, regardless of who the actual Monster is, I am appalled at the Italian judicial system and am interested to read, as another reviewer suggested, the Amanda Knox story.
I hope this book gets re-recorded because this narration is painful. Having someone that struggles with Italian words is painful for the narrator as well as the listener. Having dialogue between to Italians read with a pseudo Italian accent makes it sound more like a joke than authentic dialogue.
The story and the research is extremely compelling. Characters come alive as well as Florence and its culture.
Only if it doesn't involve an Italian narrative. I truly fault the production/directorial "team" for the choices made in regards to Boutsikaris' performance. He is a solid actor but just a poor choice as narrator. I hope, WHEN (and not if) they re-record this book, they spend some time with the basics as well as more complex words like Savonarola (Sah-voh-nah-ROH-lah). I could nearly hear Boutsikaris himself cringe every time he had to say his name....
I would love to see this story be made into a movie. I was only a child when the majority of the investigation was going on, but I have clear memories of warnings or judgments made towards certain people and their "love behavior".
I ultimately had to stop listening to this book because it was just too painful... the story is great and even the more research-ie parts don't pull you away from the story given the extremely fluid writing style. But would a recommend listening to this book? Absolutely not. Do this story a favor, re-record it and please please please, not only find a performer that can pronounce Italian words with ease, but don't have the dialogue read as if spoken by to Italian-Americans.
Stop telling me to get off my High Horse. I like it up here.
I haven't finished it yet, but this is one of the most riveting works I've ever encountered. It's a true story recounting the actions of a vicious serial killer that stalked young couples in the countryside of Florence, Italy and the investigations into the murders. Long after the murders stop, the grinding of the Italian justice system rolls on and starts to rival the horror of the original killings.
When the investigation goes completely off the rails into mad searches for "satanic death cults" & fantastic conspiracies.
Good, distinguishable characterizations of all the principle people in the book.
Yes, but I couldn't unfortunately.
After reading about Pendergast and the few other character books I wasn't expecting a documentary. Should have looked closer. It was very interesting and not that long ago. A worthy listen but I still love Pendergast the most.
Mom to 2 girls
this book was fascinating. There may have been too many facts included at some points, but overall the detail is what made it so interesting. This book was truly scary (not in the horror) sense, but in the statement on society sense. You will find yourself making excuses to be able to listen.
I have read many books by Douglas Preston; I am unfamiliar with any other works by Mario Spezi. Dennis Boutsikaris did a fine job of narration.
Not what I expected, and I wish this was eligible for return!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a crazy story; very textured, with lots of memorable details, like the cabal of voyeurs that spies on lovers in cars in the Florentine hills, and occasional peeks of the author Thomas Harris, who borrowed some details of the Monster case for Hannibal Lecter's Italian sojourn.
Both Spezio and Preston's sections had a good balance of case detail and personal observation that elevated this book above more workmanlike true crime stories.
I would happily listen to this reader again.
I found brief Preston's account of how 9/11 affected the story moving. Later in the story, I was disturbed by the information that the prosecutor in the infamous Amanda Knox case was involved in the mismanagement of Monster of Florence events towards the end of this book.