Here's a story with no plotline... no climax... no resolution... and to add insult to injury characterizes all Italians as Saturday Night Live caricatures... and the READER... omigod ! at BEST mispronounces everything and at worst, and often, sounds like a Chef Boyardee commercial or a Sesame Street character -please don't insult us with this horrible fake accent !
Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime.
This is a story of Italian Keystone Cops, with a judicial system to match. Part one of the book outlines the facts of the decades-old case, popularly known as the Monster of Florence. This concerns a series of murders of 'courting' couples in parked cars on the outskirts of Florence. Part two takes off at the point when Douglas Preston moves to Florence with the intention of living a wonderful life and writing another novel. But his interest in the Monster story is piqued, he begins investigating, and eventually ends up being a character in the Monster of Florence story. Meanwhile, the police investigation and criminal proceedings become increasingly bizarre. No doubt every country has its stories of corruption within law enforcement systems, but the Florentine system is unlike those familiar to true-crime readers in the English-speaking world and this adds an extra dimension. Mario Spezi, both author and actor in the case, is a very likable character and the voice of reason throughout. The book also provides an interesting look at Florentine culture with its roots dating back many centuries. Dennis Boutsikaris has just the right voice for this story and his dead-pan delivery is perfect since the bumbling and ineptitude speak for themselves. He also does a good job with the Italian accent. True crime, injustice,and 'local colour' with a twist. Well worth reading.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book! Given the subject matter, I expected it to be somewhat difficult to get through at points, but this was not the case.
This book is well written; almost novel-like in how entertaining it is at times.
The narration of this book is fits the book perfectly; very well narrated.
I wouldn't have even bothered with this book had it not been recommended to me by my mom. I was hooked when she told me that the Monster of Florence was the real life inspiration for the Hannibal Lector character. And after listening to the story I was in awe of the Italian judicial system. Great, great book and even better to listen to!!
When I purchased this audio book I had a small understanding of what to expect. Being a fan of the Thomas Harris character Hannibal Lector and recently the television interpretation of that world, the Monster of Florence caught my eye.
But this fictional knowledge of the Monster is nothing compared to the facts.
This book is a chilling insight into the killings of Italian couples over a decade long spree. It details the evidence, connections, and various theories of the case. And presents it's own opinion on who the killer is. It also shows the affect these murders have had on the people of Florence and others involved, even to this day.
If you are interested in the darkest side of man and ponder how these horrible crimes can be committed, read or listen to this audio book. But know it will affect you too.
I am a lover of true crime but this audiobook didn't do much for me. I found the narrators fake Italian accent distracting and the writing was very wordy to a point that made it difficult to follow the meet of the 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.