The history presented in this book is very interesting, especially for anyone interested in chemistry. The reader was sort of droning, but it didn't get in the way of my enjoyment too much.
It was more a listing of how various poisons work than any coherent story.
The performance was very flat.
I have already recommended this audiobook to several friends. It is the kind of listen that keeps you in the car after you have parked it and shut off the engine.
The books compares neatly to and in some ways complements The Murder of the Century, since Poisoner's Bible takes up in NYC about 15-20 years after the main events of the Murder of the Century took place in NYC. Between the two, you can see some major shifts in the way that criminal investigations were being conducted.
Mediocre, mediocre, and mediocre. She created minor but annoying distractions by mispronouncing the names of chemical elements and so forth. Her voice is pleasant and well-enough modulated, but either pronounciation should be checked ahead of time, or narrators who know something about the subject should be engaged.
Moved isn't the right word. Rather I was especially interested by the descriptions of the on-going mouse/mousetrap developments between government scientists, who were deliberately adding toxins to the already dangerous industrial alcohol in order to discourage people from drinking during prohibition and the (ahem) entrepreneurial chemists, who were trying to remove or mask the taste of those toxins so they could make money by selling hooch during prohibition. By some perverse quirk of human nature, one part of the public response to all of this was that the numbers of alcoholics, drunk-driving incidents, and alcohol-related deaths all apparently sky-rocketed as prohibition went on.
The new medical examiners and their chemists, the real subjects and heroes of the book, then had their work cut out, learning to track all these toxins through, mostly, cadavers and parts of cadavers.
If you liked the Ghost Map, or the Murder of the Century, you will probably enjoy this, too.
I really enjoyed this - a fascinating look at science, told through interesting anecdotes and with a good historical context. I wasn't expecting to learn so much about Prohibition, which was an added bonus.
I have to say, though, I did not really love the narration. Her voice was kinda nasal and overemphatic. But by the last half either she had got better, or I had got used to her voice, and it was okay.
The narration was so terrible - full of mispronounciations and innappropriate character voices- that I couldn't get through the first chapter. Very disappointed, as description of the book sounded so promising. Maybe I will buy the book.
This book was really interesting--a combination of scientific examination of different kinds of poisons (cool!), CSI-type mystery solving, and interesting NYC history. It's a really cool idea and I really loved the content! The reader, on the other hand, was a bit weird. She seemed to mispronounce some words and she did a lot of kind of strange voices (over-wrought accents, not saying sentences properly, etc.). I liked the book nonetheless, though, and I'd recommend it for anyone interested in these types of "true crime" topics.
Interesting subject matter. The editing of the narration isn't up to par though.
The editing is odd. There are gaps in weird places, such as mid-sentence.
I would suggest this book to a friend, I found the subject matter enjoyable and educating.
The chemistry education.
The narrator was disappointing.
I thought the story itself was interesting, if a little choppy. Following the evolution of forensics was fun, but at times a little gruesome. The narration wasn't smooth - sometimes it almost sounded like a computer reading. At times there was some background noise. That being said I did enjoy it and might even listen again.
I read other reviews that warned me about the narration, and I'm glad I did: I was able to look past a pretty poor performance and see through to a very enjoyable book about the development of modern forensics in the Jazz Age by following the careers of two New York City pathologists. Had I not been warned, the reading would have driven me nuts.
Seems to me that if these narrators are getting paid to read these books, it might be in their best interest to read the books once through before the recording session and check the pronounciations of particular words. Some of her slips were embarrassing. And I agree with others' observations about the silly caricature voices that she uses for particular characters.
If I were Deborah Blum, I would be none too pleased with Ms. Marlo's rendition of my work.