living in los angeles I drive a lot, so audio books save me from a lot of frustration!
I had forgotten so much about the hunt for an MLK's killer that reading this was truly eye opening. Highly recommended with many twists and turns and interesting historical details--Like the fact that several wealthy Klan Organizations had bounties placed on MLK's head, and how J. Edgar Hoover, who hated King and had tried to get him to commit suicide, was then was placed in charge of finding his killer.
Hopelessly addicted to Audio Books! I started listening as a distraction to the aggravation of driving, now I listen all the time :)
As with other reviewers, I was AMAZED at the amount of detail and research that went into this novel.
The story follows all of the relevant characters in MLK's life through the months and weeks leading up to his assassination, and collide at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, and continues through the manhunt and capture of the assassin, James Earl Ray. It is probably one of the most detailed accounts of an historical event that I have ever read or heard.
Likewise, it is eye-opening to realize there is so much to this story that is not available in mainstream literature and/or teachings surrounding this event. The only criticism I can offer is that occasionally, the author gives us a little too much detail, describing what was in someones pockets at a given point in time, e.g., toothpaste. It's irrelevant to the story or the history. It's my guess that the author was simply showing off the level of detailed research.
Another interesting gem in this story is to see JESSE JACKSON exposed for the shallow, self-centered lying weasel that he is; I can’t believe people actually follow this guy based on his history and his beliefs in his one great cause – “himself”.
Anyway, I highly recommend you add this to your "MUST LISTEN" list!!
This intertwined "biography" of Martin Luther King and James Earl Ray, centering of course on the road to the assassination and its aftermath, is a very good book. It is not a scholarly tome (and I know there are those), it is not rich in evidentiary material and footnotes (and there are those too). But it does a good job hammering home the situation of the time in the civil rights movement, Ray's peculiar personality and background, and the drama of the moment. You will come away understanding all these well, since the narrative drives along, novelistically, and is well narrated. After reading this very well sourced (but not pedantic) book, I don't know how anyone would come away thinking that James Earl Ray was not the killer, but you can also understand why some conspiracy theorists point a finger of blame at public officials and the virulently racist leadership of the FBI. Sides also is unable to explain Ray's source of funds during the time after his prison escape, but I have not seen any other books come up with plausible hard evidence that the KKK or others were in on the thing (more likely, Ray's criminal siblings and Ray's penchant, shown later, for making and saving his money in prison).
The history of Martin Luther King and James Earl Ray was detailed, interesting and kept me up all night. Even my 15 year old granddaughter enjoyed listening to it. This book is great for anyone to listen to. I was a teenager during the 60's which added to the intrigue. You learn how the FBI handled King's death and the detail of the manhunt. I'm not a history buff but I am now.
True crime just doesn't get any better than this. Don't quite know what to say, other than "read the book, it speaks for itself".
The astonishing insights into the techniques and seat-of-the-pants strategy of this career criminal were so compelling I practically had to keep my iPod surgically joined to my hip!
The marginal figures grabbed my interest as well - I guess that's a sign of a really excellent read, if you are mesmerized by even the people who populate the edges of the story.
A monumental and exciting telling of the assassination of MLK. Almost taking the form of a true life thriller, the story follows the assassins life before and after the crime. There are unexpected twists and turns here that will keep you listening. I loved the way the author unfolded the story and it never loses sight that a monumental figure and very real human being had his life senselessly taken at an early age.
I've already recommended it to several friends...and will be suggesting it to my book club.
Yes - well researched, well paced, well explained....reads like great fiction with the added benefit of being true.
Hampton did a fabulous job reading his own work.
Very good book. Good history of turbulent late 60s and tragic death of MLK
This retelling of MLK’s last days and months immediately following his assassination, juxtaposed with the detailed accounting of what was happening with his assailant, is excellent. The writing reminds me quite a bit of Eric Larson’s writing - weaving two stories together, though MLK and Ray are tied in a much more concrete way. Sides manages to get this history lesson to read like a good mystery. And the details he puts in create a sense of connection. The book is also read very well.
I had forgotten very important details about the killing of MLK. The brilliant way in which the story is constructed had me unable to stop listening. The book also brilliantly evokes the America of that time and struggles and conflicts which, even today, are only partially resolved. MLK is also greatly humanised but in that portrait his greatness still comes out very clearly. The one flaw in the book - if it is a flaw - is that I could not be convinced that James Earl Ray was a sole actor. Sole gunman? Not a problem with that. There are had to be more to the story of how Ray found himself - from the perspective of the assassin - at the right place and at the right time. The author alludes to this but - maddeningly - does not really delve in to this.