This is a well narrated audiobook of murder, forensics, and the incredible power and resources of yellow journalism in NYC at the turn of the 20th century. Pulitzer and Hearst battle to scoop each other in a grisly murder of a mutilated German-American. Forensic and courtroom procedures are described in stark contrast to today's format. The story swirls around collusion between the police and reporters, the handling of evidence, the subject of abortion, the conditions of the Tombs jail, the consolidation of the five boroughs into one municipality, and the apex of yellow journalism where news is made, not reported. Great story, especially if you're from NYC.
A very "listenable" book, factual, but well presented, interesting and captivating. A fascinating history of a short period in journalism - perfectly read!
Didn't know what to expect. I had been looking for a book to spark my interest in audio again, and this was it. Very tight writing. Intriguing story intermingled with a background of newspaper rivalries. Narration was perfect.
I could listen to this story more than once, first for fast paced and interesting story and then the wonderful narrative reading. The story does get bit a graphic on the details of the murder but what would you expect, it's about a murder. The story never slows up and you are placed into that time period with fluidity of the story's timeline. I loved learning about the history of the papers and really enjoyed the writer including the epilogue. I will go out and buy the book to see if I missed anything. I love a book that makes you want to do more research on the time period because it opens your eyes to a different time.
Being a history buff I was fascinated to listen to a story about how life was back at the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th. I really enjoyed learning about how police work, and court proceedings how they differ (and for that matter how they led to today's forensic evidence handling) today.
The description of the execution proceeding and it's aftermath.
The description of the trial proceeding and how well it was arranged and conducted.
No, but it was fascinating.
Details really bring the era to life without slowing the pace and pitch of the story, which unfolds like a police procedural and courtroom drama among other things. The author does not preach against sensationalism, but instead wisely shows us that even more than a century later, some have never managed to evolve (the brouhaha surrounding high-profile cases). Competent narration rounds out this perfect package.
Interesting, knowledgable, thorough
Defense council was portrayed very well by the narrator
He had a great way of distinguishing each character's voice and brought out emotion in the dialogue. William Dufris did a great job!
The package no one wants to open
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
The real focus of this book is New York City at the turn of the 20th century. A ghastly crime and the ensuing investigation, trial and denouement serve as the occasion for the narrative, but the book uses these central events to immerse the reader in a very wide ranging evocation of the time and place. As melodramatic as many of the events and details may be, in the end this is a piece of well researched cultural history which gives one the sense of being set down in the middle of the chaos, the sights, the sounds, the smells and the swirling energy at the vortex of American turn-of-the-century dynamism.
This New York has spawned a gaggle of newspapers engaged in a cutthroat struggle for survival. It is a rich, bubbling brew of newly arrived European immigrants finding their place in a brash society which has just gotten a grip on its confidence and is changing at the speed of avaricious inspiration. It is a time when trial reports are transmitted to anxious newsrooms by both telephone and carrier pigeon. Scientific "experts" are finding their way onto witness stands, and American jurisprudence is celebrating its first superstar criminal attorneys. In short, this is an extremely interesting city!
If you are looking for a gripping true crime investigation, penetrating character studies or a probing examination of the newspaper wars, you will be somewhat disappointed. If you would be delighted to be delivered by time-machine to a fascinating city where a diver in a newfangled helmet is searching the bottom of the river for a severed head and where the grisly aspects of the recently introduced and quite inefficient electric chair are being hotly debated, this may be your cup of tea.
I found William Dufris' narration to be a bit labored and overwrought, perhaps in keeping with the lurid nature of some of the content. Still I would recommend the book to anyone who will enjoy a colorful and detailed glimpse of a moment in history.
Authors I like: Patrick O'Brian, Frederick Forsyth, Jane Austen, John Le Carre, Alan Furst, Jon Krakauer, Ernest Hemingway.
I'd recommend this especially to someone interested in journalism or the history of journalism, as opposed to somebody interested in mysteries or crime stories.
I think the book dragged in places and could have been edited down to be more concise.
My expectation was that The Murder of the Century would be akin to a real life version of Caleb Carr's "Alienist." i.e. Unusual murder case in late 19th Century NYC. There is an element of that, but the suspect is brought to trial before the book is halfway through, and so more than half the book is devoted to the courtroom drama, with particular emphasis on how it was reported in the press, the rivalries between newspapers and their publishers, and the major personalities of the leading newspapermen (Pulitzer and Hearst especially).
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
Definitely! It was a great listen. New York City in the age of Tammany Hall and Pulitzer vs. Hearst duking it out in their tabloids. What's not to like?
Compulsion by Ira Levin, which was a novel about the Leopold/ Loeb murderers. This story is true though, and much more compelling because it is factual.
The scene I remember the most is when Augusta returns to the prison and asks for a job. I think she missed the attention she got as a high profile prisoner.
I enjoyed the book immensely but would never sit for 10 hours to finish any book...
This is a wonderfully written and narrated story about a real life murder in 1897 New York City. The most important thing about the narrative is the early police force, (fingerprints were not reliable at that time) and how the newsmen and women were just as likely to gather the clues as the cops. It was an important step in beginning a cohesive way to solve crimes and a lot of the people involved learned a great deal from being involved in this case.