The topic seemed very interesting, however the execution was slow. I couldn't get through the whole book no matter how hard I tried. It just never got to the point. It was all about trying badly to set the atmosphere. I am amazed at reading other people's description on what a 'fast read' and how exciting it was. I am not sure they listened to the book before they wrote the review.
Dufris is the star of the show. His reading of Howe, the defense attorney, is amazing. This is a well writing and meticulously research account of a New York City murder and the sensationalist journalism that followed. The plot takes a lot of turns and in enganging thoughout. Once the trial is wrapped up, the book drags on for a few more chapters, and they should be skipped. This was a fun read, but it doesn't educate like most non-fiction. Paul Collins has a gift, but other still master the genre better.
This is a very well told murder story. The clues and new information are introduced at just the right time to keep the reader's interest, and there are several possibilities so the outcome is not obvious until towards the end. The characters are gradually developed as the story progresses, and the background story of newspapers and journalists is also interesting. It is all very well done. The narrator is perfect for this book - his voice, his accent, the pace of his presentation, and his accents for the different characters, are all spot on.
Spoiler alert - I was so fascinated by the various characters that, before I finished the book, I looked on the internet for any photos I could find and accidentally discovered who was found guilty.
I liked the fast pace and the descriptions of the New York that was.
Read all about it!
Business owner , philanthropist.
Very descriptive, good mix of business and murder. I have this picture of a torso stuck in my mind.
Fascinating how much of the news cycle of today draws it roots from events of the past.
This was a fascinating story, but sadly presented in an 8-hour audiobook when a piece in the Atlantic or even a longish Wikipedia article would have more than sufficed. Collins draws it out exhaustively, putting in unneeded details for atmosphere and devoting entire chapters to twists and turns in the investigation that he inflates to grand importance when they turn out to have no impact.
I felt like he super-sized my book when I ordered a small.
Dufris' narration reminds me of a friend of mine who thinks he does a really great Jerry Seinfeld impression. In fact, it's terrible, but he thinks it's so good that he presents it with great earnestness, like a high schooler playing Hamlet. Dufris has exactly one accent, which is pretty much what an American would think a German spoke like if his only exposure to Germans was watching Hogan's Heroes as a kid, and all "foreign" characters in the book are treated to this terrible accent. The defense attorney character was presented in such a ridiculous cartoonish booming voice that all I could do was laugh, because it reminded me, more than anything else, of Sir Topham Hatt from the Thomas The Tank Engine shows that my 4 year old likes to watch.
fascinating authentic evocative
It has been some time since I read Caleb Carr's books about this same period, but they immediately come to mind.
The narrator was able to step into the various voices without sounding like a one-man theatre troupe.
It would have been nice!
I was fascinated to learn about these events--thought I knew a fair amount about the period. The evocation of the newspaper wars is entertaining, and the facts of the crime are presented in an almost cinematic fashion.
.The book offered a very creative story, an unusual angle (that of rival newspapers seeking headlines), and it provided an education into how a murder investigation was conducted during the gilded age. However, it was long and slow at times. I was a little disappointed in the actual storytelling, but I would listen to another book by this author.
Story: I really enjoyed this tidbit of media history. Growing up in an era that idolizes reality tv stars, looks to perez hilton as a sooth sayer, instant everything via the internet, and gives more credit to people who are interested in being famous than being interesting/talented/smart....etc... its a phenomenon i consider very new, and part of the identity of this generation. murder of the century makes a point to do away with that notion. that the frustrations i have with the media now, have been there for over a century. some of the most interesting and vivid moments were in the conflict between hearst and pulitzer, as well as the moments of "normal" life.
Narrator: i'm not desperate to hear Dufris' voice again, it's not stuck in my head the way other narrators have been. but the pace moved smoothly enough and i didn't get that annoying "girl" or "child" voice that some narrators are prone to use. however i do feel that it could have been more dynamic.