For over 100 years, the mystery of Jack the Ripper has been a source of unparalleled fascination and horror, spawning an army of obsessive theorists and endless volumes purporting to finally reveal the identity of the brutal murderer who terrorized Victorian England.
But what if there was never really any mystery at all? What if the Ripper was always hiding in plain sight, deliberately leaving a trail of clues to his identity for anyone who cared to look while cynically mocking those who were supposedly attempting to bring him to justice?
In They All Love Jack, the award-winning film director and screenwriter Bruce Robinson exposes the cover-up that enabled one of history's most notorious serial killers to remain at large. More than 12 years in the writing, this is no mere radical reinterpretation of the Jack the Ripper legend and an enthralling hunt for the killer. A literary high-wire act reminiscent of Tom Wolfe or Hunter S. Thompson, it is an expressionistic journey through the cesspools of late-Victorian society: a phantasmagoria of highly placed villains, hypocrites, and institutionalized corruption.
A Polemic forensic investigation and panoramic portrait of an age, underpinned by deep scholarship and delivered in Robinson's inimitably vivid and scabrous prose, They All Love Jack is an absolutely riveting and unique book, demolishing the theories of generations of self-appointed experts - the so-called Ripperologists - to make clear, at last, who really did it and, more important, how he managed to get away with it for so long.
©2015 Bruce Robinson (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
this 20+ hour audiobook is less about Jack the ripper, and more about the authors candidate for the identity, James Michael Maybrick.
the content regarding JTR could easily have been cut down to a handful hours.
The book revolves around James Maybrick, his associates, and sometimes people only vaguely related to him, and not at all to JTR.
the authors theories are presented in a form that reminds me of a political debate. presenting everything as fact, while condemning or mocking other theories. Sometimes presented rather arrogantly and condescending.
Some of the theories are quite interesting, while others seem to be grabbing at straws, built on wishful thinking or assumptions.
This is more a book about Maybrick, free masonry, and the police in London around the time of the JTR events.
If you want this book based on your interest in JTR. Don't! I would suggest a better use of your time is to Google "James Michael Maybrick + jack the ripper" and get your info that way. The book has far too much side-info, and non related facts and/or fictions to be worth it.
however, the book isn't a complete waste, it's interesting on another level.
Think of it akin to start watching the movie "one hour photo" because "Robin Williams is a funny guy". you would be disappointed, not because the movie isn't good, but because you expected something else.
in summary :
interesting book, but too much filler to be worth it purely as a JTR theory book. Google the theory, or hope for a severely abridged version
This book isn't really for people who are interested in true crime or learning more about Jack the Ripper. Robinson really wants to make the point that every person who has ever researched or written about Jack the Ripper is an idiot, and Robinson himself is the lone figure with any intelligence. So, it's more about disproving other people than proving his own ideas. Robinson has very little respect for "Ripperologists," a term he uses with disdain whenever possible. In fact, he has little respect for anybody, using slurs for gay people, Jewish people, and prostitutes. The major problem with this book, though, is that it becomes boring very quickly. Robinson is very hard to follow. He skips over the first two murders to focus on the third and fourth, spending over two hours discussing the grapes found at the crime scenes. In doing this, he has flashbacks, flash-sideways, and flash forwards. He discusses witnesses to the crime and the hated "Ripperologists" together, so separating them and figuring out his point becomes a chore. After a while the whole thing is a muddy mess and it just becomes boring. This whole book feels like a first draft desperately in need of an editor to trim it down.
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