This memoir was recently discovered and appears to have been written in the 1920s by someone who asserts that he was Jack the Ripper. This person is James Willoughby Carnac, and this memoir was written shortly before his death. It is an account of his entire life, including a few short months in 1888 when he became the murderer known to posterity as Jack the Ripper.
This book introduces a new suspect for the infamous murders in Whitechapel in 1888. There is information here that does not appear to be derived from contemporary newspapers or any other publications, and the descriptions of Tottenham in the 1870s, the visits to performances of Jekyll and Hyde, and the intricate geography of Whitechapel in 1888 are written with pin-point accuracy.
There is also a credible motive given for James becoming the murderer Jack, and also a reason for the end of the murders. Given the fact that the author also appeared to have knowledge about aspects of the case not in the public arena at the time, it could be that this actually is the autobiography of Jack the Ripper. Ultimately, it is up to the listeners to decide if they believe the mystery has been solved at last, but even if they end up deciding the account to be a work of fiction, it would still be one of the very earliest imaginings of the Ripper case, written in the early years of the 20th century, a fascinating piece of period writing and a worthy addition to the Ripper canon. Whatever side listeners come down on, there is no question that this book will be a source of much debate.
©2012 Random House AudioGo (P)2012 Random House AudioGo
The narration on this audiobook is superb. But the story is fascinating as well. The manuscript dates from the late 1920's but it is unclear who the author actually is and the circumstances of the how story itself was written are also unclear but this is explained towards the end of the book. However, whether this is really an autobiography of the Ripper or a well researched fictional story, is irrelevant. It gives a clear insight into the times and the dialogue is also superb capturing the dialect of the era.
I was unsure when I purchased this but after listening to it I would highly recommend it. If you think you might be interested but are unsure, you wont regret your purchase.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
I don't know that we could get another book from "James Carnac," could we? The narration on this book is a blast. It's treated with a verisimilitude that just sells it, even when you know it shouldn't work.
To describe the ending, I have to first explain my thoughts on beginning. I'm not a Ripperologist by any stretch, and I love a good alternate history. This book starts out so convincing that you have to stop yourself from believing it at times. The deeper the book goes, the more wrong it gets in all the best ways. It's by no means a book for the serious Ripperologist, but it's a great character study for those who like the "Sith Lord" mentality.
I don't think the text alone would have sold it for me. The performance fills in the rest and provides a suspension of disbelief that's required to get the most of out of this one.
Absolutely. It's probably a better read for those who aren't so attached to the subject matter - you know who you are.
For a story supposedly written as a memoirs it real like a novel with a lot of holes on the story. Well written but hard to suspend disbelief and let the story take you.
The story and the narrator, but for the last hour of the book, when, inexplicably, he proceeds to review and retell the previous 7 hours!? Why? What a waste!
I'm not sure. See above.
Great voices and interpretation of the characters.
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