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Killers of the Flower Moon Audiobook

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

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Publisher's Summary

From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history.

In the 1920s the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.

In this last remnant of the Wild West - where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes like Al Spencer, the "Phantom Terror", roamed - many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll climbed to more than 24, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization's first major homicide investigations, and the bureau badly bungled the case. In desperation the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only American Indian agents in the bureau. The agents infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling but also emotionally devastating.

©2017 David Grann (P)2017 Random House Audio

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  •  
    Phil 04-21-17
    Phil 04-21-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poor Narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would not recommend this book to a friend. Sorry to say that, because I loved Grann's "The Lost City of Z." But the narrator reading this book is not good. She reads very slowly, she over-articulates, and you literally get the sense she is smiling when she reads things that are not remotely happy. She seems to be reading to a kindergarten audience. I actually couldn't get more than an hour into this book because her reading didn't seem to be connected to the words. I will have to read this one.


    39 of 46 people found this review helpful
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    Ryan Perry 04-24-17
    Ryan Perry 04-24-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Great book; beware terrible narration"

    The book itself is great, as expected. Grann is a master.

    The first narrator is a bit slow for my taste. The second narrator (why is there more than one???) arrives unannounced as the story heats up and feels like a cruel joke. He can't decide whether he's doing a bad Sam Elliott impression or a worse Humphrey Bogart impression -- both of which distract from and diametrically contrast Grann's storytelling style.

    Just read the book instead.

    25 of 30 people found this review helpful
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    Buretto 07-09-17
    Buretto 07-09-17
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    "Powerful story, important to know and remember"
    What did you love best about Killers of the Flower Moon?

    Love is not the right word. But I appreciated the humanity shown in the portrayal of the Osage. Not merely victims, they are people torn between two realities, traditional and modern, and not always handling it well. Moreover, even with tremendous fortune, they are confronted with egregious institutional racism, and then the betrayal of being terrorized by others among them.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The desperation of the Osage community as these horrific crimes occurred and kept re-occurring, must have been palpable. Without knowing the precise culprits, they must have understood the purpose, but who could they trust to help?


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Again, favorite is not exactly right. Mollie Burkhardt is the listener's guide into the story, and one cannot help but identify with her. Also, Tom White provides a glimmer of hope. Hoover, not exactly covered in glory, is only tangential.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I wouldn't presume, as with luck, it will be a major film soon. I would hope that it is presented as an interwoven narrative, rather than the somewhat chronological chronicles presented in the book. For film, I think it would work better that way.


    Any additional comments?

    One point that seems not to have been mentioned often in reviews, and I might have liked to have known beforehand. There are 3 narrators, broken into 3 "Chronicles", dealing with the Osage families and murders, the FBI investigators, and the aftermath. Ann Marie Lee and Will Patton (a quite recognizable voice) are very good, emotive but not overwrought. Danny Campbell, less so, but not terrible. (I always question why when listeners criticize the narrators, especially regarding how slowly or quickly they speak, they don't just alter the speed of the playback). Usually does wonders.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer USA 07-09-17
    Amazon Customer USA 07-09-17 Member Since 2017
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    "I felt sadness through the entire book"

    This book was a necessary read for those who want to know America's true history

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Lance 04-20-17
    Lance 04-20-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Is this narrator doing performance art, or is he really that bad?"

    This has to be a joke. A really bad one. The first part of the audiobook is interesting, engaging, and the lady reading it does a very commendable job. Then, out of nowhere, the narrator changes to a guy who sounds like he is doing a late night comedy routine satirizing a third rate Bogie doing Phillip Marlowe routine, with a little James Cagney thrown in, see, cuz the dames like that, yeah... It is ABSURD, and so wildly distracting I actually had to stop listening to the book because I have no idea what is being said. The buffoonish vocal caricature of the narrator (cuz it's about the FBI, see, the G-men, the Feds, they're onto a racket, see...) makes it impossible to follow what the hell he is actually supposed to be saying. If I were David Grann I would track him down, see, yeah and make him eat hot lead, give him the business, for doing that to the book. Literally the worst narrating I have ever heard. Which is bad enough, but given that the first narrator was JUST FINE - completely incomprehensible.

    37 of 46 people found this review helpful
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    Vicki 04-29-17
    Vicki 04-29-17 Member Since 2011
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    "Terrible narration. I could barely keep listening"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The narrators were absurdly dramatic. I've listened to scores of books and this is the worst narration.


    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 05-21-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Book was worth ignoring bad reviews"

    So narration wasn't perfect. The 1st one sounded like she was just reading words off the paper, as did the last one, but the narration wasn't terrible. It hardly affected me. I almost didn't give the book a chance because a review from "Lance", which was the first review you read, claimed the 2nd Narrator was making a joke of the performance and was talking like a stereotypical prohibition era gangster. Lance even falsely included quotes that were not in the book.
    The second Narrator sounds like an older man from the south, and when you Google him, that's exactly what he is. He wasn't overacting. All he did was emphasize the emotions of some of the readings. I thought the second Narrator (Patton) gave a great performance.
    Book was great. Not as good as 'Lost City of Z' but not because of the writer. A story about surviving the Amazon vs surviving Oklahoma is just more interesting to me.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
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    Mel 08-16-17
    Mel 08-16-17 Member Since 2009
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    "Something Missing"


    So much hype and such staying power -- it seems like the momentum of this book isn't slowing down. The Lost City of Z was a riveting read (not such a good movie), one of my favorites, so once I realized Killers of the Flower Moon was written by that same author, I was anxious to join the people that were raving about this book. An almost unbelievably evil event that I had no prior knowledge of, so the fact that these events even went on at all had a great impact on me. I just felt a story of this magnitude, such an outrageous historical event, and the victims that suffered this ordeal for generations all could have been better served. Unlike the gripping writing I experienced before from this author, here Grann's writing seemed to lack excitement or depth. The book felt called in, and ultimately the writing didn't feel up to the events or the characters themselves. The story almost felt like it hovered above its own timeline, disconnected because the author didn't bother to stage it better. Even the history of the FBI was a bit ho-hum and categorical. Grann got the facts okay, but for me personally, he missed the heart and soul of the story and it ultimately felt flat. Still, a worthy read just for the educational value, but the whole occurrence deserved something more...much more.

    Will Patton's narration was the highlight, while Campbell and Lee were a bit lackluster. Patton is able to capture the essence of a story and bring the characters and the emotion to the production. I find that he is always a great addition to anything he reads.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
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    IndyMcDuff USA 07-28-17
    IndyMcDuff USA 07-28-17
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    "Will Shed New Light on Many Things"

    Intriguing. Well done, and this story needed to be told. I'm glad it was written and performed with excellence. The Osage Indians were treated abysmally by our government, so don't feel sorry for Trump when he whines about the Indian Casinos not having to pay the same taxes as he. It is THEIR country, now whittled down to minute psrcels, but it is THEIRS.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Blakely Oakland, CA 06-22-17
    S. Blakely Oakland, CA 06-22-17 Member Since 2011
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    "An outstanding story, highly recommended"

    Yes, the series of narrators is confusing. More on that later. The important thing is that this is a great story, an important story, an amazing story that has been hidden from you. Everyone should read or listen to it. This is a true American crime story, a story full of villains and honest to god heroes. If you loved Boys in the Boat or Unbroken, don't miss this one. It's top notch research and story telling. I couldn't put it down.

    Now, about the narration. First, you have Ann Marie Lee reading it. Her enunciation is perfect, but she hasn't got a dramatic bone in her body. I'm sorry Ann Marie. It's like listening to a kindergarten teacher reading Dick and Jane. No character. No drama. What the heck? Next Will Patton comes along.He has read a number of Stephen King books and is a marvelous dramatic reader. He can do the voice of evil really well. The transition is all the more jolting for the listener. From Romper Room to Stephen King. Suddenly you're listening to a totally different book. But you'll want to continue on because the story is that good. At the end there's Danny Campbell -- another fine reader, and another adjustment for the listener. It's a double shame that this story of a conspiracy to murder the Osage tribe and cover up the crime is bungled by Random House Audio. Are they part of the conspiracy too???

    I highly recommend this book in spite of Random House's unfortunate production.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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