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Publisher's Summary

A gripping collection of stories of human criminality at its most bizarre.

These unusual, sensational murders recall not only gruesome historical crimes, but also touch on shocking and macabre modern murders. Included are details of groundbreaking advances in crime detection, law enforcement, and forensic science.

This is the top-secret report on the most grisly, and unusual, criminal activity of our time.

©2010 Constable & Robinson (P)2012 Constable & Robinson

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
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    46
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Performance

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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    27
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Story

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
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  • Sires
  • Chesapeake, OH, United States
  • 05-06-13

True Crime for the Beach or Vacation Reader

Just because I said that this book's contents-- "story" is three stars does not mean that I didn't enjoy listening to it. The reader was fairly good and I learned something that I've often wondered about-- are books from the US translated fro the UK market. The answer, at least for this one is yes.

This is a compendium of true crimes. Many of them do have bits of the bizarre about them. Others are fairly banal. Some are well known, others I had never heard of before and I thought I was fairly well versed in at least historic crime. It made for undemanding listening while I was cutting out some winter killed vines from the front flower beds and doing some other chores. The accounts seem to mainly have been retold from secondary sources. The one that really bore that out was the retelling of the events in Vince Bugliosi's Till Death Us Do Part. Bugliosi for whatever reason used fake names for both the victims and perpetrators in his book. The real names are now readily available on the internet and the facts are a matter of public record so repeating this doesn't

Now for my favorite bit on the perils of translation. The Thomas Capano/Fahey trial was a bit of an internet sensation in part due to the fact that Capano was a well connected lawyer and political figure in Delaware. He killed Fahey in his own residence and then with his brother's assistance transported her body in a large plastic cooler to his brother's boat and tossed the cooler overboard. What happened then definitely put it's in the category of bizarre as the cooler just wouldn't sink. However, it becomes even more surreal when the cooler is called a refrigerator. The mental image of two men hauling a refrigerator out of a car and onto a boat, throwing it overboard then shooting at it because it won't sink and having to haul it back aboard made me wonder a bit about the facts as laid out in some of the other accounts.

At over 19 hours this is a solid listen.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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a crime that I did not like this book!

I should have liked this book, I love true crime. There just wasn't enough detail to surround myself in each case, the conclusion was there before I had gotten interested. You have to listen very carefully every second or you will miss something important, if you can do this you may find this book to your liking.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • PUNTA GORDA, FL, United States
  • 07-14-13

Quick stories, fun listening, cant get anybetter

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

As long as they are a nut like me who loves crime stories

Any additional comments?

This is a good book to be able to pick up, listen to a couple of stories and put down. I't not like one story, it's many stories.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • J
  • Santa Clara, CA, United States
  • 04-23-14

Complete waste of time

What would have made The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes better?

Nothing would have made this book better. It was like listening to a bunch of boring stories told from someone who only knew a little about the subject then before you realize it, the story is over and he's on to the next one.

What could Robin Odell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

If the development of the stories was a little better, you could get interested in them. Unfortunately, all of them are passed over so quickly, you can't. The author could have tried focusing more on the details and quality of each story, not the quantity of them.

How could the performance have been better?

The man reading this book had a weird English accent and cadence that sounded like he was trying to sound British but wasn't. It was so distracting, I could barely focus on how bad the stories were!!

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was greatly disappointed in this book after listening to several others and finding them all quite good.

Any additional comments?

Skip this if you value your time at all.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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too superficial to be satisfying

This book is a series of brief summaries of interesting cases. My preference is for detailed description of the crime as it unfolds, the characters involved, and the process of detection and prosecution. Succint descriptions organised by theme doesn't do it for me, but anyone interested in an overview of (mainly) murder would probably find it interesting. David Shaw-Parker does a good job with the narration - a good voice and presentation for the subject matter.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not All Bizarre, But Still a Great Read!!

If you could sum up The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes in three words, what would they be?

Fun, fast-paced, informative.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The narrator does a great job telling the gruesome stories in the most light-hearted way that he can. I wasn't sure I liked him at the start of the book, but I grew quite fond of him quickly. He's also one of the best I've heard at doing accents, he was pretty amazing!

Have you listened to any of David Shaw-Parker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nope, this was the first one. And will probably be the only one, unless he adds more books to his resumé. Of the 14 or so books he's got on Audible, this is the only one that interested me.

If you could give The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes a new subtitle, what would it be?

Or, The Depravity of Human Beings

Any additional comments?

I wish we could give half stars. 4 stars isn't enough, and 5 stars is too much. I'd have given it a full 5 stars, but I skipped a whole section on contract killings, mafia hits and assassins. That kind of stuff has never really interested me. But everything else was a wonderful, albeit sometimes gruesome, read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jessica
  • Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • 01-01-15

1000 brief newspaper articles

Would you try another book from Robin Odell and/or David Shaw-Parker?

No. I bought this on a whim, but realized I really am the sort of reader who likes depth and details. This book is like being read one brief newspaper article after another. The crimes are loosely grouped into categories.

Any additional comments?

I had no expectations when I bought this book, but it has still managed to leave me with a sense of disappointment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lavaughn
  • New Smyrna, Florida, United States
  • 07-27-13

Great compilation!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if the person is interested in basic facts about many different weird crimes. These are not in-depth, nor does the writer always give all salient facts; overall, though, it's a great compilation of bizarre crimes.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The sheer amount of research done and obvious interest in the subject that the author has.

Any additional comments?

Some stories have apocryphal or urban legend-type "facts" added, which are not always true. For instance, the electric chair that killed Albert Fish did not malfunction. Also, Fish's victim Grace Budd was 10, not 12 years old. While not a great difference, there is in the public's perception of the victim and goes a bit to the horror the public felt at the time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Keep your Euro take on capital punishment to yourself

An entire book about hundreds of savage murders and other atrocities. Yep the author spends time disparaging the US and our people's desire to keep the ultimate punishment for the very acts this books details lurid detail. F*cking hypocrite.

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So much content

I listened to this book over the course of a few weeks off and on. The narrator did a great job of pulluing me into ther her well condensed versions of each tale.

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  • James Wing
  • 05-11-17

Lives up to the title

Most entries are very detailed, though some leave you wondering about outcomes and loose ends. Overall a good listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Emma J
  • 11-03-13

Intresting bit long at times though.

Would you try another book written by Robin Odell or narrated by David Shaw-Parker?

Yes i definitely would.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes?

All of it stays in your mind really as its all true accounts.

What does David Shaw-Parker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He makes you feel as if you are their at the scenes, through the eyes of the beholder's

Do you think The Mammoth Book of Bizarre Crimes needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Yes it certainly does id try a sample and then decide

7 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Emily
  • 04-17-16

Great listen

I seriously loved this audio book. It's done in such a way that it's not drawn out, filled with intense detail and opinions, it's short chunks make it fun, shocking and leave you to find more info or remember details from previous knowledge.
Performance was great, reminded me of a show I watched as a child. With the guy reading the storybook in velvet and creepy lighting. Super fun. But only if you love to freak yourself out with the truth of human nature.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephanie
  • 03-14-17

this book was boring

found myself zoning out even with the subject matter. it was presented boringly. wouldn't listen again

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-20-17

Good variety but boring narrative

This book is good if you just want to brush lightly on a history of criminals and their deeds. The narrator was so boring and monotonous i drifted of to sleep within the first 30 mins. I attempted again the following night and just couldn't put myself through this . Educational, but lack of expression and direction, did not encourage me to keep listening . Did not finish this.