I enjoyed this one, but it probably won’t make my to-recommend list. I found the first half of the book extremely intriguing, but Worsley lost me when she started to move into the twentieth century authors. I listened to this one and found myself getting caught up in that audiobook trap where you realized you have zoned out and missed who-knows-how-many pages. Speaking of the audiobook, I did not like the narrator. She came off prim and stuffy to me. That probably didn’t help. I’d suggest skipping the audio version if you are interested in the book.
From Amazon.com: “Murder—a dark, shameful deed, the last resort of the desperate or a vile tool of the greedy. And a very strange, very English obsession. But where did this fixation develop? And what does it tell us about ourselves?
In The Art of the English Murder, Lucy Worsley explores this phenomenon in forensic detail, revisiting notorious crimes like the Ratcliff Highway Murders, which caused a nationwide panic in the early nineteenth century, and the case of Frederick and Maria Manning, the suburban couple who were hanged after killing Maria’s lover and burying him under their kitchen floor. Our fascination with crimes like these became a form of national entertainment, inspiring novels and plays, prose and paintings, poetry and true-crime journalism. At a point during the birth of modern England, murder entered our national psyche, and it’s been a part of us ever since.”
Loved, loved, loved this! Some of the stories had gut-punching, haunting endings. This will be on my recommendation list for anyone who enjoys a good short story collection.
It might be helpful to know that I did not like Wolf Hall – couldn’t finish the thing – so don’t necessarily pass this one up if you didn’t like her previous work.
From Amazon.com: “Hilary Mantel is one of the world’s most accomplished, acclaimed and garlanded writers. Uniquely, her last two novels, Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring up the Bodies, both won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. In this new collection of ten stories, all her gifts of characterization, observation and intelligence are once again fully on display. With settings ranging from Saudi Arabia to Greece to London, they reveal a great writer at the peak of her powers.”
2015 total books: 31
2015 total pages read: 6469
2015 total pages listened to: 3471