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Would you listen to The Mammoth Book of the Jack the Ripper Stories again? Why?
I would listen again, particularly on a long drive, because I'm sure I missed some salient points by listening whilst sewing/doing housework/gardening. It would be good to listen without such distractions.
What did you like best about this story?
I enjoyed the various hypotheses - difficult to specify my particular favourite, as it would spoil the revelation - and had already read some of the books mentioned. Indeed, we once lived in Wilkes Street in London and Jack committed one of his gruesome murders at the end of that road - one of the reasons I became intrigued by the case.
Have you listened to any of Kris Dyer’s other performances? How does this one compare?
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Psychopath or conspiracy - consider the evidence . . .
Any additional comments?
A challenging read, particularly some if the descriptions of the injuries, but very thought-provoking with regard to the possible identity of Jack - or of the conspirators.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
This book is an interesting collection of theories about Jack the Ripper from various sources. It gets slightly repetitive, as the canonical murders are rehashed, as are a few of the disputed killings. But it oddly helps to solidify the basic facts of the story in the listener's mind. At least it did for me.
What is most striking about the book (in its own way, quite entertaining) is the predictable pettiness that is rampant in any "ripperologist" discussion. There is a charming amateurishness to the collection. (Anyone who's listened to the Rippercast podcast, will understand completely).
Numerous essays start by touching on the wilful disdain by other authors regarding the facts of the case, how cocksure they are of their conclusions without any supporting evidence. This is usually followed by how, with their own intensive research, they have uncovered the truth. (Somehow, even though they all have intensive research, they come to wildly different conclusions, and all are confident in their conclusions. Go figure.) Others make sure to note their bona fides, and experience in the field of ripperology. It's kind of like long suffering Cubs fans, who bemoaned bandwagon jumpers in 2016. It's actually fun to hear the sniping though.
The oddest essay is probably the one that is essentially a love letter to Patricia Cornwell. One of the more prominent authors who has engaged in the behaviour mentioned in the previous paragraph, she's defended by one essayist, with no other real point to it.
Fun stuff, but not entirely informative regarding any one solution to the identity of Jack. And full disclosure, for my use, with digestible chapters of an hour or less, and each a separate essay, it's good material for insomnia. This is not a criticism that it's boring, but just convenient.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful