1. (REASON FOR POSTING)
Fantastic cover. Love the photo, love the title, love the layout.
2. (FURTHER THOUGHTS ON SUBJECT)
Seems like it could be a fun read. What’s interesting is that it’s not only about this spate of women killers, but about how they were covered by a woman journalist, and how society reacted at the time. Reviews are mixed, though generally positive.
3. (UNNECESSARY AND EXCESSIVE RANT THAT YOU PROBABLY DON’T WANT TO READ AND WHICH HAS JUST MADE ME ANGRIER AND THEREFORE WAS PROBABLY NOT SOMETHING I SHOULD HAVE WRITTEN BUT OH WELL IT’S DONE AND I’M JUST GOING TO GO HAVE A DRINK OF WATER AND STRANGLE A KITTEN)
This is one of the worst reviews I’ve ever read, not in that is the most negative, but that it is a dumped truck of liquid shit written by a smug asshole who is too busy showing us how smart she is to bother to actually review the book.
She spends three-quarters of her time recounting the real life events that are the basis for the book, then spends a scant three paragraphs dismissing the entire idea of caring about it. She clearly doesn’t think the book was worth writing, stating that “even though the planet is rife with murders of every kind, author Douglas Perry takes us back to those two depressing murders yet again.”
Sigh. Boredom. She ends with an imaginary policeman, “Get along, get along. There’s nothing new for you to see here.”
But, wait. Let me get this straight. So her entire review says, basically, “you already know all this stuff.” But, if I know all this stuff, why did she spend 500 words explaining it all to me? It’s clearly information that she finds interesting enough to know already.
And further, if I’m interested in this book at all, isn’t it possible that maybe I don’t know all this stuff? Maybe I’m interested in learning? That maybe that’s why I picked up this nonfiction book? You don’t throw an encyclopedia down and yell, “THIS IS ALL OLD GODDAMNED INFORMATION YOU GUYS!”
The book seems as though it’s trying to explore an interesting historical moment for its unique elements and to look for lessons we might draw from it. The reviewer complains, “Are we supposed to be shocked by this?” but that doesn’t let me know whether this is a serious book that simply fails to hit the mark, or whether it, like a lot of non-fiction aimed at the popular market, is a lightweight melodramatic yarn that abuses the source material.
It’s a book by a man, about women. Is it fair in that regard? There are snarky hints in the review that it is not, but she won’t come out and flatly say it.
Further, if her conclusion is that the book rehashes old news and presents it as new, without any new insights, shouldn’t she maybe spend a bit of time suggesting a better place to look?
For example, is there another biography of Maurine Watkins, the reporter who’s the center of the book? No, there is not.
Is there another book that focuses on Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner, the killers who inspired Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly? Um, no, as far as I can tell, there is not. (They seem to serve as sections of this and this).
I am not suggesting that all reviews have to be fair. In fact, I don’t think they have to be fair at all. They are personal viewpoints. But they should strive to provide more than a plot summary and a weak-kneed and unsubstantiated “meh” in response to the fundamental question of whether something is worth my time.
That is all.