So, I attempted to read this last year and this is what happened. I said last time I would try again in a year and...here I am. I had actually forgotten how little I cared for it.
And then I started reading it.
I'm going to try to get at least to where we see some actually plot but I'm not holding my breath.
Err. I don't really know what to say about this book. Really.
Because the audiobook went in one ear and out the other. I remember bits and pieces but it resembled nothing so much as a continuous noise you slowly cease to be able to hear.
Part of it was that I never could quite catch the flow of the text. The idea...I think...was to come at the rise in interest of murder during the Victorian times (and slightly before) from a romantic, almost poetic view. The author framed the cases, many of them the exact same ones covered by Lucy Worsley in The Art of the English Murder, around Thomas de Quincy. It was an interesting take...but I never seemed to reach the point of it all.
Now, I was listening to this at the same time (not reading and listening at once but going back and forth) as The Science of Sherlock Holmes, so it could be I kept confusing the two and simply remember the one I took notes on. But while they shared some similarities, none of it really overlapped at any one time. And wouldn't one be more likely to enforce the other if they covered similar information?
I'm tempted to say this simply isn't a book to be listened to. And while I think there's truth to that, I don't believe it was the only reason. Certainly the narrator was not by any means the worst I've found. I've gotten through truly monotone narrators and still remembered the information.
No, I think some of the fault lies with the writing itself but how much, I don't know. I do plan to attempt this again but read it the next time. But that won't be anytime soon. I may be interested in what the author has to say, but I need to forget how I first encountered it.
Again, I'm going to try to be quick but there is a lot I want to remember. I'm also going to have to buy this book. I think I could read it a dozen times and learn new things every time!
I don't know why (unless they weren't there before) but I've suddenly discovered the writer has a very dry sense of humor. You don't see it often but then little quips like this pop up.
(p.97) - "It is possible that Bertillion possessed some social grace, but if so, he was amazingly discreet about them." (That one gave me quite a chuckle)
(p. 108) - "A number of the monkeys, perhaps concerned about an infringement of their civil rights, resisted fingerprinting and had to be restrained. The organ gridners were more cooperative." (a small laugh in the middle of the Soderman fingerprint case)
(p. 126) - "John Donal Merrett had a quick mind, charming manners, and good looks, but he balanced those fine qualities with an impressive degree of self-absorption. Careful not the strain his academic abilty by excessive study, he avoided actually attending class whenever possible. ... Young Merrett, evidently too exhausted by filial concern to visit the hospital regularly..."
Since I've sped my way through several chapters, I'll try to keep the notes short. Most of these are points I don't want to forget.