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Old September 2nd, 2016, 05:38 PM   #1
Lemonjelly
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Default September 2016

been a while since I read a ripper book.

Just finished Saucy Jack: The Elusive Ripper by Woods & Baddeley
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Saucy-Jack-.../dp/0711034109

Had this for a while on the shelf, and thought I'd delve into this devils history. The book switches styles through its text. Recreations of historical events are drafted in an italic font, interspersed with current day author comment, information, and reportage from the Jack the Ripper & the East End docklands conference from 2008.

I'm not quite sure what this book is trying to be. Is it a historical re-telling of 1888 & related events? Well, no. The italicised sections are more fiction than faction. There's too much emphasis on the characters inner thoughts etc than reflecting actual events. It's a bit of a low grade In Cold Blood in that sense, scattered with the odd error too (McKenzie being reported as dying in 1888 twice, and Rose Mylett is completely omitted). It isn't really an overview of the conference or speakers, but there are a few quotes. A couple of chapters look at the stereotypical view of JtR, and his place in popular culture, but it isn't as comprehensive as Mielke's The Murders and the Movies, and it doesn't even come within vague touching distance of the quality of John Bennetts The Making of the Myth.

It's ok I guess. Weirdly, it's a decent sized book, and each chapter is quite long. It feels like there's a lot of information in it. But there actually isn't. It's a JtR version of fast food, seems like there's a lot there, but actually, there isn't that much substance to it. The skipping between styles makes it fragmented, and occasionally a perplexing read. It seems to jump about unnecessarily, and sometimes feels a bit more stream of consciousness rather than a cohesive book.

In short, buy The Making of the Myth instead.
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Old September 2nd, 2016, 06:39 PM   #2
Howard Brown
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Thanks Lem !
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