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Old May 5th, 2014, 03:50 PM   #21
Wolf Vanderlinden
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Hi Dave.

I get your point. However, mine is not a particularly flattering review and I'm not sure the authors need me criticizing their efforts on a larger stage like Amazon. The people here on this site have probably read the book (or should) and have their own opinions about it. Mine is just one opinion among others. On Amazon, however, criticism can, apparently, have an effect on rankings which in turn can affect sales (although one or two bad or middling reviews probably don't matter much). Fair enough or just a cop out?

Wolf.
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Old May 16th, 2014, 05:52 PM   #22
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Ok, just finished Tom's debut.

First off, I haven't participated or even read the thread discussing Toms book. This is because I wanted to immerse myself in it without having any preconceptions.

There's much to like in this book. Interesting notion to engage in a detailed examination of the events prior to the commencement of the Canonical murders. The book contains (in my very limited experience) possibly the most detailed examination of the Emma Smith murder, and subsequent Tabram murder. IME these 2 crimes achieve only a little more than footnote examination in most ripper books, so it is welcome to see these victims/events get several pages of scrutiny.

There's a good flow to the book. What I especially liked & found very stimulating, is the interconnections between the many characters I have read about so many times before. There is an excellent job done here of highlighting the personal links between so many names that I was familiar with. It generated a lot of thought here of the personal connections & community around whitechapel circa 1888. Much food for thought, especially the inter-personal relationships between the landlords, and also pearly poll et al, the closeness, proximity of these people to each other. This book really highlighted for me the overlap of the many characters involved in this subject, and the relationships between people. Perhaps that says slightly more about my lesser knowledge of the case than most posters.

The book does contain (imo) a LOT of supposition. That isn't meant to be a huge criticism, as explanations are generally given, & much of the supposition is very reasonable. Some sections are a little more heavily based on supposition. In fairness, Tom is pretty clear on areas where he is putting forward suppositions & gives reasons for these, so whilst I may have not agreed with all suppositions, I could understand (almost always) why they were being made. The level of supposition contained does detract a little, for me, in the use of the word "true" in the books title. (In example, I'm still struggling a bit with the "shadow man" concept).

The re-examination of Pearly Poll in particular was very interesting. I feel that similar detailed examination of other characters known in whitechapel in 1888 will be essential in producing more information of high relevance, and will help us to understand the autumn of terror better. I appreciate that many articles are produced in dissertations or magazines such as ripperologist, but having the length of a book on such characters creates a lot more food for thought. The discussion of the landlords & the relationships between them was also very interesting, & worthy of further investigation I feel.

The sections relating to Nicholls & Chapman, whilst relevant did feel a little to me to distract me a little from the first 3 or 4 chapters of the book. I think the information on them, & the relevance to the subject was relevant, but perhaps could have been laid out slightly differently, perhaps as an appendix or similar. As there is a fairly larger amount of information on these 2, it did seem to unbalance the book a tiny bit.

However I have to say much of the book was very refreshing. I am looking forward to epistles 2 & 3 on Stride & especially the large overview of the whole case. I've been arguing with myself about which I'd like to see first!
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Old May 16th, 2014, 10:39 PM   #23
Cogidubnus
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Hi Lemonjelly

That's a pretty thorough personal review, written about as honestly as it's possible to be...so is it up there on Amazon?

All the best

Dave
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Old May 16th, 2014, 10:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf Vanderlinden View Post
Hi Dave.

I get your point. However, mine is not a particularly flattering review and I'm not sure the authors need me criticizing their efforts on a larger stage like Amazon. The people here on this site have probably read the book (or should) and have their own opinions about it. Mine is just one opinion among others. On Amazon, however, criticism can, apparently, have an effect on rankings which in turn can affect sales (although one or two bad or middling reviews probably don't matter much). Fair enough or just a cop out?

Wolf.
Hi Wolf

As you say it's not a particularly flattering review - but it's an honestly written review and surely ought, therefore, to be available to be read by anybody intending to spend money and buy the book...

All the best

Dave
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