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The Book of Assassins Paperback – International Edition, July 13, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“…you can have quite a lot of fun with A Biographical Dictionary of the World’s Assassins. A sort of Assassination for Dummies, it’s a great little reference book of potted biographies of assassins from all eras and ports of call….There’s even a handy index of victims…A Biographical Dictionary of the World’s Assassins is a goldmine for trivia buffs.” —Toronto Star

“This handy collection of patriots, madmen and killers…is a welcome addition for a crime writer. This is no ordinary compendium of rogues, footpads and murderers. An assassin is the aristocrat of killers; an assassin is the killer of aritocrats and celebrities…Fetherling’s A Biographical Dictionary of Assassins is a useful, often amusing, usually reliable addition to the field of criminology, while being at the same time a ready aid to the general reader who enjoys a romp through history following a new unifying theme.” —Howard Engel, Globe and Mail

“We all know the names Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth. But who assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, igniting the First World War? So asks George Fetherling in A Biographical Dictionary of the World’s Assassins.” —National Post

“Fascinating…Entertaining and provocative. Some fo the crimes he details are simply heinous, while others beg the question: at what point does the defence of liberty justify murder?” —Georgia Straight

Assassins is well researched, readable and interesting.” —Vancouver Sun

“The book is made for browsing. A reader can learn not only about the momentous political assassinations in history, but also about the stabbing of tennis star Monica Seles by a deranged fan of her rival…or the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace by an American serial killer.” —Edmonton Journal --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

“…you can have quite a lot of fun with A Biographical Dictionary of the World’s Assassins. A sort of Assassination for Dummies, it’s a great little reference book of potted biographies of assassins from all eras and ports of call….There’s even a handy index of victims…A Biographical Dictionary of the World’s Assassins is a goldmine for trivia buffs.” —Toronto Star

“This handy collection of patriots, madmen and killers…is a welcome addition for a crime writer. This is no ordinary compendium of rogues, footpads and murderers. An assassin is the aristocrat of killers; an assassin is the killer of aritocrats and celebrities…Fetherling’s A Biographical Dictionary of Assassins is a useful, often amusing, usually reliable addition to the field of criminology, while being at the same time a ready aid to the general reader who enjoys a romp through history following a new unifying theme.” —Howard Engel, Globe and Mail

“We all know the names Lee Harvey Oswald and John Wilkes Booth. But who assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, igniting the First World War? So asks George Fetherling in A Biographical Dictionary of the World’s Assassins.” —National Post

“Fascinating…Entertaining and provocative. Some fo the crimes he details are simply heinous, while others beg the question: at what point does the defence of liberty justify murder?” —Georgia Straight

Assassins is well researched, readable and interesting.” —Vancouver Sun

“The book is made for browsing. A reader can learn not only about the momentous political assassinations in history, but also about the stabbing of tennis star Monica Seles by a deranged fan of her rival…or the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace by an American serial killer.” —Edmonton Journal --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (July 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679311513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679311515
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,188,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jesse S. Walker on May 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book from a friend. I loved all the little trivia. It helps that the author included assassination attempts (including those who were deluded enough to think a pistol loaded with tobacco would kill Queen Victoria). Including those who may not have done any actual harm but meant to makes the book a little less predictable. It's not all "this one killed that one and here's why." Each summary is about 1-3 pages long. Which is just long enough to give details but not too long to get bored with them.

Things I have learned about assassins.

1. Always succeed. The punishment is much worse if

you don't. In fact, I think the author nicluded a little

too much description on some deaths

2. Never be anyone who is related to an assassin (if

the assassin isn't trying to kill you there is still a

good chance you'll go mad or be punished for his/ her

act.

3. Don't be the guy who catches the successful

assassin. It never ends well.

4. Never piss off a woman (see Henriette Caillaux)

5. Generally avoid being royalty. Your relatives are

all out to get you.

The only criticism I have is that is is missing two major figures. Saddam Hussein and Orlando Bosch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael on July 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a treasure chest for those of us who are fascinated by those flesh and blood Eumenides who have felt called upon to bring the great ones of the earth to account for their crimes, real or imagined. The author provides an wonderfully encyclopedic account of history's assassins, in all countries and eras. I have only two complaints- 1. he omitted the great Cassius Chaerea, the assassin of the Emperor Caligula, and 2. In his listing for Lee Harvey Oswald, he gives credence to the various conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Besides that, this is an excellent catalogue of that select group of men and women who barged their way into history with a single bloody act.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a possible resource while researching for the musical "Assassins." While the breadth of assassins is appreciable, there were inconsistencies between this book and several books I picked up focused on the individual assassins. This may be the result of varying accounts, new information coming to light, etc. However, though this book may be interesting for simple and perhaps non-specific reference to a variety of assassins, I'd recommend getting something more targeted for citable data.
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Format: Hardcover
I am glad I bought this book, because it's something that I'll tend to pick up and read a little for years to come, and share tidbits with my kids to get them interested in history. I learned things about people I'd never heard of before, and found each one intriguing so far. I've only read some of the entries, so this will be entertaining for some time!
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