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Crippen: A Novel of Murder Paperback – January 23, 2007
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"Crippen" is a textured, involving, and suspenseful psychological study of how a mentally unstable parent can permanently damage her child, and how a monstrous woman can make her husband's existence into a living hell. In addition, Boyne brilliantly, and with mordant humor, analyzes the hypocrisy of the upper classes in England, the predatory nature of newspaper reporters, and the impossibility of ever fully understanding the complexity of people's motives, feelings, and desires.
The author constructs his story meticulously, teasing the reader with bits of information that become meaningful later on in the narrative. He goes back and forth in time, creating a rich and colorful tapestry with fully realized and lively characters.Read more ›
It's a period story with precious little period detail. In 1912, no policeman would have used the expression "media circus."
The author's "twist on the story" is plausible and may be the most interesting thing about this generally exasperating effort.
Boyne presents Crippen as a complex and enigmatic man - whom although painted as a monster for murdering his wife, chopping her up and burying pieces of her under the stones in his cellar - was in reality a meek and harmless person who probably wouldn't hurt a fly. The novel traces the historical journey of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen from his childhood in Canada, where his worldview was shaped by his puritanical, severely religious mother.
Desiring to become a doctor, yet unable to be given all the advantages of education so that he might escape his family, Crippen travels to America, eventually finding work as a medical assistant, his second rate qualifications obtained through correspondence courses.
It is in New York where Hawley meets Cora Turner, a music hall dancer, who convinces him to take her to London so that she can fulfill her dream of becoming a famous diva. But Cora turns out to be a shrieking and violent harpy, a heartless, evil, nasty and manipulative witch, and a flagrantly vulgar, lustful and faithless wife who constantly hounds Hawley for not being socially good enough.
Cora ends up abusing Hawley physically, unashamedly sleeping with other men in their house. At first, he was her way out of the gutter and she was someone who listened to him and said she believed in him.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good writer but book very repetitive and too much filler. Also a bit over the top with repeat female personalities.Published 8 months ago by MJC
Fascinating book...John Boyne is a wonderful writer...So glad I have discovered him and his books!Published 11 months ago by Florence R. Francioli
Well written, especially when dealing with characters that develop over time; they are not the people they start out to be, so the book and it's ending were not predictable -... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Beth Peyton
Excellent written by Boyne... story kept me guessingthe whole time what was going to happen next... the final was
I enjoyed this fictionalization of the "Dr. Crippen" case very much, although as I have with other John Boyne books, I find the quality of characterizations, settings, and... Read morePublished 18 months ago by zenmezzo