Thank You very much to the publisher – Random House UK/ Vintage Publishing and Net Galley for the review copy.
Genre: Mystery & Thriller/ Historical fiction
Release date: 24 08 2017
Price*: Kindle £N/A (GBP)/ Paperback £6.35 (GBP)
Kindle $N/A (USD)/ Paperback $13.97 (USD)
Pages: ~ 265
My rating: 8/10
You can get this book here:
What I learned from this book: Never underestimate the power of women.
Description of the book: Dan Leno, the great music hall comedian, was known in his lifetime as ‘the funniest man on earth’. So how could he have been involved in one of the most curious episodes in London’s history when, in a short period during the autumn of 1880, a series of murders were attributed to the mysterious ‘Limehouse Golem’?
In Peter Ackroyd’s novel, the world of late-Victorian music hall and pantomime becomes implicated in a number of sinister scenes and episodes, and the connection between the light and dark sides of nineteenth-century London begins to attract contemporary figures as George Gissing and Karl Marx. But there are also less well-known characters who play a significant role in the narrative. What, for example, is the secret of Elizabeth Cree, about to hang for the murder of her husband?
Previously published as Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem
How this book made me feel: I picked up this book, because the movie is out, and I do love to compare them. After reading the book I did watch the movie so I will share my thoughts about the movie as well.
The blurb gives out all the necessary information about this book, leaving some mystery for the reader to figure out. The star of this novel is Lizzie Cree, an actress and a wife of well-known reporter John Cree. This novel is told from multiple perspectives: Lizzie’s life story, “Limehouse Golem’s” thoughts during the killings, and other character’s views and life stories. The most interesting to me was Lizzie’s life story, I think it was the most intriguing, complex part of this novel. I am really grateful that Peter Ackroyd added the murderer’s thoughts to this book. Even though they were really graphic, I always love to have an insight into what’s happening in a psychopath’s head. There is a wide variety of characters to choose from in this book, and I think that everybody can find their favourite. My pick would be Lizzie, she is such a well composed and intriguing character!
The narrative of this novel was very well written and researched. I did enjoy the story which author was sharing with the reader, however, there were many philosophical parts in this book, which I found boring and unnecessary. It reminded me of all the dull books I had to read while in school, so I just skim read those parts. 😦 I would like to throw in a disclaimer, that there are graphic violent parts in this book, and it is not suitable for sensitive readers. 😉
The writing style of this book is impeccable. Peter Ackroyd is a master of his craft and truly gifted writer. This novel was first published in 1994, but it feels like it was written in the 19th century. I could clearly see the author’s knowledge in this book because it was shining through the pages. The language used in this novel was very sophisticated but not very difficult to read, and the chapters where decent length, so it did not leave me bored. I really enjoyed the ending of this novel, I think it was well deserved and rounded up the story very nicely.
The film actually surprised me, it had a completely different approach to the whole story and told it through Inspector Kildare’s perspective. In the book, the whole police investigation was very vague, so it was a real surprise to see this approach, and I didn’t really mind it. The acting was marvellous and Mr D. Booth (Dan Leno) was absolutely amazing. He had the charisma and the skill to be a star of this movie. The whole movie was not a full representation of the book, they used some parts from the book and amended it to fit their story, but I liked it nevertheless. This movie is not suitable for children under 15, as it has some really gross scenes in there.
So to conclude, this book is very well written and amusing read, with well rounded and charismatic characters, and the narrative is twisty and always changing, keeping the reader interested. I do recommend to experience Lizzie’s journey and to watch the film afterwards. They do compliment each other, offering different perspectives and different interpretations, so give it a try and I hope you will enjoy it 🙂
Thank You for Your time! 🙂
About the author: Peter Ackroyd is the author of biographies of Dickens, Blake and Thomas More and of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers London: The Biography and Thames: Sacred River. Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet and historian. He has won the Whitbread Biography Award, the Royal Society of Literature’s William Heinemann Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award and the South Bank Prize for Literature. He holds a CBE for services to literature.
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