Friday, 28 October 2011
Book Review: Crippen by John Boyne
Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars.
July 1910, the grisly remains of Cora Crippen, music hall singer and wife of Dr Hawley Crippen are discovered in the cellar of 39 Hilldrop Cresent Camden. But the doctor and his mistress, Ethel Le Neve have vanished., much to the frustration of Scotland Yard and the outrage of a horrified London.
Across the channel in Antwerp, the SS Montrose sets sail on it's two week voyage to Canada. Amongst it's passengers are the overbearing Antonia Drake and her daughter Victoria, who is hell-bent on romance, the enigmatic Zela and the modest Martha Hayes. Also on board are the unassuming Mr John Robinson and his seventeen year old son Edmund. But all is not as it seems...
This review is for the Transworld book group reading challenge.
First off I would like to say that if you are in an airport and decide to get an easy read for the plane or for when you are on the beach this would be a fantastic choice! I don't think I have read a book this easy to read in a long long time.
But... I am kinda in a dilemma writing this review. On one hand like I said it was easy to read. I was able to put the book down to work and be a Mum and then be able to pick it straight back up and get back into the story without a problem. However stereotypical the characters on the SS Montrose were I found them to have faces, shadows and become part of my image of the story... The characters came alive.
The layout of the book reminds me of a book called 'A Brutal Art' by Jesse Kellerman. Where you would go back and forth in time to show the story of a character. I had no trouble with this in Crippen and found that this was a great idea. Unlike other people who have read the book I found no issue with the focus of Crippen's early years. I just found this part of the build up.
Now my issue. There are quite a few things, details are are just historically wrong which really put me off giving this book any higher a rating.
In a nutshell, if you want a light read and are not bothered with whether a book has more fact than fiction then this well could be the book for you. If you are bothered with factual content then I think that the historical bloopers in this book will put you off.