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Crippen Paperback – 29 Sep 2011

49 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (29 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552777439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552777438
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 126,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. The winner of two Irish Book Awards, he is the author of eight novels for adults and four for younger readers, including the international bestseller The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which was made into a Miramax feature film and has sold more than six million copies worldwide. His novels are published in over forty-five languages. He lives in Dublin. www.johnboyne.com.

Product Description

Review

"Engaging" (The Irish Times)

"Compelling" (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"Well-crafted narrative... plenty of thrills, chills, ironies and surprises" (Washington Post)

"Addictive" (People Magazine)

Book Description

The spectacular third novel from the bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Enthralled on 30 Dec. 2004
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up at the airport for something to read by the pool. It is the best read I've had in a long time. It was so well written that I'm now searching for more books by John Boyne. We've all heard about the infamous Dr Crippen but Boyne allows us to see him in a different light - I almost felt sorry for the poor chap - what an awful wife Cora Crippen was!
Thanks for a great read, I couldn't put it down and never actually got into the pool!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Terry Tyler, author on 20 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I got this book out of the library to read again, when I was temporarily without a Kindle... I thoroughly enjoyed it once more.

I've read a few reviews that question certain historical inaccuracies; I don't know if these are correct or not, but this book is such a cracking tale and so well-written than I don't think I would have minded even if I did know. One of the things I like so much about Mr Boyne's writing is the detail he gives about the secondary characters. I particularly loved the touching tale of Captain Kendall - and found Victoria Drake's doubt about her sexuality most amusing. The pretentiousness of Louise Smythson and Margaret Nash is portrayed so well, and for me the whole story was completely convincing - no matter about a little detail like an item of clothing appearing before its time; the story is convincing because the characters WORK. It all works, especially the clever dipping in and out of past to give weight to the present.

Loved it, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jaffareadstoo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
I was delighted to be given this book in the Transworld Book Group Reading Challenge 2011.

The story opens in July 1910 with passengers boarding the SS Montrose in Antwerp bound for Canada. Amongst the passengers are a Mr John Robinson and his seventeen year old son Edmund, who together with a disparate group of fellow travellers are to be confined on board ship for the duration of the journey. This fictional account of the true story of the notorious Doctor Crippen gets off to a rather slow start, but then develops into a suspenseful and credible murder /mystery story. The depiction of the hypocrisy of the upper classes in the early part of the twentieth century is cleverly written, and the added snippets of Crippin's early life serves to emphasise the complexity of his character, and highlights his emotional instability. There are several other background characters that add weight to the story, and allow a fascinating glimpse into the convolutions of a society where social class was paramount.

Overall, I thought Crippen was a really good read; it is very cleverly constructed as the slow pace accentuates the gradual exposure of Doctor Crippen, and eventually reveals the sordid details of this crime which gripped the imagination of the nation.

For me, the added enjoyment comes from John Boyne's exceptionally good writing; he has a distinct talent for storytelling, and his ability to make the story come alive is typical of his style and flair. This is definitely a book I would recommend to my friends.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne of the Indies on 17 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
After reading 'This House is Haunted'... I though 'wow' what else has he written that I'll like - as a crime lover, especially classic, thought Crippen would just be up my street. I love reading Historical fiction and infamous murderer from 1900's - can't go wrong. How wrong was I. If you are going to write a historical novel, a good author knows how to weave the true events in with the 'story' but sadly John Boyne didn't. I did finish the book, but really had to push myself and felt like weeks to finish - so unless this author writes another Victorian Gothic, won't be picking up any more of his novels. (I know The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas was a best seller and even made into a film - but it looks as if he is only a ad hoc bestselling author) By the way - this is just my opinion - but as Garfield says - Everyone is entitled to my opinion!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 April 2005
Format: Paperback
To be honest, I can't agree with the other reviewers of this book. While it was enjoyable in a lightweight kind of way, I didn't think it was nearly as well written as it could have been. For a start, there was way too much about Crippen's early life. Most of that could have been cut out without in any way weakening the story. Quite the reverse, since the man portrayed in those early pages was not the man who appeared later in the book, and there appeared to be no explanation for the change. Either characther would have made for a fine novel, but the two together simply grated. Then there was the flitting from one character's point of view to another's within a single scene. That technique drew the intensity out of the novel for me. It wasn't anyone's story: it was just a narrative. Many little things broke the Edwardian spell for me also, such as the ship's officer who wanted to be back home for the birth of his child (remember, this is supposed to be 1910), and the use by characters of words like "psychopath". To be honest, the whole thing read like a reasonable first draft which needed a good editor and a couple of serious re-writes. I found it a disappointment, although it might be an enjoyable read on the beach this summer.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback
Normally I read military non-fiction but every now and then I take a break and read historical fiction and thrillers. I was in a bookshop recently and was grabbed by the cover of this particular book. I knew a little about Crippen and thought that this would be a change. I can honestly state that this is without doubt the best book I have read in years and I am very very hard to please. It was superbly written and the myriad stories were expertly interwoven. The novel jumps about from the ship Dr Crippen and his lover are escaping on to his early life and marriages, back to the discovery of the body, forwards to the ship and so on back and forth. As it does the author never losses the thread in fact the intricacies of the plot are enhanced by this style.
If you haven't purchased this book already got out and do so now or put it on your Christmas wish list. This is simply a must read from a superb new talent with a great surname.
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