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30 Day Book Meme: Day 11 – A book you hated - Not Dead, Merely Dreaming

About 30 Day Book Meme: Day 11 – A book you hated

Previous Entry 30 Day Book Meme: Day 11 – A book you hated Dec. 14th, 2010 @ 12:00 pm Next Entry
Day 11 – A book you hated

Jack the Ripper's Secret Confession: The Hidden Testimony of Britain's First Serial Killer by David Monaghan, Nigel Cawthorne.

From my GoodReads review: 


In Jack the Ripper's Secret Confession, authors Monaghan and Cawthorne attempt to connect Jack the Ripper to "Walter" the pseudonymous author of My Secret Life. My Secret Life is an 11-volume, million-word-long recounting of Walter's sexual escapades: a dizzying collection of improbable sexual encounters, coerced sex with household staff, trysts with prostitutes and child rape.

Secret Confession works well when the authors use My Secret Life as an access point to understanding the dark side of Victorian sexuality. The age of consent prior to 1885 was an appalling young 13 (in 1885 it became 16) and the fight to raise it was a bloody one. With the age of consent being so young, men who desired virgins (like Walter) preyed on younger girls procured for them through an established virgin trade.

Where Secret Confession fails is in connecting Walter to the Ripper Murders. The authors paraphrase or quote lengthy passages of My Secret Life and try to draw parallels between those selections and details from Ripper Murders. Almost every example feels like an outright stretch, with the authors tweaking facts to suit theories: for the authors' thesis to work, the Ripper's victims solicited virgins for Walter and now he was silencing them.

It's not just that it's a poorly executed Jack the Ripper book; it's that -- for the authors' theory to work -- the Ripper's victims must become villains themselves.  Then there's the excessive amount of quoting from My Secret Life which drags the reader through the sexual abuse and humiliation of everyone Walter comes in contact with -- including repeated assaults on children.

30 Day Book Meme

Day 01 – Best book you read last year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy

Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favorite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favorite writer
Day 14 – Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 – Favorite male character
Day 16 – Favorite female character
Day 17 – Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favorite romance book
Day 21 – Favorite book from your childhood
Day 22 – Favorite book you own
Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people would’ve read
Day 25 – A character who you can relate to the most
Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 – Favorite title
Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 – Your favorite book of all time

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Date:December 14th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
Sounds pretty bad. It's like the (*looks around furtively*) Holy Blood, Holy Grail of Jack the Ripper-ness.
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