Michael Lesy — Murder City

After watching a few episodes of Boardwalk Empire, my interest in Chicago’s violent Prohibition-era past was rekindled. In the process of browsing around on various message boards, Lesy’s book came up as a recommendation and I was duly excited about reading it. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a let down.

The book is a history of murder in the 20s, though not as gang-focused as you might think. Instead, the average person’s romantic entanglements gone awry, their intrigues and violent outbursts. It sounded promising and I was really excited to read it. Once I started, however, I was quite disappointed. The author’s writing style is very choppy but seemingly without rhyme or reason; he would create sentence fragments constantly throughout a paragraph but with little regard for emphasis. It made the reading very rough and occasionally confusing. It didn’t help that the chapters were poorly organized and the subjects chosen without rhyme or reason (yes they were all murders but the order seemed totally arbitrary).

You’d probably be better off just reading newspaper accounts of the incidents in question. Sadly, this was not a good use of my reading time.

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4 Comments

Filed under Books, Review

4 responses to “Michael Lesy — Murder City

  1. How unfortunate, there are those few times when I can’t make myself even finish a book-quite sad. Thanks for the heads up and I hope your next book is worth the read!

    • I do try and at least finish everything (though there are a few entries on here that proved too difficult to do even that). Haha, me too, though it’s already proving rather more enjoyable. 🙂

  2. Loved the honest review, I used to read the newspaper daily, and honestly, don’t miss it that much. 🙂

    • Haha, well, newspapers from back in the day were a different beast all together! In college sometimes I used to spend hours in the microfiche room reading papers from the 1880s all the way up through the 1920s… they were awesomely hilarious.

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