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Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last…
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Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee (udgave 2020)

af Casey Cep (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
7174724,100 (3.87)76
New York Times Best Seller   "Compelling . . . at once a true-crime thriller, courtroom drama, and miniature biography of Harper Lee. If To Kill a Mockingbird was one of your favorite books growing up, you should add Furious Hours to your reading list today." --Southern Living   Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell's murderer was acquitted--thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.   Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years working on her own version of the case. Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country's most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.… (mere)
Medlem:suzanne5002
Titel:Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
Forfattere:Casey Cep (Forfatter)
Info:Vintage (2020), 352 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:***
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee af Casey Cep

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» Se også 76 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 47 (næste | vis alle)
Mixed thoughts on this one... on the one hand all three sections were interesting, and in general the book was well-written. After reading about Lee's disparagement of the fictionalization and fudging of true crime writing you can see why Cep stuck with the facts as known, with little artistic embellishment. This doesn't produce as powerful a narrative as a nonfiction novel like In Cold Blood, but you never feel like you're being duped or led along.

The organization of the book, however, felt a little odd to me. If, as seems from the first half, the book is primarily about the Reverend Willie Maxwell and his lawyer cum makeshift prosecutor Big Tom Radney, including so much info in the back half about Nelle Harper Lee's life outside of her investigation of the case seems mostly irrelevant.

If, on the other hand, Cep wanted Furious Hours to mostly be about Lee's research and her unwritten book, then waiting so long to introduce her into the story seems very odd, especially since all of the info about the Reverend and the Lawyer could have been introduced through the lens of Lee's reporting. Maybe that was the intent, but there simply wasn't enough info about her investigation available to frame the story in that way?

Unfortunately, whatever the reasons, the result feels like a book that starts as one thing (the story Maxwell's fraud, murders, and his own death) and then gets distracted halfway through by how interested the author is in the life of Harper Lee. Understandable, as her life is interesting! But still.

Okay, excuse a long tangential comparison, but: This kind of reminds me of my problems with the novel Silence of the Women, which started as the Trojan War from a woman's perspective but ended up just being mostly about Achilles in the second half. There's nothing wrong with writing a book about Achilles, just as there's nothing wrong with writing a book about Harper Lee. But it's just a little odd when you make a point in the book about how women's voices are suppressed in war and then write about a man's perspective, or when you make a point in the book about how true crime is often about white victims and white heroes, and then shift your focus from black men and women killed, and the black man Robert Burns who avenged them, to the life of the white author only peripherally involved with the case? I dunno. It's obviously more complicated than that. But I dunno. ( )
  misslevel | Sep 22, 2021 |
Harper Lee never wrote another book after To Kill A Mockingbird, but she sure had a lot of ideas. This book explores Lee’s attempt in the 1970’s to write a book about the murder of one Rev. Willie Maxwell, an African-American evangelical preacher, con man and murderer. The book should have written itself, but it never was completed.

I hd a hard time with this book because we hear nary a peep about Harper Lee until halfway through the book, and then it’s mostly about Harper Lee and not the subject at hand. I guess if you’re a total Harper Lee fan you’ll love this book. AS for me, I returned my Audible copy for something else. ( )
  etxgardener | Sep 17, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this one. Don't go in expecting a linear narrative of Harper Lee showing up, then finding out all the information through the trial.

Instead, Cep walks the reader through the various major players, focusing on one at a time, in great (and, at least in my case) quite welcome detail.

Really interesting and captivating story.

( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
Book on CD read by Hilary Huber
3.5***

Subtitle: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee

This is a combination of a true crime exploration of the serial killer Reverend Willie Maxwell, and a mini biography of Harper Lee.

Maxwell was well-known in his Alabama town even before his relatives started dying off in odd “accidents” which captured the attention of law enforcement and the ire of the many insurance companies from which Maxwell had purchased life insurance policies on said relatives. He kept his attorney, “Big Tom” Radney quite busy defending him against murder charges and suing the insurance companies to get what was owned to him. Maxwell was at the funeral of the latest victim when he was shot at point blank range by a grieving relative of the deceased. And Big Tom immediately became HIS lawyer to defend against the murder charges, despite the accused’s confession and the 340 witnesses.

Meanwhile Harper Lee has published her runaway (and still) bestselling novel, To Kill A Mockingbird and has helped her childhood friend Truman Capote with the research on his true-crime “nonfiction novel” In Cold Blood. The Rev Maxwell’s case captures her attention, and she begins researching the case(s) with the idea of writing a book.

I found the entire story fascinating, but then I am a fan of true crime books. I was completely captivated by Maxwell’s story and how that unfolded. And I, like many other readers, am eternally interested in Nelle Harper Lee, so was happy that I learned a few new things about Lee’s life, especially her own demons.

However, I think the author would have been less successful with this book without the Lee hook, and that somehow just didn’t sit right with me. So, three stars: I liked it; other true-crime or Lee fans will probably like it too.

Hilary Huber does a find job of narrating the audiobook. Her clear diction and steady pace made it easy for me to understand and follow the intricacies of the case. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jul 28, 2021 |
It's three...three...three books in one! And in the end that kept this from being as enjoyable for me as I wanted it to be. It is still an amazing story and very well told. It is the type of story that one might be skeptical of if it were written as fiction. The book is presented in three sections, one each about the Reverend Maxwell, Attorney Tom Radney, and author Harper Lee, and I found each section to be almost separate from the others even though they are all related to the crimes and aftermath of Rev. Maxwell. I felt like I was reading three very good New Yorker profiles of tangentially related people, and there is nothing wrong with that but it left me feeling less fulfilled than I desired. And in the end I was just saddened by the life of Harper Lee after "To Kill a Mockingbird" and even more determined to NEVER read "Go Set A Watchman" (if it is possible to more determined than I already was). I am sickened by the attempt to cash in on her name when she was not capable of consent. Mockinbird is nearly perfect and I think in the end that has to be enough. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Viser 1-5 af 47 (næste | vis alle)
She explains as well as it is likely ever to be explained why Lee went silent after “To Kill a Mockingbird.” (The clue’s in Cep’s title.) And it’s here, in her descriptions of another writer’s failure to write, that her book makes a magical little leap, and it goes from being a superbly written true-crime story to the sort of story that even Lee would have been proud to write.
tilføjet af danielx | RedigerNew York Times, Michael Lewis (May 1, 2019)
 
Lee spent many years working on the project, but it never saw the light of day. Instead, more than four decades later, we have Cep’s absorbing new volume, which succeeds in telling the story that Nelle Harper Lee could not and offers an affecting account of Lee’s attempt to give meaning to a startling series of events.
 

» Tilføj andre forfattere (9 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Casey Cepprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Carrow, JennyOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Huber, HillaryFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lew, BettyDesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Mapping Specialists Ltd.Cartographermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Ray, B. J.Omslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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No longer legally able to subjugate other people, wealthy white southerners turned their attention to nature instead. The untamed world seemed to them at worst like a mortal danger, seething with disease and constantly threatening disaster, and at best like a terrible waste. The numberless trees could be timber, the forests could be farms, the malarial swamps could be drained and turned to solid ground, wolves and bears and other fearsome predators could be throw rugs, taxidermy, and dinner. And as for the rivers, why should they get to play while people had to work? In the words of the president of the Alabama Power Company, Thomas Martin, “Every loafing stream is loafing at the public expense.” (p.7)
The boll weevil came north from Mexico and destroyed the cotton crop; the Communist Party came south to organize sharecroppers, and horrific violence followed in its wake. The Great Depression came from Wall Street and stayed in Alabama for a long, long time, longer than the boys who traveled to the local C.C.C. camp for a spell before returning to New Jersey or New York. (p. 11)
Violence has a way of destroying everything but itself. A murdered person’s name always threatens to become synonymous with her murder; a murdered person’s death always threatens to eclipse her life. That was especially true of an economically marginal black woman in Alabama. (p. 25)
...southerners were steeped in a culture that gave them something to do when the world was alarming or incomprehensible. In that, of course, they were not alone; like banshees in Ireland or fairy glens in Scotland or the ghosts and goblins of the Tohoku region of Japan, the influence of voodoo culture in the South pervaded its landscapes and enchanted its people, regardless of race, from cradle to grave. (p. 45)
it was better to believe that, in the face of conjuring, there was nothing that law enforcement and the judicial system could do than to believe that, in the face of terrible crimes, they had not done enough. Supernatural explanations flourish where law and order fails, which is why, as time passed and more people died, the stories about the Reverend grew stronger, stranger, and, if possible, more sinister. (p. 46)
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New York Times Best Seller   "Compelling . . . at once a true-crime thriller, courtroom drama, and miniature biography of Harper Lee. If To Kill a Mockingbird was one of your favorite books growing up, you should add Furious Hours to your reading list today." --Southern Living   Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell's murderer was acquitted--thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.   Sitting in the audience during the vigilante's trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years working on her own version of the case. Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country's most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.

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