Customer Reviews for

The Monster of Florence

Average Rating 4
( 254 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(87)

4 Star

(81)

3 Star

(58)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

True crime, well written

Douglas Preston is a great writer of mysteries and brings all his skills to this true story. Such great descriptions of the beauty of Italy and the people involved in this fiasco. A serial killer on the loose and the Italian police go in so many directions that it's cra...
Douglas Preston is a great writer of mysteries and brings all his skills to this true story. Such great descriptions of the beauty of Italy and the people involved in this fiasco. A serial killer on the loose and the Italian police go in so many directions that it's crazy. And some of those directions will surprise you. Sure makes you wonder about the Amanda Knox case.....and that is even brought up at the end of the book. I think this a great read.

posted by TomT4828 on April 21, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Not recommended

I was excited to read this book, thinking it would be a gorgeous portrait of Italy as well as a murder mystery. Unfortunately, I found the writing stilted and the plot uneven, and I left with little understanding of the real Italy. Very disappointed.

posted by 2779376 on October 8, 2010

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    True crime, well written

    Douglas Preston is a great writer of mysteries and brings all his skills to this true story. Such great descriptions of the beauty of Italy and the people involved in this fiasco. A serial killer on the loose and the Italian police go in so many directions that it's crazy. And some of those directions will surprise you. Sure makes you wonder about the Amanda Knox case.....and that is even brought up at the end of the book. I think this a great read.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Story

    Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I like books involving crimes and mysteries and this book incorporated both. I also found myself wanting to look up additional information regarding these serial killings in florence. The only issue I had with the book was that it was a little lengthy in some sections. Nonentheleess, I would recommend this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A provocative "Sleeper"

    read this, initially, due to Douglas Preston's name as co-author-- came to appreciate it at another level as the story behind the story, the cover-up, international intrigue, Italian politics, culture relative to Florence, press involvement, etc. unspiraled in an incredible fashion-- thought it would all be too much detail and I would forget key elements due to the sheer volume of information, but Preston and Spezi presented it artfully-- I found it to be a page-turner I was willing to lose sleep for in order to extend reading opportunities!-- thank you, authors: your expertise and integrity shine

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Had to get this book

    I saw someone reading this book for two days poolside on vacation and she could not put it down. After she finished it on the second day, I asked her about it and she recommeded it. I had seen the cover and assumed that it was a novel. The is the most amazing non-fiction book I have read in a long time. The story starts out with elements that bring to mind the David Berkowitz case of the 70's. This serial killer
    strikes in the Tuscan countryside, so the setting is beautiful, contrasted with the violence of the crimes. The story is spellbinding.
    There are so many twists and turns and the fact that both authors become involved with the investigation, adds to the intrigue. I think the authors have done an incredible job both researching and writing this book. I will be recommending it to everyone. One look at the cover also intrigues you. I think the cover is probably what hooked me
    originally as I watched someone devour the book in two days.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2010

    Not recommended

    I was excited to read this book, thinking it would be a gorgeous portrait of Italy as well as a murder mystery. Unfortunately, I found the writing stilted and the plot uneven, and I left with little understanding of the real Italy. Very disappointed.

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2010

    amazing!!

    INCREDIBLE BOOK!! ONE OF THE BEST IVE READ!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    HORRIBLY WRITTEN BOOK

    I can't believe I paid for this trashy book. It's written by an author who is supposedly well known and has been a good seller? You would never know it by the way it was written. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME. Read the internet version by real journalists. MARIO SPEZI wrote most of this book and it shows - his English is nil and he keeps repeating the same ideas and the same crap over and over in each chapter.

    Reading this book - I wanted the Monster to go after him - and guess what (spoiler alert) he did!

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2010

    The Monster of Florence

    Great book! Hard to put down.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Worth the read!

    This was a great book. I didn't even know that there was a Monster of Florence. It was great fun to speculate who could have done it. I wish that I had the time and money to go and investigate it a bit myself!

    The book was well written and researched. Preston went to one of the greatest sources of the story and was right to include him; Spezi was awesome.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2008

    Would have given this 5 stars but . . .

    This is a great book because it is not the typical detached telling of a set of monstrous crimes. It is a true detective story, Spezi and Preston have their hands elbow deep in the action. My only complaint is editorial in nature . . . on page 25, the author states that 'the city was founded by Julius Caesar in AD 59'. Caesar was dead for over 100 years by that time. The true date of Florence's founding is 59 BC. Hopefully this glaring error will be changed in the paperback version. Otherwise, the book was outstanding!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2008

    Disappointing Read

    I thought this book was going to be a great read, but was disappointed and forced myself to finish it about 3/4 f the way through it. It starts strong and pulls you in and then drags on and on. Preston acts a bit like he's got a man- crush on another author with the number of times this well known American author is mentioned in the book. Bottom line... Get it from the library... don't buy it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    Thiller

    I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down it is based off a true story MUST READ

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    I just could not get into this book. The basic plot is decent, b

    I just could not get into this book. The basic plot is decent, but it just drags on and on. I had to force myself to finish. I wouldn't even categorize it as true crime really. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2013

    Good book and interesting

    Not what I thought it would be. It was good, but hard to get into.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    From the first page, I HAD to keep reading. This was an absolute

    From the first page, I HAD to keep reading. This was an absolute page-turner and the contrast between the quiet, romantic country side and the demented crimes within was marvelously presented. 

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  • Posted August 19, 2013

    A truly fantastic read! The culture and life of Italy only make

    A truly fantastic read! The culture and life of Italy only make this real story of the never-caught serial killer "stalking the Florentine hills." This case remains a mystery to this day, the killer never being brought to justice. The entire book was fascinating, from beginning to end! What a unique way to bring this infamous case to light in the US.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    I had never heard of the Monster of Florence before, and I was h

    I had never heard of the Monster of Florence before, and I was hoping for a comprehensive true crime story. Although there was a fairly good account of the actual events, I have found that there was much that was left out, and a great deal of the book was devoted to the personal involvement of the authors and a devotion to "journalistic privilege" that was distracting from the main story. Despite what appears to be evidence of less-than-competent police investigation and oddities of the Italian judicial system, the authors' own actions seem to be a big part of the problem. Although they did outline a plausible theory of the identity of the Monster, they made no attempt to explain why the murders ended with the arrest of the "wrong" suspect. Their "Monster" remained alive and apparently at liberty to kill again, but he did not. Meanwhile, the book rambles on, providing a convenient opportunity for self-justification and/or self-promotion. It felt twice as long as it needed to be, and it felt incomplete on several levels.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    Very disappointing

    The story of the killer is fascinating, however I think I would have preferred a book by Spezi alone. To begin with, there is not a chapter in the book that doesn't mention smoking, smokers or the evils of smoking. Most chapters have at least a paragraph on the types & brands of cigarettes, pipes & cigars, detailed lists of smokers at meetings & how they hold the evil object in their mouths. It even includes a vignette about teachers who smoked in front of his son, apparently necessitating that the child be moved to a school run by non-smoking nuns. Anti-smoking complaints notwithstanding, Preston is awfully long-winded (pun intended).

    The details of the investigation & Spezi's research are fascinating. Specifics about the horrific nature of the killings are phrased to allow the reader important information without being overly sensational. The inadequate approach of the Italian authorities is, IMO, too detailed, but illuminating. Two of the worst offenders went on to prosecute Amanda Knox with the same shoddy techniques.

    Fully half the book is devoted to the travails of Preston who comes under investigation by the Italian authorities because of his & Spezi's criticisms of their methods & conclusions. The murder suspect Spezi focuses on gets less attention in Preston's missive than the smokers, or Florentine history. This is the greatest disappointment for me, although I appreciate many of the assorted facts tossed in as background for foreign readers unfamiliar with Italy.

    I'm rating the book as average, since it contains important information about the killings & does offer tremendous insight into Spezi's efforts, intelligence & subsequent abuse by the Italian authorities. I'm not a fan of Preston's style of story-telling, however this book will fit the bill if you're interested in true crime & the Monster of Florence.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2012

    Electrifying read!

    I always trust Douglas Preston for his fictional murder mysteries - so, it was not a big leap for me to try this book. I was not disappointed! Very intriguing story, especially with the insight into the Italian legal system and cultural differences. Definitely a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    A great but scary read

    An eye opening expose' on the inherent corruption and incompetence that pervades the Italian justice system.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 254 Customer Reviews
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