Customer Reviews for

The Monster of Florence

Average Rating 4
( 254 )
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(87)

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(58)

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(20)

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(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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  • 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 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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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    A Good Read

    I found The Monster to be very interesting reading. The crimes, though horrible, are a small part of the book. The main story is about how the authorities handled it...and it is unbelievable. What a string of events. It shows a lot about human nature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2008

    Reads too much like a history book

    Although the book is very interesting, there is no comparison between it and Midnight in the Garden or Devil in the White City. Both of the other books read like a novel. This one does not.

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