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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 (editie 2019)

door Casey Cep (Auteur)

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingAanhalingen
6504126,597 (3.92)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.… (meer)
Lid:CassandraNicole
Titel:Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
Auteurs:Casey Cep (Auteur)
Info:Knopf (2019), Edition: Illustrated, 336 pages
Verzamelingen:Jouw bibliotheek
Waardering:
Trefwoorden:to-read, to-read-on-audio

Werkdetails

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

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1-5 van 41 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
Why would anyone live in Alabama? The political, cultural, and social history of Alabama during the George ("I will never be out-niggered again") Wallace years is on stark display in this fascinating book by Casey Cep.

Before getting to the actual trial and relating it to the book that Harper Lee wanted to write, Cep delves into the lives of the three main characters: Maxwell, the serial killing reverend who killed multiple wives and others for their insurance; Maxwell's killer who shot him in front of 300 witnesses; and Tom Radney, as very likeable man who defended Lee and who had been physically threatened, his family terrorized, and his homes and possessions vandalized because, as state senator, he had supported Ted Kennedy's nomination to run for president the year that George Wallace run as an independent. And Harper Lee's peripheral link to the trial.

The insanity defense has a long history. It was even written into the Code of Hammurabi more than 3000 years ago. By the early 20th century it had fallen out of favor, seemingly allowing murderers to get away with murder and it had been outlawed in several states, but not Alabama. It was the only defense left to the defense. Burns had shot Maxwell from three feet away in front of 300 people and had confessed at least twice.

It's not your typical murder mystery or courtroom drama, Lee, a close friend and colleague of Truman Capote, sat in on the trial in Alexander City taking notes. Lee struggled to write a book about the trial, apparently worried it would never live up to her famous first book. She had been closely involved with Capote as his friend and research assistant in the writing of In Cold Blood , but she never wanted to be associated with the "new journalism" epitomized by Capote, Mailer, and Talese.

The section on Lee is a letdown. The reader keeps waiting for more on the book that never got written. Not to mention the debacle over Go Tell a Watchman. The writing is very good, if sometimes impenetrable, e.g. "her letters, which had at one time been Pentatuchal in plot and Pauline in syntax...." ( )
  ecw0647 | Jun 3, 2021 |
I thought this was a true-crime book - which it is - and it spent a good part of the first half covering off a number of murders committed by a Black preacher in small-town Alabama in the 196os when the reverend collected a lot of insurance on wives and daughters without ever being found guilty. A number of players emerge including the white defence lawyer who was a very active Democrat and not at all popular for that and doing his job. Eventually the reverend is killed, by another black man, in plain sight and the same lawyer gets him off - understandably not an unpopular decision.

At one part there's an innocuous statement that Harper Lee was in the courtroom and then that's it. And about halfway the book morphs into a fascinating biography of the great lady author itself and touching on Truman Capote (she researched a lot of "In Cold Blood") and on Gregory Peck who played Atticus Finch, based on her father.

Lovely, fascinating, deep, and informative book. ( )
  martinhughharvey | May 31, 2021 |
Book title is misleading.
As much as I was fascinated with the history and accounts of Nelle Harper Lee and Rev Willie Maxwell, the title is a bit misleading. The first half of the book is dedicated to the the life and death of Rev Maxwell and the second half related to Ms Lee’s life and death. It did provide interesting insight into the author’s rigid perfectionist personality which greatly affected her writing career. I found her relationship with Truman Capote for most of her life fascinating and her contribution to his successful writing career. The author then explains Lee and her struggles to write about the Maxwell murders. The stories seems disjointed and and tangential in its flow not not what I expected based on the title. ( )
  marquis784 | Mar 1, 2021 |
fascinating history of southern Alabama in the 1960's. I thought it read like a history book, ( )
  suzanne5002 | Jan 19, 2021 |
I'm not a fan of true crime (it's too scary!), but this book and its gorgeous cover kept catching my eye, and I'm glad I finally gave it a chance. Casey Cep is an incredibly talented journalist -- her writing is lyrical. It amazes me how writers today can uncover so much information about crimes, court cases, and the personal lives of ordinary people from decades ago. I was very impressed and will definitely read Cep's next project.

Note: Harper Lee does not enter this story until Part 3, and does not engage with the murder case(s) that the book is mostly about until there are only two hours left in the (audio)book. ( )
  sjanke | Dec 9, 2020 |
1-5 van 41 worden getoond (volgende | toon 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.
toegevoegd door danielx | bewerkNew 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.
 

» Andere auteurs toevoegen (9 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Casey Cepprimaire auteuralle editiesberekend
Carrow, JennyOmslagontwerperSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Huber, HillaryVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Lew, BettyOntwerperSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Mapping Specialists Ltd.CartographerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Ray, B. J.Artiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Schultz, KathrynAuthor photographerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
StillFxArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
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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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