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The Spider and the Fly

A Reporter, a Serial Killer, and the Meaning of Murder
Durée : 9 h et 6 min
5 out of 5 stars (1 notation)

Prix : 28,23 €

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Description

In this superb work of literary true crime - a spellbinding combination of memoir and psychological suspense - a female journalist chronicles her unusual connection with a convicted serial killer and her search to understand the darkness inside us.

"Well, well, Claudia. Can I call you Claudia? I'll have to give it to you: When confronted, at least you're honest, as honest as any reporter.... You want to go into the depths of my mind and into my past. I want a peek into yours. It is only fair, isn't it?" (Kendall Francois)

In September 1998, young reporter Claudia Rowe was working as a stringer for The New York Times in Poughkeepsie, New York, when local police discovered the bodies of eight women stashed in the attic and basement of the small colonial home that Kendall Francois, a painfully polite 27-year-old community college student, shared with his parents and sister.

Growing up amid the safe, bourgeois affluence of New York City, Rowe had always been secretly fascinated by the darkness and soon became obsessed with the story and with Francois. She was consumed by the desire to understand just how a man could abduct and strangle eight women - and how a family could live for two years, seemingly unaware, in a house with the victims' rotting corpses. She also hoped to uncover what humanity, if any, a murderer could maintain in the wake of such monstrous evil.

Rowe reached out after Francois was arrested, and she and the serial killer began a dizzying four-year conversation about cruelty, compassion, and control, an unusual and provocative relationship that would eventually lead her to the abyss, forcing her to clearly see herself and her own past - and why she was drawn to danger.

©2017 Claudia Rowe (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

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Notations

Global

  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Interprétation

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Histoire

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  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Tracey
  • Tracey
  • 28/09/2017

Desperately Boring

I found myself thinking about anything else while listening to this book. The title is misleading. The author focuses on the back and forth between she and a murderer but it's all very uneventful. There are spattering of her personal life during this time but each time it is about to get interesting, she moves on to another topic. It took me months of trying before giving up with hours left to go.

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Annie R
  • 18/06/2017

Interesting except for the white guilt

Rowe is a very skilled writer and it's a compelling book. But I could have done without her annoying insertions of her liberal white guilt. It's an uninteresting and unproductive way to discuss the racialized aspects of this story. Also the narrator does a terrible I guess...attempt at a black accent? When she's reading as Kendall. It's pretty cringe worthy. Overall, a good true crime type memoir with some faults.

3 sur 3 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Marlena
  • Marlena
  • 07/08/2018

Boring, Problematic, & Lacks Depth

As a lover of true crime I was thoroughly disappointed. The author seemed intent on making the banal (communicating w a manipulative serial killer who never opens up) into something more profound. Mostly it was boring and repetitive. Everything in the book was about her, she compared herself to the serial killer, to the victims, and to the cops with little context or reason. Her treatment of the victims was at best surface level. She called them “broken” and said they were, “all damaged” and referred to them as, “prostitutes.” TREAT SEX WORKERS BETTER AND THAT INCLUDES YOU CLAUDIA. More than that she utterly failed to examine structural reasons for the poverty and other pressures that some of sex workers may have experienced. She came off as judgey when it came to addiction while also presuming to understand because she was addicted to talking to the killer (wow). In upstate New York having no critique of the flight of manufacturing jobs and safety nets for the working poor is lazy and irresponsible writing. She likewise has little analysis of why a mainly white school would have a failed a student, esp a Black student who was a minority. She claims the victims were attracted to the killer because they recognize something kindred, which is not only unsubstantiated but also an offensive assumption. Maybe she thinks it makes her sound profound to make such announcements? She does not discuss sexism or patriarchy in a case where women were murdered during rape. Her discussions of the serial killers’ race (he is Black) are even worse. She unselfconsciously discusses the killer’s big lips and mouth, refers to him as her “beast in the cage,” and was surprised that the killer (Kendall) did not listen to jazz. She refers to Attica as, “peaceful” and for someone who does so much bellybutton gazing seems to have no view of her own white privilege. As a white women writing about a Black serial killer who killed mainly white women, she needs to do better at examining race and racism (or she should stay in her lane). This author is so completely self involved her tone deafness is astounding. She seems to feel that her youthful angsty “anger” or “loneliness” is unique. It’s not. It’s all about her and she is boring. I don’t usually write such harsh reviews but this was a doozy and I recommend a HARD PASS.

3 sur 4 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • 13/04/2017

Very intriguing

this story definitely left me wanting more. The acts of the guilty are disgusting. however, the attempt to peer into his mind and learn his plight were captivating. the reader and author did a great job. I couldn't give the story a 5 bcuz of the unanswered questions. 😔 But well worth the purchase

1 sur 1 personne(s) ont trouvé cet avis utile.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 22/07/2019

Problematic

The author appears to be aware (and even bothered by the fact) that her story construction is racist, but she published it anyway, fully equipped with a cringe-worthy attempt at a ‘black accent’ by the narrator. This book made me feel a little sick, and not because of the descriptions of the featured serial rapist and murderer. Aren’t we better than this by now?

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02/03/2019

good story

enjoyed listening as I drove to and from work also while running errands. need to get more

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour M. McCoy
  • M. McCoy
  • 24/02/2019

Riveting

One of the best true crime novels I’ve ever read. She writes with a mix of stark clarity and dreamy pathos that really works for me. I truly identified with what she experienced as a child, and I found so much of myself in this book. I think I learned more about myself and why I consume so much true crime than about Kendall Francois.

  • Global
    5 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Utilisateur anonyme
  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 12/11/2018

wow

Chilling and intriguing. Can't imagine what she went through. I couldn't stop listening. Very good book

  • Global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour Kindle Customer Krystle
  • Kindle Customer Krystle
  • 26/10/2018

Not as profound as it wants to be

There is interesting stuff here. Those of us who have grown up also a little obsessed with what goes on the in mind of a monster will relate to some of her internal thoughts. However, Ms. Rowe attempts to make a simple story of corresponding with a serial killer from whom she never gets much insight into a bigger story about herself. That could have worked if there was something truly profound to have uncovered. Instead, she learned her boyfriend was an asshole and her childhood made her particularly prone to acting out. It's not exactly a revelation.

  • Global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Interprétation
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
Image de profile pour MovieFanKathy
  • MovieFanKathy
  • 28/09/2018

Couldn't even finish it

This book drones on and on mostly about the author rather than the supposed subject. Awful. Boring. Headache inducing. Waste of money and time.