Katy's Reviews > Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer

Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer by Wesley Stace
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's review
Oct 31, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: vine-book, unfinished
Recommended to Katy by: Amazon.com vine program
Recommended for: nobody
Read from February 01 to 17, 2011 — I own a copy

Please note: This book was received from the Amazon Vine program and as such, I cannot post the same review here as I did on Amazon, so I am making some changes to accede to the ToS there.

Synopsis from Goodreads: A gentleman critic named Leslie Shepherd tells the macabre story of a gifted young composer, Charles Jessold. On the eve of his revolutionary new opera’s premiere, Jessold murders his wife and her lover, and then commits suicide in a scenario that strangely echoes the plot of his opera---which Shepherd has helped to write. The opera will never be performed.

Shepherd first shares his police testimony, then recalls his relationship with Jessold in his role as critic, biographer, and friend. And with each retelling of the story, significant new details cast light on the identity of the real victim in Jessold’s tragedy.

This ambitiously intricate novel is set against a turbulent moment in music history, when atonal sounds first reverberated through the concert halls of Europe, just as the continent readied itself for war. What if Jessold’s opera was not only a betrayal of Shepherd, but of England as well?

My Thoughts: While I am certainly a person who enjoys the journey when it comes to reading a book, the journey in this book is like taking the railroad across the country when you just need to get across town. The narrator shares pretty much every event with us, no matter how small the detail and insignificant the occurrence, every single thing he ever experienced with Charles Jessold is described in excruciating detail. I was looking forward to a story about the events of the murder and the solving thereof and instead of I get a history of Charles Jessold's descent into alcoholism and eccentricity. While certainly this background is useful, it could be more easily digested if woven around the story of the murder and its solutions.

Very disappointing. I would recommend checking it out of the library if you are curious about it rather than wasting your money. I abandoned it at about the halfway point; simply could not finish.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Ann (new) - rated it 1 star

Ann I "did" check it out of the library - glad I didn't buy it. Very disappointing.

message 2: by Katy (new) - rated it 1 star

Katy Ann wrote: "I "did" check it out of the library - glad I didn't buy it. Very disappointing."

Glad you saved some money!!

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