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Indiana Gothic: A Story of Adultery and Murder in an American Family
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Indiana Gothic: A Story of Adultery and Murder in an American Family

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  120 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
In the tradition of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and "In Cold Blood" comes a riveting novel of love, betrayal, and murder, based on true events from America's past.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published 1999 by Talese
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Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
In this true-life drama, Pope Brock relates his family’s story, one that resonates today with ominous insight into the heart of American culture. "Indiana Gothic" is set at a time when women were utterly dependent upon men; they had no equality, no vote, and not much choice other than to to marry and raise children. They certainly didn’t serve on a “jury of peers.” Victorian exaltation of love was bolstered by biblical admonitions to conform and prosper. But, alas, Camelot is twisted when the de ...more
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Not my usual genre but it was a good read.
Gerald Sinstadt
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pope Brock's Charlatan, which came to me as a gift, encouraged me to seek out the author's previous book. I was not disappointed. Indiana Gothic, a scrupulously honest exploration of an illicit relationship that led to murder three generations back in the author's family, will surely become a classic of modern American writing.

The early years of Ham Dillon's life on a small farm in the mid-west are sketched with perceptive detail and a light touch. Felicitous phrases shine on almost every page;
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think I actually found this book more entrancing than "Charlatan." That is a bit contrary to my expectations. I mean, how do you get more interesting than the idea that there was a doctor sewing goat testicles into people? I think it just goes to show how wonderfully Pope puts the story together in this book. I know he used the facts as he managed to find them out, but he put them together in such a way as to really bring out the story- bring the characters to life and communicate to the reade ...more
Jerry Smith
Sep 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, crime, 2009-read
Not sure about books such as these. Although they ostensibly cover "true" stories, they are essentially works of fiction woven around known facts, many of which are scarce on the ground. The book undeniably gets interesting towards the end when it has courtroom drama, and this is probably where the facts are the most thick on the ground.

It is fictionalized because there is much dialogue as well as discussion of feelings and thoughts from the leading characters that cannot, or course, be known, o
Oct 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Glenys by: Patrice Van Cleemput
I found it hard to 'get into' this book at a time when I only had short reading opportunities, and indeed put it aside once or twice, but once I persevered with a longer read, it began to weave a spell. It's a 'fictionalised' account of a true story from the author's family about the rivalry between two sisters and how one of them, unhappily married herself, enters into a longstanding clandestine affair with her sister's charismatic husband, even bearing his child. I won't spoil the ending, whic ...more
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it
The idea of this book is fantastic: a relative stumbles upon a scandal from several generations back in his family and uses the opportunity to learn some family history and write the tale. It is a cross between fiction and non-fiction because the author has to "fill in the gaps" where no documents were available for certain details. The parts I liked, I really liked, and the parts that were slow or dragged on, well, just that.
Alisha Erin
Aug 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, indiana
I liked this. I liked that i was a true story, and that some of it had to be fictionalized to fill in gaps didn't bother me. It was a gripping story. I wish we had seen more from Maggie's perspective, but we almost never do, so she remained kind of an enigma. It was a captivating read.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Book was good not great. Liked Charlatan by this author much more. Did not know what was fiction or true in the book which detracted from enjoyment . Author was excellent in unobtrusively dropping historical tidbits about how people lived in the early 20th century.
Aug 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Well-written story based on a true family event. It would have been nice if Brock had provided more notes because it was hard to know between what he had discovered in his research and what he had to "make up."
Aug 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This title created great expectations that weren't met at all. It's good entertainment, nice summer/beach reading but that's it. There isn't a hint of gothic narrative, imaginary or even symbolisms and aesthetics. It's a marketing trap.
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, non-fiction
Really enjoyed this account of an event that happened to the author's ancestors in turn-of-the-century central Indiana. Seems to be a favorite time period for me, and the author did a great job of evoking a specific time and place.
Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
A little annoying in the liberties the author took in speculating what the (real-life) characters were thinking and saying to each other. (This was a true-life murder trial--referred to as the turn-of-the-centuries equivalent of the OJ Simpson trial.) But a very gripping story.
Tamelyn Feinstein
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Handsome, charismatic man marries one sister, then falls in love with the other. Complications ensue.
May 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book. A gripping story.
Jul 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Really interesting and well written. Thanks Lesley D. for the idea!
Erika Haws
Sep 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book is good. My 8th grade history teacher, Mr. Spillman, was a contributor.
S.E. Shurtleff
Mar 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Excellent creative non fiction. Will definitely pick up another book by Brock in the future.
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Family love trianges are nothing new! I really enjoyed the book. The author tackled a family scandal and it was very interesting how it still affected his family decades later.
Sep 04, 2013 added it
Not as interesting as I hoped--it mostly read like a somewhat mediocre novel.
rated it liked it
Nov 30, 2010
Mary Claire
rated it it was ok
Jan 05, 2014
rated it really liked it
Dec 16, 2012
Katherine Fulk
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Jul 10, 2017
Kate Lawrence
rated it really liked it
Jul 04, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Sep 13, 2008
rated it liked it
Dec 23, 2016
Rachel Scudder
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Mar 29, 2013
Fanny Kimble
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Aug 30, 2012
rated it liked it
Dec 14, 2009
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Pope Brock is the author of the critically acclaimed Indiana Gothic: A Story of Adultery and Murder in an American Family, the story of his great-grandfather’s murder in 1908, and Charlatan: America's Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam.

Brock has written for numerous publications, including Rolling Stone, Esquire, GQ, and the London Sunday Times Magazine.

He li
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