T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)'s Reviews > The Hangman's Daughter

The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch
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really liked it
bookshelves: historical-detective-fiction, reviewed

What I liked
I liked Jakob, the eponymous Hangman: an intelligent, well-read, good man doing a dirty job because somebody has to do it.

Magdalena, the Hangman's Daughter, who is just as intelligent and energetic as her father.

Even Simon, the physician's son, who is somewhat less bright and energetic, but who will hopefully develop a bit more in the future.

A story where not everything happens just in time to save nice people from having nasty things happen to them.

Other
Honestly, there wasn't anything I disliked about this book; I read it through in one sitting! Sometimes the language was a bit strange - possibly because of the translation from German. I kept trying to figure out which German word would have been used in context, and why the English translation was a bit off... But it didn't really harm my enjoyment of the story; possibly it even added a further dimension.

I would have liked to have seen more of Magdalena: despite the fact that the book is titled after her, she's a secondary character; her father and Simon have the main action.

Conclusion
A fast, entertaining read. Recommended.
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Reading Progress

July 2, 2016 – Shelved
July 2, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
July 2, 2016 – Shelved as: historical-detective-fiction
August 21, 2016 – Started Reading
August 21, 2016 – Shelved as: reviewed
August 21, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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message 1: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane Jago Tiff.

I think I tried to read this a few years back and got bogged. Ciudad been me though as I was quite poorly at the time


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) Maybe give it another go - sometimes that happens to me. I've had a few books where I just gave up on them, then came back to them some time (sometimes several years!) later and enjoyed them. :-)


message 3: by Nadia (new) - added it

Nadia Asencio I started reading "Devil in the White City" and had the same thing happen to me; I've read three books since starting "Devil" and can't seem to finish it because, although the detailed research is meticulous, it slows down the narrative and and frankly, makes the book...boring. Don't shoot the messenger, lol...


message 4: by Jane (new) - added it

Jane Jago I'll put the Hangmans Daughter on my to read list and try again.


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) Nadia wrote: "I started reading "Devil in the White City" and had the same thing happen to me; I've read three books since starting "Devil" and can't seem to finish it because, although the detailed research is ..."

I know the feeling... I had one (fiction, in my case) that I ended up saying things "read another five pages, then you can stop" to myself. When I realised what I was doing, I gave up - after figuring out what it was about the book I didn't like.

Sovereign, however, I had one false start, and when I went back to it - years later - really enjoyed it.

Sometimes, a second attempt works. Others, you just recognise that this book isn't for you, and move on.


message 6: by Nadia (new) - added it

Nadia Asencio T. K. Elliott wrote: "Nadia wrote: "I started reading "Devil in the White City" and had the same thing happen to me; I've read three books since starting "Devil" and can't seem to finish it because, although the detaile..."

Yeah it's too bad, though; the author is REALLY well versed and obviously researched the story within an inch of its life, but that's what was wrong with it - NO TENSION. No climax. Just an extremely detailed account of building the fair.

The book is about to be turned into a movie starring my future husband, Leonardo DiCaprio (do NOT attempt to dissuade me, I'm a lost cause when it comes to Leo), so I really wanted to read it before the movie drops. Hopefully, they'll do a better job with the screenplay, because the book reads like a narrative text book.

I read "Girl on the Train" for the same reason (upcoming movie) and I positively LOVED IT, I finished it in one afternoon, I couldn't put it down! Currently reading "And Sons," which is arguably the best book ever written in the history of civilization. Check it out if you get the chance! =D


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) I get what you're saying about lack of tension. Reminds me of Simon Scarrow's The Generals - I tried it, honestly I did. But it just seemed like they-did-this-then-they-went-here-then-they-did-that. I gave up.

I wonder if it's partly what one expects? I read Why Buildings Fall Down: Why Structures Fail which was fascinating - including the equations. Can't say there was much tension involved (except the bits about suspension bridges, of course) but a damn fine read. But then, I was expecting engineering failure analysis, not plot, so it didn't come as a surprise when that was exactly what I got.

Do invite me to the wedding! I shall buy a new hat. :-)


message 8: by Nadia (new) - added it

Nadia Asencio T. K. Elliott wrote: "I get what you're saying about lack of tension. Reminds me of Simon Scarrow's The Generals - I tried it, honestly I did. But it just seemed like they-did-this-then-they-went-here-then..."

Definitely will! =D

And yes, that's exactly it! "Devil in the White City" sounds like there will be a plot involved, and a mystery, and a BIG REVEAL; it read like an American History of Architecture text book! :'(


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) I can see where that would be disappointing...!


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