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Poet and the Murderer by Simon Worrall

Poet and the Murderer (original 2002; edition 2003)

by Simon Worrall

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287939,220 (3.7)7
Title:Poet and the Murderer
Authors:Simon Worrall
Info:Harpercollins MD (2003), Print on Demand (Paperback), 338 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Poet and the Murderer by Simon Worrall (2002)



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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This is a pretty interesting book about forgery. It is not about Emily Dickinson and it isn't even really about murder. As I approached the end of the book I found myself waiting pretty uncertainly to find out if the main guy was allowed to return the fake Emily Dickinson poem, as I thought that was going to be left unresolved after all that. The book ended on a sour note for me, with the author talking about how "feminist theorists" think Dickinson is a lesbian (...okay?) and going pretty hard to the mat for his theory about who Dickinson's love was. It felt like people's theories regarding Jack the Ripper. If you want to write a book about who Dickinson was inspired to write about, write about that. Don't shoehorn it in at the end of a book about Mormon forgery. Super weird. ( )
  g33kgrrl | Oct 11, 2014 |
A really good detective story. My Kindle edition had so many typos though. Really shoddy work. ( )
  ibkennedy | Nov 20, 2012 |
The engrossing, but occasionally pedantic, story of master forger Mark Hofmann, focuses on his vendetta against the Mormon church into which he was born and which he wished to discredit. In the current U.S. presidential election, it examines a number of themes of power and dissimulation from which the media has curiously shied. The books is well worth reading in the month till the balloting. ( )
  pdgarrett48 | Oct 8, 2012 |
As another review has noted, the title is somewhat misleading since the story does not indeed revolve around Dickinson. However, that is what I like about these sorts of books. Worrall has taken 5 or 6 different subjects, or stories in themselves, and woven them together into an enjoyable read. I probably wouldn't read a biography of Dickinson directly, but he provides just enough background to be interesting and pertinent to the story. I also have little interest in the history of the LDS church, but yet again, it is fascinating how this thread too is explored and inter-connected into the saga. Not a book I'm likely to keep forever, but worthy of a recommendation if you like this type of book or any of the subjects it touches. ( )
  rgherndon | May 29, 2010 |
Just so it's clear, the description & title of the book are a tad misleading - the book really has very little to do with Emily Dickinson. She is just one of many famous names caught in the middle of the scandal of forgery master Mark Hofmann & the tangled web of forged documents that brought the historical document community to it's knees. Book goes into fine detail about how Hofmann parlayed his skills into a good amount of money & prestige, and a peek into the closed world of the trade of historical documents. The book is also an expose on the Mormon Church. It's pretty amazing the lengths the Mormon Church leaders went to hide documents that were potentially embarrassing to the Church. Documents that Hofmann conjured up out of thin air seeking revenge against the LDS Church. It certainly makes one wonder how many other times the Church has paid money to brush under the rug real historical documention that doesn't speak highly of LDS founders. ( )
  jmcclain19 | Aug 20, 2007 |
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"The Heart wants what it wants -- or else it does not care --" Emily Dickinson
"We have the greatest and smoothest liars in the world, the cunningest and most adroit thieves, and any other shade of character that you mention....I can produce Elders here who can shave their smartest shavers, and take their money from them. We can beat the world at any game." Brigham Young
To my parents, Nancy and Philip, and my beloved wife, Kate
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It was a cold, crisp fall day as I walked up the driveway of the Emily Dickinson Homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452284023, Paperback)

In The Poet and the Murderer, acclaimed journalist Simon Worrall takes readers into the haunting mind of Mark Hofmann, one of the most daring literary forgers and remorseless murderers of the late twentieth century.

He was a young Mormon boy who loathed what he believed to be the hypocrisy of his faith, and who devised secret ways to infiltrate and undermine the church. Mark Hofmann began his career by forging and selling rare Mormon coins, and quickly moved on to creating false, highly controversial religious documents that threw the Church of Latter-Day Saints into turmoil. But it was his infamous Emily Dickinson poem that would prove his greatest deception, stunning the art and literary worlds and earning him thousands from the most distinguished Dickinson scholars. It would also prove his ultimate undoing, when his desperation to keep his greatest forgery a secret drove him to commit ever more heinous crimes-including acts of shocking violence.

Filled with the page-turning suspense and tantalizing sleuthing techniques of a literary thriller, The Poet and the Murderer gives us an unforgettable portrait of a deeply irreligious man and a brilliant con artist whose greatest talent-and greatest tragedy--was his ability to conceal his mad genius behind the unique gifts and enduring celebrity of others.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:16 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"As the author follows the trail of a forged Emily Dickinson poem across America, he journeys into a labyrinth of lies and intrigue where truth is illusion, and nothing is what it seems. Filled with the page-turning suspense and tantalizing sleuthing techniques of a literary thriller, The Poet and the Murderer paints us an unforgettable portrait of a man whose greatest talent - and greatest tragedy - was his ability to conceal his depraved brilliance behind the unique gifts and enduring celebrity of others." "His greatest forgery, a fifteen-line poem in the style of Emily Dickinson, dazzled and then shocked the world of auction houses and academia. By weaving together the story of this masterful forgery with fascinating insights into the life and work of America's most elusive poet, Simon Worrall has created a book that explores the edge between art and artifice, and genius and madness."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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