Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann Audiobook Review

This book tells a horrible story that is so awful because it's true.



Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
Audiobook , 9+ Hours
Released April 2017
Goodreads | Buy A Copy Here 

Source: Library Borrow

From New Yorker staff writer David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances. 

In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes such as Al Spencer, “the Phantom Terror,” roamed – virtually anyone who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created F.B.I. took up the case, in what became one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most sinister conspiracies in American history.

In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. The book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward Native Americans that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly riveting, but also emotionally devastating.

These Are My Thoughts

This book pieces together a brutal moment in history and unravels an ugly murder mystery. It’s disturbing, depressing and, at least for me, not at all the fast moving read I was led to believe from some of the early reviews. Maybe it’s just me, but I had a difficult time sticking with it. There were so many people involved and random details tossed in that didn’t seem to move things along that to me it seemed a little too over-stuffed and hard to follow at times. Perhaps it should’ve been a little longer? I don’t know. I tried it first in its Kindle version which includes photos of the people involved and then I moved on to the audiobook when I found myself putting it down and not wanting to pick it back up again. The audiobook is read by three narrators and one of them, Will Patton, is one of my favorites so that definitely helped. Something about his voice just pulls you in and forces you to pay attention.

This is a story about those in power who systematically attempt to eradicate an entire tribe of Indians in order to nab their wealth. First they remove them from their homeland and stick them on an unwanted patch of land (which turns out to be worth a fortune later when oil is struck), then they take their buffalo away making them dependent on the government’s money and then after the tribe has accumulated millions because they were far savvier than anyone assumed, the murdering begins. It is a terrible, awful story and it makes me heartsick that there was no justice and that these people were treated as if they were stupid children – or worse. I wasn’t expecting hearts and rainbows but I was hoping someone, somewhere would pay for all of the atrocities committed but no, the greedy and the powerful get away with murder. It’s sickening.

Do I recommend it? Yes, I do. It’s an important book and an appalling true story that needed to be documented. We all need to know about the evil that was done to the Osage Tribe and I am not sorry I read/listened to it but I can’t honestly say I would ever read it again.

3 out of 5



Comments

  1. There have been some really appalling crimes through history when you really look at it. You wonder that we haven't learned enough to stop hate crimes.

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  2. Books like this can be hard to get through, but their stories are so important. I've never even heard of these murders. But wow. You make me want to find out more.

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    1. It's a shame it wasn't cleaned up a bit but it's worth reading.

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  3. Oh man that sounds like a story that needs to be read.

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  4. Maybe there is another book about the subject but better?? Sounds worth reading despite being slow.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Yeah, it's a bit messy. I hope someone writes another but this one was very popular so my hopes aren't too high.

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  5. I have a copy of this sitting on my desk! I can't wait, but am also a bit nervous to dive in. I heard they're working on an adaptation of it this year.

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    Replies
    1. Yay, I hadn't heard that! I'd be very interested in seeing what they do with all of this source material. Whatever they end up doing I'm betting it's going to be grueling because the story is so rough.

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