Beneath the Winter Sycamores (Anglais) Broché – 7 avril 2010
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
The published material purports to be an account by the son of a prison guard, elucidating more thoroughly a plot exposed in a letter supposedly written in prison by Bruno Hauptmann, detailing an alternate suspect for and a vast conspiracy behind the Lindbergh Baby kidnapping. Sounds like an excellent and exciting premise, yes?
Here's the problem. I spent good money on what I thought would be a BOOK (whether pure fantasy, or a purported 'based on true events' nonfiction novel); you know, something edited, proofed, published under some kind of industry standard. There was no disclaimer that this was a self-published, Amazon-special sort of effort that would compete with "Weekly World News" for quality. Mr. Jim Bahm, dear God, you are not the greatest thing ever to pick up a pen, and your prose stinks. Please, for the sake of your readers' eyes and brains, have someone beta-read your fan-fiction first before you publish it, pay to get it bound, and sell it to people who will mistakenly think you are capable of following the rules and conventions of the written English word.
Between the cloying turns of phrase that were entirely out of place, the painfully convoluted excuses for sentences, the disordered wreck of through-line, and the utterly unbelievable, clearly invented MASSES of inane dialogue the author could not possibly know to have occurred, the entire thing is a terrible mess of poorly-rendered flight of fancy. I got about one page in and pulled out a marker to proof. After five pages, I made a color-coded key in the front cover for my proofing, and fetched a few extra markers. At page sixty-something, I quit. I wasn't strong enough to bull through the thousandth incapacity to type "Lindbergh" (why on this good earth Bahm decided he needed to use the phrase, "the Great Aviator" in every other line in lieu of Lindbergh's name was inexplicable; the repeated use of the above phrase bordered on abuse).
In other hands, this book would be a fascinating, edge-of-your-seat read; an expose, a can't-look-away, up-all-night thriller. I can almost taste the book that might have been...but in the hands which actually delivered this ferociously awful effort, I can recommend this literary waste to exactly no one. If you want a great, keep-you-up page-turner about the Lindbergh Kidnapping, please read "Master Detective: The Live and Crimes of Ellis Parker, America's Real-Life Sherlock Holmes". Now THAT? is a CRACKER of a book.
This cerebral narrative is based on a 3-page typewritten letter the author's father received while working at Trenton's NJ State Prison as a young guard in 1950. The scriber of the letter shared prison time with convicted German carpenter Richard Hauptmann before his execution for this headline-making crime. Before his death, Hauptmann communicated details of a far larger and more manacing conspiracy, the details of which unfold in Beneath the Winter Sycamores.
If you enjoy programs like Law & Order: Criminal Intent, this story's for you.
The contents, research and credibility of the narrative make up for a manuscript that could benefit from professional editing. With history and shifting loyalties now decades behind us, I'd take the book to a screenwriter. It's got the makings of a highly explosive, made-for-TV movie.
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