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The Night of the Ripper [Paperback]

Robert Bloch
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Too superficial and sensational to be effective June 20 2006
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Working from the facts of the Whitechapel murders, Robert Bloch takes on Jack the Ripper in The Night of the Ripper and proposes a novel, logical, yet highly imaginative solution to the crimes. This is pure fiction, so one should not think that Bloch proposes a reasonable theory behind the Ripper murders and the identity of Saucy Jack. A number of entirely fictitious characters find themselves at the heart of this tale of murder. Mark Robinson, a young American doctor working at London Hospital, becomes the centerpiece of the action, working in conjunction with Inspector Abberline to find a solution to the horrific crimes sending London into fits of panic. Eva Sloane, a young nurse at the hospital, catches his eye early on and becomes the object of his unrequited affections and concern. With several of the doctors at the hospital initially considered suspects of a sort, particularly the eccentric Dr. Hume who seems to enjoy his surgical work just a little too much, Robinson adopts the role of Eva's protector, but this aspect of the story could have been much better incorporated into the larger picture of the murders. While this novel failed to win me over completely, I must say that the ending, highly imaginative as it is, does provide a surprise or two and in its way manages to explain some of the discrepancies in the Ripper evidence, particularly that surrounding the most brutal slaughter of Mary Jane Kelly. One interesting touch that I did like was Bloch's means of introducing each chapter; working his way through history, he gives short descriptions of some of mankind's most brutal and horrifying activities.

It may well be that someone unfamiliar with the details of the Ripper murders would enjoy this novel more than I did.
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Format:Paperback
For anyone who loves mysteries, this book is for you.
For anyone who loves Rober Bloch, this book is for you,
For anyone who is fascinated by the Jack the Ripper murders this book is your bible.
Bloch is one of the best writers out there today and he weaves a giant web of mystery and suspense that keeps the reader turning the pages. This is one of those books that grabs you and holds in in place until you turn the final page. You can't put it down. Soon, as the story deepens you find yourself sweating and biting your nails. With each turn of a page you tell yourself you don't want to know what happens next, that you want to put the book down and stop reading. This possibility, of course, is impossible. Whether you like it or not you are along for the ride with no exits.
If you're looking for a page-turner sure to give you goosebumps this is the book for you. You won't regret reading it.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack's back, and so is Bloch May 12 2000
By Chadwick H. Saxelid - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The short stories Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper and A Toy for Juliette, as well as the Star Trek episode Wolf in the Fold show just how fascinated legendary writer Robert Bloch had been with the Whitechapel serial killer. This 1984 novel poses an original idea for who the killer may have been and why the crimes were committed. Bloch's voluminous knowledge not only of the crimes themselves but of the Victorian Era makes the novel worthy of repeated readings. A very good book from a great writer. Highly recommended.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Night of the Ripper" is pure magic...I real page turner Aug. 19 2002
By phantommcerik - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
For anyone who loves mysteries, this book is for you.
For anyone who loves Rober Bloch, this book is for you,
For anyone who is fascinated by the Jack the Ripper murders this book is your bible.
Bloch is one of the best writers out there today and he weaves a giant web of mystery and suspense that keeps the reader turning the pages. This is one of those books that grabs you and holds in in place until you turn the final page. You can't put it down. Soon, as the story deepens you find yourself sweating and biting your nails. With each turn of a page you tell yourself you don't want to know what happens next, that you want to put the book down and stop reading. This possibility, of course, is impossible. Whether you like it or not you are along for the ride with no exits.
If you're looking for a page-turner sure to give you goosebumps this is the book for you. You won't regret reading it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun But Formulaic Mystery Aug. 25 2003
By doomsdayer520 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a rather predictable mystery novel that benefits from an interesting premise. The mystery is mixed with solid historical fiction concerning the enduring enigma of Jack the Ripper, in the London of 1888. Fans of unsolved mysteries in history can have fun with this premise, remembering the fact that Bloch advances a culprit out of his own sense of writing a fun novel. However, one of the reasons that the Jack the Ripper story remains so fascinating with enthusiasts is the cover-up angle, as many investigators (in many non-fiction books) suspect a person of high standing in British society who benefited from a cover-up. In Bloch's story here, the conspiracy angle is examined but the perpetrator turns out to be someone far less interesting. Also, the motive (the key to any strong mystery story) is weak and under-explored. Add to that Bloch's very formulaic construction of the story, as if he was working straight from a "How to Write a Mystery" manual, along with completely unnecessary cameos by historical personages like Arthur Conan Doyle and the Elephant Man. This treatment of the Jack the Ripper legend is a fun read but is not an especially strong example of the mystery genre. [~doomsdayer520~]
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too superficial and sensational to be effective March 15 2003
By Daniel Jolley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Working from the facts of the Whitechapel murders, Robert Bloch takes on Jack the Ripper in The Night of the Ripper and proposes a novel, logical, yet highly imaginative solution to the crimes. This is pure fiction, so one should not think that Bloch proposes a reasonable theory behind the Ripper murders and the identity of Saucy Jack. A number of entirely fictitious characters find themselves at the heart of this tale of murder. Mark Robinson, a young American doctor working at London Hospital, becomes the centerpiece of the action, working in conjunction with Inspector Abberline to find a solution to the horrific crimes sending London into fits of panic. Eva Sloane, a young nurse at the hospital, catches his eye early on and becomes the object of his unrequited affections and concern. With several of the doctors at the hospital initially considered suspects of a sort, particularly the eccentric Dr. Hume who seems to enjoy his surgical work just a little too much, Robinson adopts the role of Eva's protector, but this aspect of the story could have been much better incorporated into the larger picture of the murders. While this novel failed to win me over completely, I must say that the ending, highly imaginative as it is, does provide a surprise or two and in its way manages to explain some of the discrepancies in the Ripper evidence, particularly that surrounding the most brutal slaughter of Mary Jane Kelly. One interesting touch that I did like was Bloch's means of introducing each chapter; working his way through history, he gives short descriptions of some of mankind's most brutal and horrifying activities.
It may well be that someone unfamiliar with the details of the Ripper murders would enjoy this novel more than I did. Being an armchair Ripperologist myself, the true facts of the actual murders in this novel fail to shock or horrify me; rather, I tend to dwell on the facts that Bloch left out and the general incompleteness of the facts he chose to play with. Bloch also chose to mention all manner of past theories over the course of the novel without attempting to explain the real significance (or impossibility) of some of them. Also, I can't say I care for the insertion of such well-known characters as Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, and John Merrick (the Elephant Man) into the narrative. These characters serve no purpose at all in this novel beyond making it more sensational; each of them makes a brief, wholly unimportant appearance and is then forgotten. As talented a writer as Bloch was, I can't imagine why he would resort to such needless sensationalism. The main problem I have with the novel is in fact the shallowness of all the characters. These characters never come alive; for the most part, we merely watch them come and go like puppets controlled by the author. The presentation of such historical individuals as Inspector Abberline, Sir William Gull, and Sir Charles Warren is superficial and more misleading than insightful. Abberline remains quite inscrutable, although Bloch chooses to repeat ad nauseum the conditions of the poor man's troublesome stomach.
Only a certain breed of author would attempt a fictionalized explication of Jack the Ripper's crimes. Bloch was certainly one of that rare breed, but I believe his fictional engine was not clicking on all cylinders as he wrote The Night of the Ripper. His determination to bring in some of the actual facts of the murders, give lip service to all manner of Ripper theories, and insert a number of famous men having little or no connection to the crimes seemed to distract him from the more important issue of character development; that deficiency makes this novel a superficial read that fails to impress this reader.
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring Feb. 24 2014
By Old dinosaur - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the most boring books I've ever read; surprised as this author is usually excellent but I was bored to tears.
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