You know from the very beginning that this collection is going to be quite twisted. I mean, it’s a collection of 40 stories about Jack the Ripper. That is never going to be a nice collection. But it was an incredibly interesting one. One that I’m incredibly glad I read and found very difficult to put down.
This story was incredibly beautiful. Which is a weird word to use, because it’s a story about Jack the Ripper. It’s also incredibly twisty and turny – which makes far more sense considering the stories topic and subject. But it’s this twisty and turny nature that makes it such a beautifully intriguing story.
I seem to have really enjoyed origin stories this year. Something about them completely draws me in and I like the way that a well-known character can be seen as an immature being. This origins story was a lot freakier. Because it was the beginning of Jack the Ripper. When he was a small child and everyone else ignored what he was becoming. So much, much creepier.
This short story takes place twenty-two years after the final canon Ripper murder. Unlike all of the other stories in this collection which take place in either modern-day society or at the time of the murders. It was nice to have a story that not only left you with an idea of some of the scars left on the city, but also with a bit of an ending to the Ripper tale.
Prostitutes seem to feature really highly in unsolved crimes. Or as the victims of serial killers. This short story definitely highlights the reasons why – people just don’t care about this part of the population. Or at least, those in Whitechapel during the murders certainly didn’t. This was immediately highlighted in this tale and definitely made me feel guilty for some of my lack of awareness of some of the modern-day versions of this.
I love the lower class register that is used in this story from the very beginning. It immediately highlights the fact that the victims of the Ripper were from a lower socio-economic group. Straight away I was drawn into their lives and tone of voice. Something difficult to remove from my brain.
This story didn’t end at all as I expected. But it did make me realise that it is probably based on a true story. Which just makes it all the more fun – after all, who doesn’t like a cute little reimagining of a true, historical friendship?
I’m totally in love with this story. I can’t wait to get the next book in the series… because seriously?!?!? The cliff hanger at the end of this! I actually turned the page about three times because I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED NEXT. Who ends a story on a sentence like that? But it was so damn good… now I just have to wait until next payday… if I can.
Many of the stories in the The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories collection have a bit of a focus on genetics. What would the children of the Ripper be like? The grandchild, the many times great-grandchildren? And mostly I’ve enjoyed them… but something about this slightly more fantastical take on the same story gave me a few heebie jeebies. Not sure why, but it definitely made me feel not so comfortable.
I’ve recently read The Radium Girls, which gave me a whole new appreciation for what some women went through in the work force in the twenties. And, this story is about phosphorus, not radium. It takes place a long, long time before the occurrences in Radium Girls, but much of the storyline and themes echo. Which is probably why I loved it so much from the very beginning.