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#5: Hung, Drawn and Quartered: The Story of Execution through the Ages by Jonathan J. Moore

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At this point in my reading career I’m pretty sure the FBI tracks my bookstore purchases. I have the tendency to buy rather macabre titles that are better suited to a potential serial killer than a teacher but I’ve always been fascinated with how people, cultures and society as a whole handle the difficult moments in life. I also love reading about disasters and abandoned places. It’s quite the juxtaposition to my pageant loving, Elle Woods emulating self but I just find it intriguing.

The Pros:

This book looks at execution throughout history and how governments and the public viewed these events. Warning to the squeamish, It does describe the process of said executions and include historical art, pictures and documents as references. Beyond the basic facts the author includes famous case studies for the various methods and details that go beyond the event and look at the culture surrounding it.

The Cons:

I’ve NEVER seen a “real” book with this many mistakes! The best I can tell the author did not have an editor and I’m starting to wonder if they self-published even though I purchased it at Books-a-million. At first it didn’t distract from the enjoyment of reading however by the end it was driving me bonkers. He spelled very common words incorrectly and sometime multiple ways in one paragraph.

Also, the flow of the book is questionable because it’s extremely choppy which made it difficult to read. There were moments where you felt the author was leading up to a point only to find that he had moved on to another topic. There were also moments where he referenced a certain picture or excerpt on another page of the book but when you turned to it you found nothing in relation to the original reference.

Truthfully, my biggest complaint is that if so little effort went into the completion of this book I can only assume little effort went into the research. Many of the “facts” were very sensationalized and more for storytelling effect than anything. My opinion is to pass on this one. If you just really want to read something on torture and execution I have several other options for you!

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