I’ve only read a few true-crime books but the ones that I have read, I have really enjoyed. There were quite a few reasons why I wanted to read this one: the book was short, this book was being read for a local bookclub that I wanted to check out, the book’s event occurred in my hometown and I hadn’t heard of this event before seeing this book. I have to agree with a few of the reviews that I finally read on this book; it is filled with information.
I used to watch Dragnet when I was a kid. I remember it as being a show that reported the facts, and I also, remembered the announcers voice. This book reminded me a lot of that television show. This book contained a lot of facts: he did/said and she did/said, stating the facts and reacting the events, without getting to the know the actual characters or the/their backgrounds.
I liked that I knew exactly where this event occurred and that this was an actual event. The book had a great flow to it as the author spells everything out, from beginning to end. I also appreciate the research that went into this book. I wished that there was more character development in the book and that the book was more than just a detail account of the facts that occurred in this event.
I just have to say “wow!”
I never expected this book to be packed with so much information. At times, it almost felt overwhelming. Centered around the 1986 Los Angeles library
fire which burned for more than 7 hours and consumed 400,000 books, this book
is not just about that fire. This book is about books, fires, libraries,
reading, patrons, individuals, writing, it’s about the love of reading. If any of these subjects’ interest you, then
this title should be on your list, but I warn you, this book is not one to be
read quickly. You could do what I did
and listen to this book and take breaks digesting what the author read to you,
because it’s a lot!
I found the fire to be interesting as the circumstances surrounding
it, were unique. Being such a big
structure, filled with flammable materials, I figured it would be a ball of
flames quickly but there were other factors to take into account. As the author takes off from this subject,
she leads me into a multitude of many other subjects, before coming back to the
fire many times. I got to thinking that
this book would be a great one to listen to and read at the same time. I would have loved to make reference to some
of the other subjects that she branched off on but that was hard to do while
just listening to her.
I feel that the author did some research before launching into
her writing because of the statistical and elaborate facts that she presented
in her book. The author also gave some interesting
details about specific individual books in her chapters which sounded like books
that I might enjoy and I should look up in the future. As the author talked about the fire, she
talked about how books burn, the investigation on how it started, how they
tried to stop the fire, who was affected, the damage, the rebuilding, and the
years since. When I first started
listening to this audio, I couldn’t believe this book could be this long but as
I continued listening, I wondered how she was going to finally wrap things up
in the end.
There were a few times, I thought the book got a bit long
and I had to take a break. I think it was “information overload” on my
part. I didn’t really like how the
author included random books at the beginning of each chapter. I think if I had been reading the book, I could
have skipped over this but listening to the audio, I couldn’t. Listening to
call numbers and titles of books for no particular reason just broke up the mood
for the story.
Overall, it’s a great book that’s based on a true event. The author takes us readers, on an incredible
journey, enlightening us with fascinating facts and stories centered around a building,
that many of us like to call our second home.