[Download] The Monster of Florence By Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi

The Monster of Florence

By: Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi
Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
Length: 9 hours
Release date: Jun 10, 2008
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (639 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)

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In 2000, Douglas Preston and his family moved to Florence, Italy, fulfilling a long-held dream. They put their children in Italian schools and settled into a 14th century farmhouse in the green hills of Florence, where they devoted themselves to living la dolce vita while Preston wrote his best-selling suspense novels. All that changes when he discovers that the lovely olive grove in front of their house had been the scene of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known only as the Monster of Florence. Preston, intrigued, joins up with the crack Italian investigative journalist Mario Spezi to solve the case. THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE tells the true story of their search for--and identification of--a likely suspect, and their chilling interview with that man. And then, in a strange twist of fate, Preston and Spezi themselves become targets of the police investigation into the murders. Preston has his phone tapped and is interrogated by the police, accused of perjury, planting false evidence and being an accessory to murder--and told to leave the country. Spezi fares worse: he is thrown into Italy's grim Capanne prison, accused of being the Monster of Florence himself. THE MONSTER OF FLORENCE, which reads like one of Preston's thrillers, tells a remarkable and harrowing story involving murder, mutilation, suicide, carnival trials, voyeurism, princes and palaces, body parts sent by post, séances, devil worship and Satanic sects, poisonings and exhumations, Florentine high fashion houses and drunken peasants--and at the center of it, Preston and Spezi, caught in the crossfire of a bizarre prosecutorial vendetta. NOW AVAILABLE AS A VALUE-PRICED audio edition.
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45 Responses to “[Download] The Monster of Florence By Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi”

  1. Garth Cheshire

    Rambling and confusing
    This book is very difficult to follow, jumps around in time and appears to not have a consistent plot line. It reads more like a jumbled list of facts than a novel. I am really sorry I bought it. Gave up reading it about halfway through.

  2. Cheryll Schmeider

    Amazing book and performance
    This book was completely fascinating, but it was difficult to go between my actual book and the audio because the chapters were not structured in the same way. The book is broken up in several short chapters, but the audiobook is not. Besides that, great story and performance. This is an incredible and unique case.

  3. Junior N.

    A well done presentation.
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

  4. Jan

    I wouldn’t have even bothered with this book had it not been recommended to me by my mom. I was hooked when she told me that the Monster of Florence was the real life inspiration for the Hannibal Lector character. And after listening to the story I was in awe of the Italian judicial system. Great, great book and even better to listen to!!

  5. Stanley V.

    Slow and unfullfilling
    This book started off quite interesting. However, it soon became a seemingly endless dialog of the authors serving themselves up as the main characters, over the “monster.” The narrator did an excellent job and I look forward to listening to him again with a more fulfilling “read.”

  6. Marcelino Cali

    Had to stop listening and just read it….
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

  7. PeachPecan

    Not what I expected
    Would you try another book from Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi and/or Dennis Boutsikaris?

  8. logicofvicky

    well written and perfectly narrated. The narrator pronounces the Italian words perfectly and does good Italian accents.

  9. Barrett Aird

    I am a lover of true crime but this audiobook didn’t do much for me. I found the narrators fake Italian accent distracting and the writing was very wordy to a point that made it difficult to follow the meet of the story

  10. Graham Lafave

    Lengthy but interesting.
    The lengthy and ever-changing cast of characters in this book was difficult to follow.
    I love the country of Italy although, after listening to this book and following the trail of Amanda Knox I can only view Italy with a guarded skepticism of their legal system.

  11. Pedro Rempe

    A racist rendition
    I started listening to it a couple of days ago, but I’m tempted to quit it. The book is quite good, but the narrator, Dennis Boutsikaris, uses a marked italian american accent for the italian characters, which of course is absurd, ’cause they speak italian, not american. I find it very racist and made me quite mad. I don’t know if I’ll continue listening…

  12. Carmen Hamburger

    endless, going nowhere, annoying
    I finally gave up after hearing half, and I gave it my best try. It goes backward and forward in time, the narrator goes in and out of an Italian accent, even in the middle of sentences. True crime is my favorite, but this is so complicated that the story is lost.

  13. Danielle Midgley

    Well Done Real Crime Story
    I really enjoyed this book. It isn’t an easy listen-you have to pay attention because there are alot of characters and their names start to become hard to keep track of. It may be easier to read than to listen because you can flip back and reread a portion. But I found it worth my time. I loved the narrator so much that I went looking for other books he read. His Italian accents sounded true to me (a non-Italian speaker) and it is a well written book. It was a sensational crime spree but the book is not over the top.

  14. Cindy Flagg

    Boooring… HORRIBLE reader
    Here’s a story with no plotline… no climax… no resolution… and to add insult to injury characterizes all Italians as Saturday Night Live caricatures… and the READER… omigod ! at BEST mispronounces everything and at worst, and often, sounds like a Chef Boyardee commercial or a Sesame Street character -please don’t insult us with this horrible fake accent !

  15. Delicia Duda

    So fascinating!
    Wanted to read something about Florence as I will travel there for the first time in some months. As this is true crime I figured it counts as history and indeed this story is very fascinating. Dark for sure but a very interesting glimpse of florentine history and culture.

  16. Darron Leavelle

    Good Story, Bad Narration
    The story is really interesting and the writing is engaging. However, the accent the narrator uses for the native Italian characters is just awful. It was a really bizarre choice to read all Italian characters with an accent and all characters, women, children and men, have this same terrible, exaggerated accent. This may be one that you are better off reading than listening to.

  17. Hollie Zarr

    Must read for crime fans!
    This is a story of amazing events and amazing judicial incompetence and idiocy or even lunacy. And it’s all true. The Amanda Knox tie-in is a bonus. I think we can all be assured that she was innocent, based on how ridiculous the outdated judicial system left over from the Communists operates in Italy.

    Definitely makes me want to go back and visit Italy again. Also, as a lawyer, let me advise you: NEVER SPEAK TO THE POLICE WITHOUT A LAWYER!

  18. Christopher

    It’s not often that I can hang with a 9 hour book straight from beginning to end without straying into other books. This was different. It was a great story. I acknowledge all the other reviewers beefs with this book. But they were not problems for me. Sure, pictures would have helped keep suspects straight. But I did not need them. Sure, it resembles a documentary, but I like documentaries – so no problem there either. In the end, it’s just a great story. In my opinion, the story is so compelling, I had no problem with the narrator speaking with an Italian accent at points in the book that require dialogue. At first it was slightly annoying, but I got used to it quickly. Overall, great story. I guess truth is indeed sometimes stranger than fiction.

  19. Shon Hilvers

    Enjoyable listen
    Great book and great narration. It does get a bit long in the middle, but if you keep with it it pays off.

  20. Osvaldo Girolamo

    Fantastic story!
    Fantastic and engaging true crime story. Narration is very well done for the most part. The Italian impersonations, however, soon become unbearable.

  21. Msaly1

    Monster book
    I was extremely disappointed in this book. I am a big fan of the Preston/Lincoln writing team. And Florence is one of my favorite cities. However, this offering was dry and unexciting. I could not even finish the book……I advise you to use your credits on another selection.

  22. Jina Heiberg

    Outstanding & thought provoking
    this book was fascinating. There may have been too many facts included at some points, but overall the detail is what made it so interesting. This book was truly scary (not in the horror) sense, but in the statement on society sense. You will find yourself making excuses to be able to listen.

  23. Emma N.

    Excellent true crime story
    This is a highly entertaining and well written true crime murder mystery. I couldn’t stop listening. And the reader has a very nice voice with good Italian pronunciations. It is particularly interesting to understand the connection of this case to Prosecutor Magnini from the Amanda Knox trial. A must-read/listen!

  24. Refugio P.

    Story about two people writing a story about themselves writing a story. As a lover of tru crime mysteries and Italy – I thought I’d love this but was very bored. Barely got through it.

  25. Meryl Maulding

    A Chilling piece of Recent History
    When I purchased this audio book I had a small understanding of what to expect. Being a fan of the Thomas Harris character Hannibal Lector and recently the television interpretation of that world, the Monster of Florence caught my eye.

    But this fictional knowledge of the Monster is nothing compared to the facts.

    This book is a chilling insight into the killings of Italian couples over a decade long spree. It details the evidence, connections, and various theories of the case. And presents it’s own opinion on who the killer is. It also shows the affect these murders have had on the people of Florence and others involved, even to this day.

    If you are interested in the darkest side of man and ponder how these horrible crimes can be committed, read or listen to this audio book. But know it will affect you too.

  26. Daniella Brouwers

    Kept Us Spellbound
    Every year when we travel on vacation, my husband and I listen to a book. Even though this is not a novel, it read like one. It kept our attention for our entire 10 hour drive. Talk about life being stranger than fiction. This true story had more twists and turns than a well-written thriller. I’ve thought of this book so many times this year when I’ve followed the trial of Amanda Knox, the American student charged with the murder of her roommate. I wonder if Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi could have counseled both her and her family during her on-going trial. Give a listen, you won’t be disappointed if you like suspense.

  27. Esperanza Uphoff

    Equal Parts Astonishing and Horrifying
    Where does The Monster of Florence rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  28. Bernardine Geronime

    Riveting case, excellent performance
    What did you love best about The Monster of Florence?

  29. Shawnda Scarpitto

    Good documentary but not what I expected
    After reading about Pendergast and the few other character books I wasn’t expecting a documentary. Should have looked closer. It was very interesting and not that long ago. A worthy listen but I still love Pendergast the most.

  30. Nathaniel Croushorn

    A hilarious/disturbing tale
    This is a story of Italian Keystone Cops, with a judicial system to match. Part one of the book outlines the facts of the decades-old case, popularly known as the Monster of Florence. This concerns a series of murders of ‘courting’ couples in parked cars on the outskirts of Florence. Part two takes off at the point when Douglas Preston moves to Florence with the intention of living a wonderful life and writing another novel. But his interest in the Monster story is piqued, he begins investigating, and eventually ends up being a character in the Monster of Florence story. Meanwhile, the police investigation and criminal proceedings become increasingly bizarre. No doubt every country has its stories of corruption within law enforcement systems, but the Florentine system is unlike those familiar to true-crime readers in the English-speaking world and this adds an extra dimension. Mario Spezi, both author and actor in the case, is a very likable character and the voice of reason throughout. The book also provides an interesting look at Florentine culture with its roots dating back many centuries. Dennis Boutsikaris has just the right voice for this story and his dead-pan delivery is perfect since the bumbling and ineptitude speak for themselves. He also does a good job with the Italian accent. True crime, injustice,and ‘local colour’ with a twist. Well worth reading.

  31. Karolyn R.

    A good “read”
    I really enjoyed this book. It was great to know this was a true story. Glad I live in the US.

  32. Han Farb

    I didn’t find it captivating
    It felt like it was a series of facts rather than a story.

  33. Celestina Doriean

    A good (slightly confusing) read!
    I really enjoyed this book. After reading some of the reviews regarding the “bad” Italian accent of the narrator, I hesitated to purchase it, but since I’ve never been to Italy and wouldn’t know a good Florentine accent from a bad one, I rolled the dice. Aside from a few times where he dropped it when he shouldn’t have, I was not bothered at all by his narration.

    The story itself was interesting, shocking, confusing, and kept me wanting to know what happened next. The only reason I give this 4 stars instead of 5 is because by chapter six I was honestly lost. This is not the fault of the writers, rather the actual events were hard to follow no matter how clearly explained. Ultimately, I was able to follow generally everything that occurred and the few areas I was lost did not affect my overall understanding of the book.

    I do have to say, regardless of who the actual Monster is, I am appalled at the Italian judicial system and am interested to read, as another reviewer suggested, the Amanda Knox story.

  34. Charlie D.

    Extremely fascinating, hard to put down
    Enjoyed the extra conversation with Douglas Preston after the book

  35. Johnathon Knockaert

    I am growing very fond of Douglas Preston’s writing style. I listened to this all the way through in one go, I couldn’t help it. It was just fasincating.

  36. aburling

    Very well done, but not for everyone.
    Some violent, upsetting content that is not fictional. Interesting perspective on the Italian justice system and the culture. Excellent overall.

  37. Myriam D.

    The story of the killer is only half the book.
    I, like many Americans, first learned of the Monster of Florence from Thomas Harris’s novel ‘Hannibal’, and was intrigued. And so I bought this book to learn more, and boy did I. The book is broken up into two parts. In the first, we get Douglas Preston’s account of his move to Florence, his befriending the Italian journalist Mario Spezi, and Spezi’s account of the history of the Monster of Florence, which he had reported on almost from the beginning. He gives a detailed account of the murders, the investigations, the numerous suspects, and the even more numerous errors committed by Italian authorities and members of the Judiciary. The second half of the book gives a fascinating look into the Italian judicial system and how easy it is for an innocent man to be vilified, harassed, and imprisoned without evidence. It tells in detail how two journalists were hounded by the Italian police and prosecutors for daring to disagree with their outlandish theories on the Monster case. All in all, this was a fascinating book that can be enjoyed by everyone.

  38. Jimmie Billen

    The second half is worth the wait
    The first part of this book is interesting, but when the author steps into the story in the second half, it gets really good.

  39. Devon Overby

    Awful – Awful – Awful
    I can’t begin to describe how terrible this book was. It was boring, plot less and plodding. I can give the reader an “A” for effort – he didn’t have much to work with. What a waste of time and a credit. I am very disappointed I usually like anything by Preston.

  40. Malik Bridger

    Douglas Preston, Mario Spezi excellent partners
    A thoroughly riviting service. The Italian judicial system and the characters come to life in this well written and detailed account of Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi’s search for the truth about The Monster of Florence. I look forward to future literary products from Douglas Preston.

  41. Gwenny

    The Monster of Florence
    The Monster of Florence is a story that wends it’s way through the countryside of Tuscany. The accounts are harrowing and the narration excellent. Unfortunately, however, you wonder if the tale is ever going to get to a solution. I found this a ‘good’ read but really anticipated ‘exciting.’ The lack of follow through is why I only gave it three stars for story.

  42. Linsey Alterman

    I loved this book. The whole thing had me on the edge of my seat, particularly because I’ve studied and traveled in both Umbria and Tuscany, spending a summer in Perugia. I had no idea of the regions’ infamous murderer or the ongoing investigation!
    Only complaint is that as an Italian speaker, there were some mispronunciations that drew me out of the story, but the narrator himself was superb.

  43. Rose Perry

    Very engrossing book with good narration
    I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book! Given the subject matter, I expected it to be somewhat difficult to get through at points, but this was not the case.

    This book is well written; almost novel-like in how entertaining it is at times.
    The narration of this book is fits the book perfectly; very well narrated.

  44. Jacquiline Sicurella

    Maybe this isn’t my cup of tea. Found it slow, monotonous and couldn’t finish it. Maybe some day I’ll go back to it.

  45. Eun Huppenbauer

    Didn’t keep my attention
    The Italian accent accompanied with the confusing names was hard to follow. I was disappointed with the book in general. The story could have been exciting but it was a challenge to keep with it. Don’t waste your credit…

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