Another trip down the Crime Alley
- 22 Dec - 28 Dec, 2018
When was the last time you read a book that shocked you while keeping you glued to it, all because of its engaging content? Don’t think about the past, think of the future as there is a book series out there that dwells into the secret lives of extremely respected (till now) and famous personalities who were not only eccentric but in some cases involved in crimes as well. Read on...
What if I told you that the most published author of crime novels, Agatha Christie, couldn’t type, you wouldn’t believe me, right? Don’t believe me, believe this amazing collection of stories from Robert Schnakenberg who goes back in time and engages with the very authors who shaped our hearts and minds. It would be hard to believe that the mind behind Little Woman was big on addiction, that Lord Byron himself was a real-life Don Juan or that Kafka had more qualities of a psychopath than an author. These are the kind of stories that would have compelled people to take literature at school and college level but our teachers never told us about the lives of these personalities. Not knowing that the greatest playwright of all times, William Shakespeare, mis-spelled his own name on more than a dozen occasions or that Lewis Carroll had issues with the opposite sex is criminal itself, especially if you consider yourself a literature buff. The narration is so hilariously put that every page about the author will give you as much pleasure as their published work, and somewhere it would compel you to read the author’s work because of his eccentricities.
We all know that those we term genius have little issues off-stage, but never did we know that with the tag of the greatest composers comes with great stupidity. Name any composer you know from history and this book by Elizabeth Lunday talks about their bizarre behaviours – Beethoven was loved for his music and feared for his temper, Phillip Glass was a musician for a few hours, a taxi driver for the rest and Berlioz’s sense of dressing made it to the headlines more than his compositions. Add the outrageous anecdotes from the off-stage lives of Gioachino Rossini to Johann Sebastian Bach and you get an explosive collection of stories no teacher ever dared to confirm because they themselves were kept in the dark. Who knew, the great masters of international music could be a jailbird, a murderer or even obsessed with fungus. In fact, one of them was so brilliant that he stole his church’s organ pipes, sold them as scrap metal just to buy a few cigarettes! Read this collection of true tales of murder and riots to wonder what made these out-of-this-world composers great… if only their media was sincere they might not have been that famous.
And then there were the filmmakers who are now considered rock stars. However, here it is Robert Schnakenberg who is making them a star for their off-camera activities and he doesn’t spare anyone. From Charlie Chaplin to Alfred Hitchcock, from Cecil B Mille to Steven Spielberg, he comes up with stuff about all the great film directors who are in reality as eccentric as the characters they create on screen. Some of them were cross-dressers, a few involved in drugs and a few went without a bath for many days, making the lives of others around them miserable. As a fan of Alfred Hitchcock, I was shocked to know that he used to brag to people about his missing belly button, in fact, was fond of showing them his body for that! However, the battle of the most shocking revelation was tied between Walt Disney and Francis Ford Coppola; some say that the corpse of Mickey Mouse’s creator is kept in suspended animation while few raised eyebrows on The Godfather director’s attempt to make a 3D porn movie. Close your mouth and read this book, it might change your perception about everything and every big daddy for that matter.
You might associate being caught red-handed, spending some time in jail and being a sodomite as characteristics from the most villainous individuals from our history, but that’s not true because our great artists weren’t far behind. In this shocking expose by Elizabeth Lunday, you will get to know that no matter how Michelangelo is worshipped today, back in the days, he would stink so bad that nobody wanted to work with him; Van Gogh might be considered the greatest artist of all time but no one knows about his art of licking paint directly from the tube. Some great artists were not that great, that’s what we learn from this book and it breaks many myths behind people like Frida, Picasso, and Caravaggio who would have lasted in the modern century where everything is documented. To know more about the likes of Da Vinci and Rembrandt (yes, they can also be found in these pages), you will have to go through the book because the shocking incidents from their lives might be indigestible for our readers.