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The Wilderness of Ruin is a riveting tale of gruesome murder and depravity. At its heart is a great American city divided by class - a chasm that widens in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1872. Roseanne Montillo brings Gilded Age Boston to glorious life - from the genteel cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill to the squalid, overcrowded tenements of Southie.
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By William Snyder on 05-05-15
A jumbled, muddled mess
Too many irrelevant characters. Too much unnecessary detail. Poorly constructed chronology. There was simply no need for over half of the book. Why the author thought it necessary to tell Melville's lIfe story (or believed it was relevant to the main character) is beyond me. Presumably, it was to show a) Melville believed that whiteness could represent evil, and b) Melville struggled with mental illness. If that was the reason, though, surely it could have been accomplished in a briefer fashion? Regardless, the reliance on Melville turned this into an incoherent mess about a number of unconnected Bostonians rather than an interesting biography of a troubled, psychopathic youth.
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