Tuesday, September 9, 2014
You might have heard recently that the legendary mystery of Who was Jack the Ripper? has been claimed to be solved. With the amount of speculation over decades and decades, you would think more people would be buzzing about hard DNA evidence. Except, just maybe, we are smarter than that.

Having recently read Maureen Johnson's THE NAME OF THE STAR, I find the evidence and identity of Jack the Ripper to be quite interesting. I'm not a fan of mysteries (I don't like being in the dark, figuratively speaking) and I'm not a fan of violence (or dead bodies); however, this novel was a fun (and safe) little fantasy. I mean, it starts out about Jack, but ends up with a completely different paranormal twist that I wasn't expecting.

I love that about story.

And maybe the truth at the heart of the Ripper mythology isn't so much about the killer or the victims. It's about the unknown...the paranoia...the thrilling moment at the heart of What If?

Maybe it's the human desire to understand. To find an end. And, when that fails, to make stuff up.



Kristan said...

Haha, Maureen blogged about this news too, because everyone kept telling her about it: http://maureenjohnsonbooks.tumblr.com/post/97000309268/jack-the-ripper-case-solved

And I think you (and Maureen) are so right: It's about so much more than the actual Jack the Ripper, whoever he was, if indeed he was only one person. It's about this innate core of human nature -- seeking answers, and both loving and hating the sensation of fear.

Anonymous said...

I just started reading The Name of the Star and am totally intrigued by the concept, maybe because of this recent breakthrough in the Jack the Ripper mystery!

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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



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