Friday, July 23, 2010


No, that title is not a description of my weekends in my early 20's...well...actually...

Never mind, I'm digressing. Manhunt is a novel. I guess it's technical title is Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. And it's about just that. Lincoln's killer.

So, this book gets into nitty gritty details and most of it is stuff that I had never heard before. We all know that Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre. He was there watching a play and his wife was with him and then he was carried across the street to a house where he later died. The story of John Wilkes Booth pursuit and capture actually makes the story a thousand times more interesting.

For instance, Booth planned the whole thing out to the most minute detail and he probably would have made a much more impressive escape if not for the fact that when he jumped from Lincoln's theatre box to the stage he broke his leg. For the rest of the book he's literally moving like the injured asshole that he is and the cops just keep missing him. There are times when he's literally in the same house as them and they're just like "Damn Booth! Where could he have gone".

The best is how the author describes Booth as being really vain about his crime. He wants to become this national hero and thinks that everyone is going to treat him as such. Then he goes to these "southern gentleman's" homes and they're all like "Bitch, we do not want you in the house. Go stay in the barn. With the pigs." And he makes like Stephanie Tanner and is all "How rude."

But, the last scene is pretty awesome. He's in the barn of this farmhouse and they find him and there's a standoff. Booth's killed in the end...or is he? I wikipedia'd this shit and found out that conspiracy theorists don't think he actually died. I don't know, he had a severely injured leg and had been living in squalor for days so I'm sure that shit was infected. Then I think maybe he was shot and I think the barn was on fire at some point. So, I'm pretty sure he's died, but I haven't read this other literature that thinks otherwise.

This book is good if a bit detaily for my taste. The author has a knack for research, but reading through it was at times like wading through molasses in January.

4/5 or 7/10 stars.


Angie said...

Hahahaha, man hunt! That was all of us in college.

Molly said...

Ah college, the good old days. Yes, this book is about a very different sort of manhunt.