Friday 11 February 2022

Audiobook Review - The Man Who Fell From The Sky

This was an impulse decision when I saw this on NetGalley. I was planning not to request anything to review on NetGalley as my TBR is getting a little out of hand. But there was something about this that caught my attention and made me hit request. Maybe it's the Murderino in me that makes me listen to true crime podcasts such as My Favourite Murder, Tenfold More Wicked & Criminalia (and the podcasts you guys [including my sister] recommend such as The Missing Crypto Queen and The Lazarus Heist). Maybe it's because I went "Oh, this sounds good". Or maybe it's because a man fell out of a plane and NO ONE NOTICED!

Title and Author: The Man Who Fell From The Sky: The Bizarre Life and Death of 20s Tycoon Alfred Loewenstien by William Norris
Publisher: CamCat Books
Bought, Gifted or Borrowed: Audiobook gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction

Captain Alfred Loewenstein was known as many things during his glamorous and gaudy life. A multi-millionaire that's a maker and loser of his fortunes (and others around him). But all that wealth didn't save him one July evening in 1928 when he boarded his aircraft with six others to fly from England to Brussels and, halfway through the flight, he vanished. Everyone says that he fell through an exit door that he mistaken for the toilet.

But things don't add up about his death. The story the pilots and the other passengers don't exactly match up or make sense, and the officials don't seem to look too hard into the death. Many suspect that his fall was a simple accident, while others wonder if he had committed suicide. And others... others wonder if he was pushed or thrown off the plane. But who would do that, and why?

That's what investigative journalist William Norris decides to do in the mid-80s...

I am going to admit this, I didn't realise this book is a rerelease as, originally, this was first published in the mid/late 80s (1987, according to Google). I sense the recent interest in true crime in the past few years has made the publisher republish this.

Now, I admit I am not a biggest True Crime lover. I find looking at cases interesting and wondering how the Police missed evidence (the joy of hindsight). But True Crime isn't a genre I go towards naturally. I do have a few true crime novels on my TBR (one being [book:I'll Be Gone in the Dark|38343858], which I will do once I feel brave) and the one I audiobooked a few years ago - The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold  - still lingers with me.

So, going into this, I was a little wary, but intrigued to find out how this multi-millionaire died so mysterious and how he seems to have been forgotten in history. And I came away from this feeling a little... meh.

I feel that maybe the reason for this is that I didn't feel like I got to known Alfred Loewenstein or the author. I always felt at arm's length and, because of that, I kept going "But why? Why should I care about this man's death? Why do you care about this man's death?". With The Five, I felt like I understood these women and why the media portrayed them the way that they did, but here... I never really understood Alfred Lowenstein's drive - I understood that he was driven and ruthless/cunning in business (and that people around him liked him for his talent with money and nothing else) but I never understood him, if this makes sense.

Maybe I had my hopes too high. I am a bit of a novice/newbie to this genre. Maybe if you are a more seasoned reader, this would be right up your street. But for me, I see its merit and I see what it was trying to do, but it didn't work for me in the way I hope.

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