Even if you've never read a book about the Ripper, if you're reading this blog entry I can only assume you're a fan of Robinson's work, and if that's the case, you won't be disappointed: it's written in his inimitable style, and is by turns shocking, deeply researched, closely argued, and, to be frank, an extended and often hilarious rant. Bruce is *furious* about corruption in Victorian society, and he's not shy about telling you why.
Does he completely nail his Ripper suspect beyond reasonable doubt? Not really, in my opinion, but it's as good a theory as any recent research has uncovered, and there is very definitely something about the historical record of Michael Maybrick (or rather, as Bruce points out, the suspicious lack of it) which points to a cover-up of some sort.
It's well worth a read: and if you're in the market for a copy signed by the author, which comes with an original (and now extremely scarce) copy of the sheet music for the Maybrick-penned song which gave Robinson his title, you just have to ask...
Interviews with Bruce Robinson are always a pleasure to read or listen to. He's pretty much incapable of uttering a dull sentence. Here's a bunch of links that should keep you happy on the YouTube for a goodly while...
The Peculiar Memories of Bruce Robinson documentary:
Bruce on the Ruby Wax show:
Withnail and Us documentary:
Radio 4's The Reunion, about Withnail and I (really excellent, this):
Bruce with Kermode and Mayo, on The Rum Diary:
5 lads visit the filming locations:
A visit to, and inside, Uncle Monty's cottage, Sleddale Hall (before it was bought by its present owner, who is now busy restoring the house):
... and finally this small piece of genius. If you've seen it, you'll have no problem seeing it again. And if you've never seen it, you're in for a treat.
(... those last three videos are marked as parts 2, 3 and 4. If anyone ever comes across a part 1, do please let me know!)