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Download True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa Audiobook, by Michael Finkel
3.92 out of 53.92 out of 53.92 out of 53.92 out of 53.92 out of 5 3.92 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Finkel Narrator: Michael Finkel Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2005 ISBN:
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In the haunting tradition of Joe McGinniss's Fatal Vision and Mikal Gilmore's Shot in the Heart, True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa weaves a spellbinding tale of murder, love, and deceit with a deeply personal inquiry into the slippery nature of truth.

The story begins in February of 2002, when a reporter in Oregon contacts New York Times Magazine writer Michael Finkel with a startling piece of news. A young, highly intelligent man named Christian Longo, on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list for killing his entire family, has recently been captured in Mexico, where he'd taken on a new identity...Michael Finkel of The New York Times.

The next day, on page A-3 of the Times, comes another bit of troubling news: a note, written by the paper's editors, explaining that Finkel has falsified parts of an investigative article and has been fired. This unlikely confluence sets the stage for a bizarre and intense relationship. After Longo's arrest, the only journalist the accused murderer will speak with is the real Michael Finkel. And as the months until Longo's trial tick away, the two men talk for dozens of hours on the telephone, meet in the jailhouse visiting room, and exchange nearly a thousand pages of handwritten letters.

With Longo insisting he can prove his innocence, Finkel strives to uncover what really happened to Longo's family, and his quest becomes less a reporting job than a psychological cat-and-mouse game, sometimes redemptively honest, other times slyly manipulative. Finkel's pursuit pays off only at the end, when Longo, after a lifetime of deception, finally says what he wouldn't even admit in court, the whole, true story. Or so it seems. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark Penzkover | 2/16/2014

    " A very disturbing story of Christian Longo, who murders his wife and children, and the story of the man who wrote about the case (and also had a 14-month correspondance with the murderer). Throughout the story, I was waiting for an explanation that would make the murders seem less monstrous, but the killer's testimony made it even more disturbing (claiming his wife actually killed the two older children). Longo's crimes started with him stealing $100 as an 18 year old and eventually grew into forged checks, falsified credit cards, vehicle theft, and on and on. He always found a way to justify his crimes but in the end his wife and kids paid the price for his lust for a lifestyle beyond his means and his subsequently wounded pride. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronica | 1/22/2014

    " really good. This book did not take the typical true crime novel format that I thought it would, which made it even better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Morgan Morillo | 1/16/2014

    " Can't wait to see this movie produced by Brad Pitt and starting James Franco as the wierdo killer/Jonah Hill as the down and out journalist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anbe | 1/10/2014

    " Two narcissistic liars are the main characters but the book is great, unputdownable "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Neida | 1/7/2014

    " Disturbing and yet fascinating account of a bewildering "friendship" between a murderer and a disgraced journalist. It is frightening to realize how dark the human soul can be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick | 1/5/2014

    " Very cool, can't believe its true. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cristin | 12/20/2013

    " This book is intense and gratifying...at times amusing yet horrifying and disturbing,once you begin, you cannot put it down. You have to finish it to see how the proverbial "story ends"--it's a real trip,very articulate and illuminating,interesting and strange. But true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 11/24/2013

    " Completely engrossing, although there were times I had a really hard time reading it and thinking of my own children. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn | 11/24/2013

    " Really wonderful! A true story that reads like fiction, with the added ingredient of the author (already a published and accomplished writer) being integral to the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 11/24/2013

    " Read it nearly one sitting, certainly well written and highly readable but couldn't help but feeling a certain emptiness when I finished it. I think the book comes to lean too heavily on suspense and plot in the last third. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shaun | 11/22/2013

    " Disturbing but well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erika | 10/4/2013

    " Could not put this one down. The author's identity was taken by a man accused of murdering his wife and three small children, and he spends the length of the book corresponding with the man and trying to sort it all out. Seriously good, fast read. Another true crime book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellen | 9/19/2013

    " A pretty absorbing story but uninteresting sentences. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 6/25/2013

    " I found this book very interesting. I didn't like it. star descriptions, you have failed me on this one. The parallels between the author, Finkel, and the murderer, Longo, were very disturbing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dolores | 1/11/2013

    " I can't say I'm a fan of Finkel but it is fascinating how his and Longo's lives intersected. Overall disturbing and heartbreaking what happened to Longo's wife and children. It was just okay for me though...no where near thought-provoking as "Shot in the Heart" by Mikal Gilmore. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle Hurni | 11/12/2012

    " Very good...crazy story about stolen identity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amos | 9/14/2012

    " The story of a habitual liar- who is accused of murdering his wife and children- told by a disgraced journalist who was fired from the New York Times for fabricating one of his reports. A great read about the search for truth, and the many forms it can take. I couldn't put it down... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 7/24/2012

    " I read this one in less than 2 days and I had strong feelings about it (sadness, understanding and definitely anger). But, I'd only recommend it to those who read true crime. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 7/18/2012

    " Totally disturbing. But I couldn't put it down...I read it in like three hours. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 6/5/2012

    " Fascinating study of truth and degrees of truth. And waiting for mea culpas ... Well written and structured. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 3/6/2012

    " I picked up this book because I saw that Brad Pitt's company is going to produce the movie. Couldn't put it down, tore through it, one of those reads. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel Jaffe | 8/4/2011

    " I love this book. I thought that it was going to be a true crime story, but it turned out to be more a meditation on the nature of truth. Finkel admits his own issues with the truth, even as he works to ferret out the truth from another avowed liar. Well written and thought provoking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 4/8/2011

    " Read it nearly one sitting, certainly well written and highly readable but couldn't help but feeling a certain emptiness when I finished it. I think the book comes to lean too heavily on suspense and plot in the last third. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 1/3/2011

    " Well written if you enjoy reading a journalistic structure. The story and plot were well developed and I could see how Finkel was able to like the killer who stole his name. Very interesting characters throughout. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anbe | 5/27/2010

    " Two narcissistic liars are the main characters but the book is great, unputdownable "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nick | 3/3/2010

    " Very cool, can't believe its true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronica | 12/5/2009

    " really good. This book did not take the typical true crime novel format that I thought it would, which made it even better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shaun | 11/24/2009

    " Disturbing but well written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 7/20/2009

    " Totally disturbing. But I couldn't put it down...I read it in like three hours. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 11/9/2008

    " I read this one in less than 2 days and I had strong feelings about it (sadness, understanding and definitely anger). But, I'd only recommend it to those who read true crime. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cristin | 6/14/2008

    " This book is intense and gratifying...at times amusing yet horrifying and disturbing,once you begin, you cannot put it down. You have to finish it to see how the proverbial "story ends"--it's a real trip,very articulate and illuminating,interesting and strange. But true. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellen | 1/1/2008

    " A pretty absorbing story but uninteresting sentences. "

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About the Author

Michael Finkel has written for the Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic Adventure, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times. He lives in western Montana.