Murder in Mississippi by John Safran

Murder in Mississippi

By John Safran

  • Release Date: 2013-09-25
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4
From 234 Ratings
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'John Safran's captivating inquiry into a murder in darkest Mississippi is by turns informative, frightening and hilarious. It is enlivened by a swarm of creepy locals and a torrent of astonishing details - such as hedge clippers put to surgical use in the performance of an official autopsy.' John Berendt
'One of the best pieces of sustained, rigorous journalism I've read in twenty years. It is absolutely magnificent - smart, and wry, and emotional too' Caroline Overington

When filming his TV series Race Relations, John Safran spent an uneasy couple of days with one of Mississippi's most notorious white supremacists. A year later, he heard that the man had been murdered - and what was more, the killer was black.
At first the murder seemed a twist on the old Deep South race crimes. But then more news rolled in. Maybe it was a dispute over money, or most intriguingly, over sex. Could the infamous racist actually have been secretly gay, with a thing for black men? Did Safran have the last footage of him alive? Could this be the story of a lifetime? Seizing his Truman Capote moment, he jumped on a plane to cover the trial.
Over six months, Safran got deeper and deeper into the South, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murder - white separatists, black campaigners, lawyers, investigators, neighbours, even the killer himself. And the more he talked with them, the less simple the crime, and the world, seemed.
Murder in Mississippi is a brilliantly innovative true-crime story. Taking us places only he can, Safran paints an engrossing, revealing portrait of a dead man, his murderer, the place they lived and the process of trying to find out the truth about anything.
'The elegance of this book is that its axis is a resounding 'perhaps' . . . It is this moral ambivalence that draws readers to the true crime genre, and Safran nails it' Weekend Australian
'Mississippi is like a trampoline for [Safran's] eccentricities. But the form and content of the story bring out an unfamiliar side of him' Sydney Morning Herald
'A winning combination of memoir, true crime and gonzo journalism . . . a compulsive summer read' Sunday Mail
'Funny and gripping and wonderfully weird . . . It's a tremendous book. I can't praise it too highly' Louis Theroux
'Witty, insightful, compelling - In Cold Blood for our generation' Eddie Perfect
'[Safran] has written a marvellous book which I cannot put down' Melbourne Observer
'Now I know what to recommend people who liked Them' Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats and The Psychopath Test)
'Stunning' Men's Style


  • Where truth is an incident not a subject

    By Lost Kiss
    Loved this portrait of a community offset against itself. Sadly subjugated to the relics of its own slavery and lost freedoms. The emergence to anything other is tied to its own bias or bigotry which remains unreconciled as it tries to lumber forward into its modern expectation.
  • Great read. You hear?

    By P@ske
    A great tour brochure for the multicultural and liberal melting pot you never thought Mississippi could be.
  • Like serial but better

    By emilcee
    Pretty rad reading
  • Absolute page turner!

    By KimKan
    Wow! What a read. Why haven't I read this earlier? John Safran brings his wacky adventures to paper this time and boy does it translate! I hope he sticks to books from now on! I'm disappointed I've finished it and I can't wait for his next release.
  • I look forward to the next one, fantastic!

    By Beauthesius
    Amazing! This is a must read for Safran fans.
  • Great read!

    By RJS80
    Really enjoyed this book, certainly worth a read.
  • Awesome! Loved it

    By Sleigh101
    Great story and John tells it well.
  • Good Book

    By King Ronnie Ron
    A very good book, well written and funny.
  • Loved it.

    By Tessytwoshoes
    Hadn't read a 'true crime' book before but having followed John Safran on and off throughout his career thought it might be good. I really enjoyed it. John has such a natural way of writing and his Safranian humour shines through whilst being respectful to those involved in this real life Mississippi murder tale. His writing demonstrates an honesty & a vulnerability that I think makes it easy to identify with him; his curiosity is contagious! He's a great writer. I hope he writes more books. Well worth a read!
  • Way better than expected.......

    By Somesheila
    I did think this would be good, but it was really really good. Safran is an excellent storyteller. He presents himself as a bumbling idiot/over excited puppy and is so non threatening that people open up to him and tell him things they might not if he seemed more competent. A very enjoyable and well written book.