Killers of the Flower Moon

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Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
Killers of the Flower Moon - book cover.jpg
First edition cover design
AuthorDavid Grann
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
SubjectOsage Indian murders
GenreNon-fiction
PublisherDoubleday
Publication date
April 18, 2017
Media typePrint, e-book
Pages352 pp. (hardcover)
ISBN978-0-385-53424-6 (Hardcover)
OCLC982488680
Preceded byThe Devil and Sherlock Holmes 
Followed byThe White Darkness 

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI is the third non-fiction book by the American journalist David Grann.[1] The book was released on April 18, 2017 by Doubleday.[2][3][4] Time magazine listed Killers of the Flower Moon as one of its top ten non-fiction books of 2017.[5] A film adaptation directed by Martin Scorsese and set to star Brendan Fraser, Jesse Plemons, Leonardo Dicaprio, Lily Gladstone, and Robert De Niro is currently in production.[6]

Synopsis[edit]

The book investigates a series of murders of wealthy Osage people that took place in Osage County, Oklahoma in the early 1920s—after big oil deposits were discovered beneath their land.[7][8] After the Osage are awarded rights in court to the profits made from oil deposits found on their land, the Osage people prepare for receiving the wealth to which they are legally entitled from sales of their oil deposits.

However, a long and complex process of custodianship is imposed upon the distribution of the profits from the sales being made for very high profits and very few if any of the Osage people see any of this money. Still, they are the legal owners of the land and its profits, which is irksome to some of the administrators of the land who have a history of poor relations with the Osage people. Those elements hostile to the Osage people then decide that they could greatly simplify their profit mongering of the oil profits by eliminating those whom they consider to be operating as the "middle man" before they can abscond with the oil profits.

The Osage are viewed as the "middle man" and a complex plot is hatched and put into place to eliminate the Osage people inheriting this wealth from oil profits on a one-by-one basis by any means possible. Officially, the count of the murdered full-blood wealthy Osage reaches at least twenty, but Grann suspects that hundreds more may have been killed because of their ties to oil.[9] The book details the newly formed FBI's investigation of the murders, as well as the eventual trial and conviction of cattleman William Hale as the mastermind behind the plot.

Reception[edit]

The review aggregator website Book Marks indicated that overall Killers of the Flower Moon received rave reviews from literary critics.[10]

Writing for The New York Times, Dave Eggers called the book "riveting"[11] and wrote, "in these last pages, Grann takes what was already a fascinating and disciplined recording of a forgotten chapter in American history, and with the help of contemporary Osage tribe members, he illuminates a sickening conspiracy that goes far deeper than those four years of horror. It will sear your soul."[11]

Sean Woods of Rolling Stone praised Grann's book, noting, "In his masterful new book...Grann chronicles a tale of murder, betrayal, heroism and a nation's struggle to leave its frontier culture behind and enter the modern world... Filled with almost mythic characters from our past – stoic Texas Rangers, corrupt robber barons, private detectives, and murderous desperadoes like the Al Spencer gang – Grann's story amounts to a secret history of the American frontier."[12]

A reviewer of Publishers Weekly stated "New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Lost City of Z) burnishes his reputation as a brilliant storyteller in this gripping true-crime narrative, which revisits a baffling and frightening—and relatively unknown—spree of murders occurring mostly in Oklahoma during the 1920s."[13]

Ed Vulliamy of The Guardian wrote, "The genocide by white America against Native nations during the century leading up to Grann’s period is a metaphor for humanity’s decimation of the natural world which the Natives saw as sacred. Grann’s book is a timely and disturbing chapter in the original, terrible atrocity."[14]

Film adaptation[edit]

The book is being adapted into a film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Lily Gladstone, and Jesse Plemons on a budget of over $200 million.[15][16][17] It will be released theatrically by Paramount Pictures and stream on Apple TV+.[18]

Though the role of Tom White, the lead FBI agent, was initially written for DiCaprio, DiCaprio pushed to have his role changed to the nephew of the film's primary antagonist, who will be played by De Niro.[19] As a result, it was reported that Jesse Plemons was cast as Tom White to replace DiCaprio, while DiCaprio was cast as Ernest Burkhart.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grann, David (May 18, 2017). "The Rare Archival Photos Behind 'Killers of the Flower Moon'". Atlas Obscura. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  2. ^ Eggers, Dave (28 April 2017). "Solving a Reign of Terror Against Native Americans". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann". Goodreads. Archived from the original on 17 March 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann". Kirkus Reviews. 2 February 2017. Archived from the original on 17 March 2019. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  5. ^ Howorth, Claire (November 21, 2017). "The Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2017". TIME. Archived from the original on January 7, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  6. ^ World, Michael Smith Tulsa. "What we know so far about the 'Killers of the Flower Moon' movie set in Oklahoma". Tulsa World. Archived from the original on 2020-08-09. Retrieved 2020-10-10.
  7. ^ "Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI by David Grann". NPR. Archived from the original on 17 March 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Killers Of The Flower Moon: The Osage Murders And The Birth Of The FBI by David Grann". Penguin/Random House. Archived from the original on 17 March 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  9. ^ Whaley, Monte (13 July 2017). ""Killers of the Flower Moon": Murdering the Osage for ill-gotten gains". The Denver Post. Archived from the original on 17 March 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Book Marks reviews of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann". Book Marks. Archived from the original on 2021-04-28. Retrieved 2020-10-10.
  11. ^ a b Eggers, Dave (2017-04-28). "February's Book Club Pick: 'Killers of the Flower Moon,' by David Grann (Published 2017)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2018-01-16. Retrieved 2020-10-10.
  12. ^ Woods, Sean (April 17, 2017). "'Killers of the Flower Moon': Inside David Grann's New True-Crime Epic". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 12, 2017. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  13. ^ "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 17 March 2019. Retrieved 5 October 2017.
  14. ^ Vulliamy, Ed (1 May 2017). "Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann – review". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 March 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  15. ^ Masters, Kim (29 May 2020). "Behind Scorsese's 'Killers' Apple Deal: $200M+ Budget, "Low-Risk" for Paramount". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 20 January 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  16. ^ Reimann, Tom (7 August 2020). "Scorsese's Killers of the Flower Moon New Filming Details Revealed". Collider. Archived from the original on 8 April 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  17. ^ Kit, Borys (17 February 2021). "Jesse Plemons to Star in Martin Scorsese's 'Killers of the Flower Moon'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 18 February 2021. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  18. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (May 27, 2020). "Apple Partners With Paramount on Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio's 'Killers of the Flower Moon'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 28, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  19. ^ a b Sharf, Zack (2021-02-18). "Jesse Plemons Takes Over DiCaprio's Original Role in Scorsese's 'Flower Moon' After Script Changes". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 2021-02-28. Retrieved 2021-02-23.

External links[edit]