... entertaining ... It’s reasonable to ask why anybody should bother to disinter these century-old characters and chronicle their heedless exploits. But Mr. Stout, who specializes in sports histories, has embedded their story in a deft social history of the 1920s—the days of flappers and bootleggers, hot jazz and hot stocks, bloodthirsty thugs and corrupt cops and pols all careening toward the Great Crash. The reader gets taken along for the ride ... even allowing for embellishments, Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid is a hell of a yarn—worthy of an HBO hoodlum epic like Boardwalk Empire ... Mr. Stout’s meticulous re-creations of those robberies are among the pleasures of the book ... Their spirits can thank Mr. Stout for stylishly rescuing them from obscurity.
In his entertaining, zippy chronicle of the Whittemores’ lives and crimes, Glenn Stout argues that their story 'is the torrid romance of an entire era' ... The argument isn’t quite definitive, but making the Whittemores avatars for several seasons of massive change, and an example of early tabloid true-crime coverage, is a compelling narrative through line nonetheless ... To his credit, Stout doesn’t ignore the brutality or merciless nature of the Whittemores’ multi-state crime spree. But there is a trap in recounting old crime stories, where one ends up trying to imitate or emulate an earlier style, and he can’t quite avoid it, partly because of a penchant for ending chapters and sections with excessively snappy sentences ... Underneath the zip and zing, Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid is a story about petty behavior, poor decisions, and tragic mistakes—a story as much rooted in its own time as it is timeless.
... an excellent True Crime romp that is consistently compelling throughout its narrative. The brief spell the two Whittemores cast over the public conscience resonates even more a century later, with the glorification of the outlaw. Author Glenn Stout has written a fascinating account of the ill-fated rogues.
It is a gripping story about a Bonnie and Clyde couple way before Bonnie and Clyde ever made the scene ... One of the more intriguing aspects of the story is the treatment by the press and the resulting admiration by the public ... And yet Stout brings the story to its obvious and expected conclusion with the reporting of several trials—the one Richard basically won in Buffalo, and the one he definitely lost in Baltimore ... Stout...ties up the loose ends nicely ... definitely worth spending time with a couple who, for just a short time, lived their wild dreams.
Stout embeds his story in the 'anything goes' ethos of the Jazz Age, showing how movies influenced their audiences, how newspapers feasted on every detail of the latest crimes, and how the lust for money seemed to corrupt everyone and pervade everything. And his insights and streetwise asides keep the narrative humming ... Thanks to Stout’s meticulous research and storytelling skills, readers can hop into the getaway car, hit the gas, and take their own wild ride into the heart of the Roaring Twenties.
Stout brings the Whittemores and their era to vivid life in this engrossing biography. Based primarily on contemporaneous newspaper reports (the Whittemores have barely been touched on in books), the story is romantic and violent, exhilarating and tragic. Stout has clearly done a ton of research on the period, and he’s really captured the unique combination of prosperity and desperation that was the Roaring Twenties. The Whittemores finally take their place in the pantheon of early-twentieth-century criminals.
At times, Stout's writing suffers from purple prose and focuses much more on the Candy Kid than the Tiger Girl. Despite a slow start, however, the narrative picks up around the middle and ends with a flourish ... Those interested in tales of white-collar crime and 20th-century history will be pleased.
Stout’s fast-paced prose has a Mickey Spillane–like cadence to it that fits his subject matter perfectly. The narrative is unrelenting to the bitter end, when Richard had to confront the kind of forced early retirement that guys in his profession almost invariably faced. A compulsively readable criminal biography as well as a vivid cultural snapshot of early Prohibition-era America.
Stout colorfully evokes the era’s political issues and cultural trends, and describes how Prohibition increased disrespect for the law across American society. This snappy page-turner informs and delights.