Room, April’s book-of-the-month, and The Invention of Wings, February’s book-of-the-month were both inspired by real events. Not surprisingly, many fiction authors have crafted their bestsellers out of real world events. Crime stories, in particular, have been a reliable muse for fiction writers. If you liked Room and The Invention of Wings, and especially if you like true crime or mysteries, here are more stories inspired by actual events and real people.
What do the films Psycho and The Silence of Lambs have in common? Quite a bit, it turns out. Not only were both were based on successful novels, Psycho by Robert Block and The Silence of Lambs by Thomas Harris, but both were also inspired by the crimes of convicted murderer Edward Theodore Gein. Although those two novels and films might seem very different, some of the strange and gruesome aspects of those stories can in fact by found in the strange and gruesome facts surrounding the Gein’s case.
Amity Gaige’s Schroder tells the story of shockingly true tale of false identity. Clark Rockefeller successfully fooled people
for years into thinking he was a member of the storied Rockefeller family. It wasn’t until his wife sued him for divorce that she and others discovered that Clark Rockefeller was really a German immigrant name Clark Gerhartsreiter. In Schroder Gaige changes the names, with her character pretending to be a Kennedy.
Most well-known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, in 1907 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did more than write about a detective, he became a detective. Earlier in 1903 George Edalji was convicted of various crimes related to animal mutilation. Doyle believed the nearsighted Edalji could not have possibly committed the crimes he was accused of and began campaigning for Edalji to be granted a pardon. In Arthur and George Julian Barnes reimagines Doyle’s investigation and campaign to prove Edalji’s innocence. Bonus – there is a wonderful film (based on the book) of this story as well.