Little Demon in the City of Light

A True Story of Murder and Mesmerism in Belle Epoque Paris
Author(s): Steven Levingston
Original Publish Date: Feb 25, 2014
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (11.10 hours)
Product Number: Z100052649
Released: Feb 25, 2014
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9780449013007
Narrator/s: John Lee
Publisher: Books on Tape
Please log in to view pricing


A delicious account of a murder most gallic-think CSI Paris meets Georges Simenon-whose lurid combination of sex, brutality, forensics, and hypnotism riveted first a nation and then the world. Little Demon in the City of Light is the thrilling-and so wonderfully French-story of a gruesome 1889 murder of a lascivious court official at the hands of a ruthless con man and his pliant mistress and the international manhunt, sensational trial, and an inquiry into the limits of hypnotic power that ensued. In France at the end of the nineteenth century a great debate raged over the question of whether someone could be hypnotically compelled to commit a crime in violation of his or her moral convictions. When Toussaint-Augustin Gouffe entered 3, rue Tronson du Coudray, he expected nothing but a delightful assignation with the comely young Gabrielle Bompard. Instead, he was murdered-hanged!-by her and her companion Michel Eyraud. The body was then stuffed in a trunk and dumped on a riverbank near Lyon. As the inquiry into the guilt or innocence of the woman the French tabloids dubbed the "Little Demon" escalated, the most respected minds in France debated whether Gabrielle Bompard was the pawn of her mesmerizing lover or simply a coldly calculating murderess. And, at the burning center of it all: Could hypnosis force people to commit crimes against their will?

All formats/editions

Author(s): Steven Levingston
Product Number EB00157010
Released: Feb 25, 2014
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: #9780385536042

Professional reviews

"John Lee narrates this true-crime story in the straightforward tone of a newscaster. In 1889, Alexandre Toussaint-Augustin GouffŽ, a Parisian court official, was murdered by Gabrielle Bompard, a mesmerised woman under the sway of the ruthless hypnotist Michel Eyraud. Gruesome descriptions of dead bodies alternate with a detailed account of the crime and subsequent cover-up. At the heart of this story is the question of whether a hypnotized person can commit murder. LeeÕs relentless tone will draw listeners into the seamy underside of the City of Light. Details of the investigation are interspersed with forensic science as the detectives track the couple through Paris and the nearby countryside. This true-crime tale will draw listeners into the dark corners of this timeless city. M.B.K. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"