David Grann Killers of the Flower Moon

Last updated date: June 24, 2019

DWYM Score
9.8

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We looked at the top 1 Non-Fiction Books and dug through the reviews from 10 of the most popular review sites including Good Reads, Kirkus Reviews, The Guardian, Medium, The Berkshire Edge, The New York Times, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, The Denver Post, Book Browse and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Non-Fiction Book you should buy.

Overall Take

Excellent research and unparalleled descriptions of a truly mysterious crime story leaves readers racing through the "Killers of the Flower Moon" by David Grann. Elaborate details  will keep you gripped on this chronicling of the historical murders. Some have said they found it hard to keep track of the many characters.. But overall, the book makes for an incredible read, esepcially for those who love true crime. In our analysis of 88 expert reviews, the David Grann David Grann Killers of the Flower Moon placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 2, 2019:
Checkout The Best Non-Fiction Book for a detailed review of all the top non-fiction books.

Expert Summarized Score
9.8
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
4,084 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.
- Kirkus Reviews
He centres the story on an Osage family that died, in ones and twos, of causes ranging from the odd and ambiguous to the obviously violent.
- The Guardian
August 3, 2017 | Full review
The depth of reporting and characters in Killers of the Flower Moon is impressive, and its technical brilliance is astounding. It truly is one of the best books of its kind, and I am happy to read more of David Grann if it reaches the heights of this narrative.
- Medium
November 9, 2018 | Full review
Grann is nothing if not an exhaustive researcher, and he introduces a huge cast of characters I had no chance of keeping straight. He also indulges tangents on various ancillary subjects: for instance, the history of private eyes, the boarding school educations of young Native Americans, and the state of forensic pathology in the early 20th century. At times this explication slows down the otherwise brisk narrative, but I came to appreciate the context.
- The Berkshire Edge
February 7, 2018 | Full review
Killers of the Flower Moon” has cleaner lines, and it didn’t set its hooks in me in the same way. But the crime story it tells is appalling, and stocked with authentic heroes and villains. It will make you cringe at man’s inhumanity to man.
- The New York Times
April 12, 2017 | Full review
But Grann’s book quickly grows darker, and then darker still. It is superbly done — meticulously researched, well-written — but it is hard to be entertained by a story of such unmitigated evil.
- Star Tribune
April 14, 2017 | Full review
Killers of the Flower Moon is a gripping tale, masterfully told. When murderers escape justice, Grann notes, "history can often provide at least some final accounting." While it's too late to identify, let alone punish, all those who preyed on the Osage, this book ensures these brutal crimes will never again be forgotten.
- The Globe and Mail
May 12, 2017 | Full review
Grann expertly tells the tale in “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.” It’s a stunning story in many ways.
- The Denver Post
July 13, 2017 | Full review
Based on years of research and startling new evidence, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly compelling, but also emotionally devastating.
- Book Browse
What experts didn't like
Plot-wise, about a third of the way through the story, the mastermind of the murders is revealed without fanfare, in the middle of a paragraph. This made me wish that Grann would have signaled to us, with chapter separations, or a more explicit use of suspense, when to expect that big news. All the most significant revelations flow along just the same as the less significant details.
- The Berkshire Edge
February 7, 2018 | Full review
What it lacks is the soulful, trippy, questing and offhandedly cerebral quality of his last and best-known book, “The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon” (2009).
- The New York Times
April 12, 2017 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

David Grann is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, which was chosen as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications and has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. He is also the author of The Devil and Sherlock Holmes. His work has garnered several honors for outstanding journalism, including a George Polk Award.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Tara Westover Educated: A Memoir
Overall Score: 9.9
Expert Reviews: 10
2. David Grann Killers of the Flower Moon
Overall Score: 9.8
Expert Reviews: 10
3. Dalai Lama The Book of Joy
Overall Score: 9.7
Expert Reviews: 8
4. Candice Millard Destiny of the Republic
Overall Score: 9.7
Expert Reviews: 9
5. Timothy Egan The Worst Hard Time
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 9
6. Regina Calcaterra Etched in Sand
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 4
7. Jimmy Wayne / Ken Abraham: Walk to Beautiful
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 4
10. Douglas Preston The Lost City of the Monkey God
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 9

An Overview On Non-Fiction Books

  • Before breaking into the world of non-fiction novels, decide what sub-genre you are most interested in reading about. This will help narrow down your search in this broad genre.
  • Talk to a librarian about any new authors that are getting great reviews. They will have first-hand feedback from readers of those novels.
  • Use the resources at your fingertips, such as the internet, to research. There are plenty of websites that offer book reviews. So utilize them and find a great non-fiction novel to get started reading today.
  • If you are taking a college course and want supporting documentation on a topic you are learning about, the non-fiction novels will definitely add some dimension to your education.

DYWM Fun Fact

  • The psychology niche offers non-fiction readers outrageous and factual stories, such as “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Trials” by Oliver Sacks.
  • “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote was supposedly the very first non-fiction novel ever written.
  • Among the top 100 most popular non-fiction books are “The History of the World” by Walter Raleigh, “Common Sense” by Tom Paine, “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” by Benjamin Franklin and “Tales from Shakespeare” by Charles and Mary Lamb.
  • Another term for non-fiction novels is literary non-fiction.
  • Non-fiction does not discriminate by age or ethnicity. Every age can read and enjoy a book from the non-fiction genre. These days, non-fiction novels are becoming increasingly incorporated into education and the lives of young adults.
  • Good Sense Reading offers a list of age-classified, non-fiction books for parents to utilize on their website.

The Non-Fiction Book Buying Guide

There’s nothing better than a great book. Some prefer an imaginative story or fiction book while others thrive on non-fiction, factual storylines that tell us of real events. The non-fiction genres offer readers an incredible glimpse into the lifestyles and characters of actual people but often written with a dramatic flair. Truman Capote, the author of “In Cold Blood,” was said to have started this genre in 1965 when the novel was published (although, this is often not believed since there are several other non-fiction novels published previous to this date). There are countless sub-genres within the non-fiction novel genre, so be sure to check them all out before making your purchase.

There are quite a few ways that authors have approached non-fiction novels. Although the characters are real people and most of the facts are actual, there can be some imaginative writing in between, especially in conversations and such. The other approach is packed with all facts and strictly to the point, so the reader doesn’t have to guess what is factual versus imaginative. Both are interesting reads; however, you’ll have to decide for yourself which is most captivating.

Perhaps one of the most well-known sub-genres of non-fiction novels is a memoir or autobiography. Most have read a memoir in part, if not in entirety, during their school years. Memoirs are perhaps the most accurate works you will find in the genre since they are narrated by the individual themselves. In the autobiography, “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover, readers will get an entire picture of a woman overcoming her lack of primary education and isolation when she enters the intimidating realm of college. Another incredible memoir is “Etched in Sand” by Regina Calcaterra. She relives her abusive childhood in this autobiography to show readers that you can not only survive but overcome trials and tribulations that befall you at a young age. The autobiography sub-genre offers people the chance to walk in someone else’s shoes and relive the experiences that shaped them. If you are a fact seeker, autobiographies will give you the most accurate account of a person’s life.

Within the sub-genre of autobiography, readers will find many narratives of famous people. If you are interested in pop culture and would like to learn more about how people rise to fame, this category is right up your alley. The book, “Walk to Beautiful” by musician Jimmy Wayne is one of the best non-fiction novels out there. He discusses the difficulties of being poor and the disorganization of the broken foster care system, based on his personal life experiences. A perfect combination of reality and fame come together in this category.

For a thriller-type read, the true crime sub-genre is where you’ll want to look for a book. This category is typically packed with mystery, violence, law and forensics — all based on actual events. The novels are usually embellished with creative writing here and there, but the main storyline is factual and true to the real events. In the book, “Killers of the Flower Moon” by David Grann, you will find the retelling of the murders of several people in the wealthy community of Osage Nation in Oklahoma. You will find all the thrills in this non-fiction novel along with an accurate depiction of events around the murders. True crime non-fiction books are just the thing if you want to learn more about a specific historical crime.

There are countless other categories in the non-fiction novel genre. They have so much to offer from education to insight and instructions. Non-fiction educational options typically involve history books, science stories, psychology novels and literary novels. Whenever you want to travel, you will surely pick up a travel novel, and same with self-help. If you want to learn about sports, you’ll find facts stick with you when you read a non-fiction novel based on that sport. Technology, house and garden and social science are even more categories you’ll discover when you delve into non-fiction novels, and you won’t find a better way to learn and get inspired than through the books within this genre.

No matter what your walk of life is, non-fiction novels will give you the tools you need to constantly be improving yourself, increasing your knowledge and learning with a multi-faceted approach. Non-fiction novels of all categories should be a staple in every home.