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Deranged: The Shocking True Story of America's Most Fiendish Killer! Paperback – 1 Oct 1998


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Paperback, 1 Oct 1998
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Deranged: The Shocking True Story of America's Most Fiendish Killer! + Depraved: The Definitive True Story of H.H. Holmes, Whose Grotesque Crimes Shattered Turn-Of-The-Century Chicago (Pocket Star Books True Crime) + Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster
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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster (1 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671025457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671025458
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 1.5 x 57.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 387,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Harold Schechter is Professor at Queen's College, The City University of New York. Renowned for his true-crime writing, he is the author of five non-fiction books: BESTIAL, DEVIANT, DERANGED, DEPRAVED and THE A TO Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SERIAL KILLERS. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Jun. 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Albert Fish was a compelling giant in the realm of perversion.
In Schechter's book he is revealed as the complete nutjob, well-versed in every exhisting act of depravity and a pioneer in those previously unknown.
However, Schechter spends too little time examining the family and personal history of the man/monster, and too much time dealing with the trivial details of his arrest.
The few anecdotes revealed about Fish's family are informative and tantalizing, and I wish Schechter would have shared more information of this kind.
Perhaps such revalations about his crazed clan would lead to a better understanding of Fish's proclivities.
But Schechter's book is an easy read, not devoid of humor, and it plainly illustrates the depths to which a man can plummet.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Jun. 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been looking for a book about Albert Fish ever since I learned of his existence. A religiously-inspired, senior citizen canibal who professed to have practiced every deviancy in the book should make a very interesting subject. Unfortunately,"Deranged" by Harold Schecter is nowhere as interesting as I hoped. Too much time is spent on the investigation and the dozens of false leads that produced absolutely nothing. (About half the book is seemingly concerned about false leads.) And when the book is finished, Albert Fish, a man who kidnapped, cooked and ate a little girl and then wrote a letter to her parents to tell them how delicious she was, seems less like the embodiment of absolute evil and more like a pathetic old man who can't control his impulses. Perhaps the material wasn't nearly as interesting as it first appeared, but a subject this lurid shouldn't produce a book this boring.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. M. Williams on 20 Oct. 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
2.0 out of 5 stars Much to be desired., 7 Mar 2007
It is a great shame, but this is a most disappointing book. The general paucity of material on Albert Fish has created a vacuum that 'Depraved' ought to have filled but does not.

From subject matter of this kind the reader may reasonably expect a faithful reproduction of all facts and testimony, a reasoned and informed discussion of the forces acting upon, and the mental attributes of this, admittedly, depraved individual, and a precise and keen dissection of the culmination and trial. This book provides none of these, and one is left to wonder as to how Mr Schechter won his professorship.

The book contains no source notes whatsoever, no bibliography, no chronology and at times reads like a wholly subjective horror story. It may be that there is a lack of first hand source material and testimony (we cannot tell and are not told), but this would be surprising given Mr Fish's enormous appetite for letter writing. Instead the author provides us with ever more irrelevant historical background information and a surfeit of press clippings that do nothing except remind us that the tabloid press are now and have ever been, the tabloid press.

The language and composition are average; occasionally they reach a phrasal peak, but just as frequently leave one saddened by their course ignominy.

It is a great shame, but I cannot recommend this book. Far from being the 'finest writer of his genre', this author must learn the art of research and award himself no more than two from ten for this effort.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 April 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is definitely not for the squeamish! It tells, in harrowing detail, the story of Albert Fish, America's most perverted killer. Mr Schechter has obviously done his research in the finest of detail, and the result is a book that will keep you open-mouthed with amazement.
One criticism however: as Mr Schechter is a true crime writer, I would have thought he would understand what is meant by the term "corpus delicti". He kept using it to refer to the actual corpse, (the body of the victim), when anyone with even a basic knowledge of true crime and legal terms knows that the term "corpus delicti" refers to the body of evidence which constitutes the crime!

A small irritation which nevertheless does not detract from a very interesting book. Recommended.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Davison on 9 Nov. 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story behind Albert Fish is unbelievable. He remains one of the most shocking serial killers of all time. The whole history surrounding his life is just incomprehensible. This book is definitely NOT for the weak hearted or anyone that may offend, not easily, but at all.
Schechter really sets the scene of the times throughout this book, maybe a little too much in my opinion. As the reader you do feel the aura surrounding this era but I felt that Schechter went into too much detail of the times and not enough on Fish. The subject material is extremely interesting and is the only thing that kept me reading to be honest. There are chapters that seem to neglect Fish and focus merely on the period and other events. The first half of the book is all about the police hunt over the years for the man. Don't get me wrong, the hunt is very compelling, it is just that by the half way point of the book I felt that Schechter wasn't telling the story of Fish, more the story of the surrounding events. When Fish is eventually caught I can remember looking at how many pages were left and thinking that I hope the Fish story wasn't going to be rushed. Unfortunately, it was. I have read some other accounts of Albert Fish which deal with the character himself, which is what I wanted out of the book. The passages above each chapter I have to say were very good though. They set the chapter off and there were some very interesting quotes.
If you want to read about as much of the time as of the man, then this is the book for you. If you want to learn about one of the most shocking killers of all time, and the analysis that should accompany that, well I would have to say that you should look for a different account.
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