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The Gates of Janus: Serial Killing and its Analysis, by the "Moors Murderer" [Hardcover]

Ian Brady , Colin Wilson
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

The Gates of Janus: Serial Killing and its Analysis, by the "Moors Murderer" + Face to Face with Evil: Conversations with Ian Brady + Evil Relations (formerly published as Witness): The Man Who Bore Witness Against the Moors Murderers
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Feral House,U.S. (1 Nov 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0922915733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0922915736
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.5 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 370,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


An Extraordinary Publishing Event from One of the World's Most Cutting-Edge Publishers; 'The Moors Murders,' the case of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley and their torture and murder of four children and a teenager in the early 1960s, are thought to be the most appalling crimes ever committed in the UK. Despite the fact that they have been in prison for almost 40 years, their every activity remains a constant source of interest to the media and to the general public. This highly controversial book, a full-length work written by Brady himself, came about after Colin Wilson suggested that he analyse serial murder in an attempt to come to terms with the crimes he and Hindley committed. Based on his readings, his observations of other incarcerated murderers and his own life story, Brady's work is both psychological and philosophical; it does not, in any sense, glorify his and Hindley's crimes but presents a fascinating look into the mind of a murderer. Clearly of major interest to the general reader, this astonishing and remarkable book will also be essential reading for psychologists, forensic scientists and anyone concerned with the workings of the criminal mind.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, yes, illuminating? Pass 10 Oct 2003
By A Customer
Brady's book throws up a number of contradictions, mostly problematic. The first seven chapters seem to be Brady's attempt at clarifying his own philosophy and outlook, especially regarding 'moral relativism'. Unsurprisingly, his argument mostly centres around the 'all human beings are animals and capable of acts of savagery' schtick. While not a particularly original subject, Brady does write very passionately, in a witty and rhythmic style, and comes across as both articulate and well-versed in his proposals - at times I even forgot that the 'monstrous' Brady we see depicted in the tabloids was the actual author. Yes, the serial killer is derided as a twisted, sick individual, mainly for his working class status, whereas heads of government, banks, judges, senior police chiefs and multinational corporations are free to start wars, oppress social minorities, destroy the environment and kill their enemies at will, whilst justifying their work as 'being in the public interest' or 'just business, nothing personal'. If Brady is trying (and I suspect he is, to an extent) to present some sort of class overtones to his self-justifications (ie- the rich screw over the poor so therefore the poor have a right to lash back through crime), this direction is bound to fail miserably. Brady and Hindley murdered working class children and teenagers.
The remaining chapters are supposedly dedicated to psychological profiles of key UK and US serial killers. I found it personally ironic that, at the start of the book, Brady attacks those crime writers and media hacks who have covered this subject for 'sensationalising' the crimes and criminals they purport to despise, as his own accounts seemed to gravitate this way as well.
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63 of 74 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The predictable media outrage surrounding publication of this book threatens to do every serious reader a great disservice. Far from an 'autobiography' of any description (Brady barely even alludes to his own crimes other than in the abstract), this reads more like a philosophical tract, albeit with the serial killer at its centre. The bitterness and often near-paranoia suffusing almost every page might be inevitable, but is also a real shame; many of Brady's insights are searingly brilliant, as is a good deal of the writing. Here is an author not driven by profit or the desire to advance a literary career - Brady seems to be obeying a psychological and intellectual imperative. The results are quite extraordinary.
The passion and urgency with which Brady writes and his necessarily idiosynchratic vantage point make this a unique document. He is lucid and articulate throughout, having clearly made good use of his prison library card in the thirty five years since his incarceration in what he describes as the 'garbage can'.
Whatever you think of Brady and his ruthless creed, it's difficult to simply dismiss what appears to be his central if not his only attack on humanity: man's pitiful failure to establish an individual morality. Many of his views echo Nietzsche; Brady talks at length about the herd mentality and the weakness of self-delusion prevalent in our society. Indeed, he takes full advantage throughout of the license to provoke that his hopeless position obviously gives him.
No matter what your view on Brady's beliefs, you should at least make your own mind up about this admirable and powerful dissection of mankind's most destructive impulses; some of the most uncomfortable journeys are also the most rewarding.
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44 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 18 Jan 2002
By A Customer
I immediately bought this book the day it was released. As an amateur criminal psychologist this book was a must see and, to be honest, it was a little bit of both a let down and surprise.
The first part of the book is mainly centered on Brady and his attitudes towards both society and the authorities. He tends to drone on about how corrupt and hypocritical society and the law is and he also tends to ridicule the general public, whom he considers to be the largely uneducated masses. It is a little dull and pointless to say the least.
However, in the second part of his book, Brady becomes the criminal psychologist, analysing and explaining past serial killers in both the United Kingdom and the United States, and this is the fascinating part. Brady analyses and explains their actions in a most professional and objective manner. This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most fascinating analysis there is.
This book is a must purchase for all those interested in the criminal mind and it is written by a man who knows exactly what he is talking about.
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A must read for anybody interested in Criminal Psychology, Brady writes in a very 'matter of fact' way, not sugar coating anything, not over dramatizing anything, just telling it how it is for somebody who see's the world & humanity as he does, he is as competent a writer as any author, he writes with great passion & insight & one can often forget it is he, 'The Moors murderer' behind it, he speaks directly to the reader, challenging them to consider their own fantasies & dark desires, But it is not an autobiography & he gives little away about his own crimes...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I have used this to discover things Brady has added in snippets to the...
I took this book back in January 2012 and from this and taking things he quotes have used to find the things that Brady and HIndley did at the time of the Moors Murders, my own... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Openyoureyes
2.0 out of 5 stars Utter Rubbish
Boring and not very well researched,he should leave to the pros.Try John Douglas or Robert Ressler they have dedicated over 50 years combined to putting people like Mr Brady... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Martin Mcgarvey
3.0 out of 5 stars Tedious
I bought this book thinking it would be really interesting however Brady constantly repeats himself and his point always boils down to how bad government and society is. Read more
Published 14 months ago by melanie
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult yet fascinating
When Ian Brady first came into the headlines again in 2013 for his highly publicised tribunal in an attempt to be moved back to mainstream prison, I probably like many others,... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Emily
5.0 out of 5 stars The Gates of Janus
This book was fantastic, I couldn't stop reading it! It was so fascinating to see what a killer had to say about murder, admittedly some of what he had to say I did find myself... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Holly
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
I am trying to be fair but feel Ian Brady uses words to prove how inteligent he is which i have no doubt of that . Read more
Published 20 months ago by E. Winter
4.0 out of 5 stars difficult to analyze
despite many reviews on amazon this has to be a difficult one to analize. The interest in this book alone had me questioned by friends and family, i was interested admittingly but... Read more
Published 21 months ago by mersey26
This a stange book to review, and even more difficult to say whether one should read it or not. Many of the views expressed by Ian Brady you have to say you agree with, but there... Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2012 by bibliophile
1.0 out of 5 stars Can't see the fascination with this boring, boring man.... he dead yet? I have read a lot of crime books in 40+ years, both fiction, and non-fiction, and this has got to be the dullest of the lot - the most fun I had with it was... Read more
Published on 16 Dec 2010 by Miss Chinaski
4.0 out of 5 stars Stinks of projection and self loathing
To summerise: People only obey the law because they fear getting caught and not because they are good. Read more
Published on 21 July 2010 by Blitzkrieg Bopper
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