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The Gates of Janus: Serial Killing and its Analysis, by the "Moors Murderer" Hardcover – 1 Nov 2001


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 305 pages
  • Publisher: Feral House,U.S.; First Edition edition (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: 293,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

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

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 91 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 Oct 2003
Format: Hardcover
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 on 6 Dec 2001
Format: Hardcover
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 By A Customer on 18 Jan 2002
Format: Hardcover
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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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 Jan 2008
Format: Hardcover
Ian Brady is a nobody, a sad, mad evil man who tortured and murdered five innocent people with his girlfriend Myra Hindley from 1963-1965. He doesn't deserve any media attention (unless the headline reads: 'Final Moors Victim Discovered'), let alone his own book.

'The Gates Of Janus' is not in anyway an autobiography or an account of his killing spree. Instead, you have Brady analysing other murderers including Ted Bundy and the Yorkshire Ripper. He won't even reveal the location of his third victim Keith Bennett's body, buried somewhere on Saddleworth Moor, so it should come as no surprise that he hasn't disclosed anything about himself or most importantly, his crimes in the book.

Brady uses long words throughout and clearly thinks of himself as an intellectual - he isn't, he's a liar and a coward who prayed on the young and the weak. Anybody could write this book, Brady has spent over forty years in captivity, so he has had all the time in the world to study the crimes of fellow like-minded people. Even then, he offers nothing new and provides little insight into anything.

Avoid!
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