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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deranged: revealing but slightly unsatisfying.
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...
Published on 15 Jun 1997

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A promising subject, but a very unsatisifying book
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...
Published on 11 Jun 1998


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deranged: revealing but slightly unsatisfying., 15 Jun 1997
By A Customer
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
2.0 out of 5 stars A promising subject, but a very unsatisifying book, 11 Jun 1998
By A Customer
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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, Shocking...... yet Boring (at times)., 9 Nov 2005
By 
R. Davison (Northumberland) - See all my reviews
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, harrowing and un-putdownable, 24 April 1998
By A Customer
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Much to be desired, 20 Oct 2006
By 
S. M. Williams (London W1) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The true story of America's most evil murderer, 10 Mar 1997
By A Customer
Put down that Stephen King novel: here's a book that will really give you nightmares. Albert Fish was one of the most twisted perverts ever to walk the face of the earth. "Deranged" dares to tell his story in all its bloody glory. And what a story it is: murder, rape, torture and cannabilism were some of Fish's favorite hobbies. What makes it especially frightening is that it's all true. I gave this book to my girlfriend for a gift; I think it was a good choice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding read - shocked to my core, 13 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Deranged: The Shocking True Story of America's Most Fiendish Killer! (Paperback)
This book arrived promptly and was well packaged.

I hadnt heard about this serial killer before so didnt know what to expect from this text. I can't begin to describe the horrors this book unfolds, I was completley enthralled, disgusted, horrified and shocked throughout - but it is a fantastic read!
The author writes extremely well and manages to present the facts of the case alongside relevant historical information of that time which adds to the story. He also maintains a dignified prose that does not slide into the outlandish....although the crimes committed are certainly difficult not to become impassioned about.
I will be reading more of Harold Schelchier's work, very impressed indeed - good luck not having nightmares from this!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Thought Provoking, 29 Jun 1999
By A Customer
Schechter is magnificent!! The research and detail provided on this "psychiatric phenomenon" -- Albert Fish -- is outstanding. The book is exceptionally well written with fascinating detail of the pervert's capture and ultimate diagnosis. Having finished it weeks ago, the book is still keeping me awake trying to imagine that such a creature lived among, and took advantage of, families in NYC in the 1920s. Great read for any true crime fan.
Mr. Schechter: Please keep them coming!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought the book was great one of the best thrillers read, 19 Nov 1997
By A Customer
I thought that the ending given to the book was just so wonderful. It completed the book with such grace and understanding.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Padded ?, 3 Mar 2012
Like many books of this type wherein the author is describing the perpetration of a crime and the subsequent manhunt and trial there is a need to pad out the story to fill an acceptable ammount of pages to meet the requirements of the publishers.
This books suffers from this problem with many isolated irrelevant occurances described which have no direct bearing on the main narative however it is still a reasonably entertaining read.
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