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on 16 December 2015
I bought this book having read a hand full of the true crime books by Anne Rule. While I rather enjoyed Anne Rules writing style and story telling that gave equal weight to the victims for me, this was a much better approach to sharing, discussing and telling of the horrors of a serial killer than anything by the great Ms. Rule.

It seems odd to say that I really liked a book with such a traumatizing story to tell, but the rigorous research, the balancing of evidence and the authors desire to give an accurate and balanced account of the crimes is exemplary.While it would have been easy to demonize Dahmer for his crimes, the author instead attempts (and succeeds) to paint a complete picture of not just Dahmer, but the society in which he lived and how it failed him, just as he failed to fit in to it. The author does this with a both a level of detachment where necessary, but also with a compassion and empathy for the victims and Dahmer himself.

The crimes were horrific, the victims are given all the care and respect the author can offer and yet the book feels as professional and honest exploration of an incredibly difficult and sensitive topic as possible.

One of the best pieces of investigative journalism I've read.
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on 4 January 2007
I decided to dedicate some time to reading this book, so I brought it with me to work everyday.

I found that after the first chapter, I could not put it down. The author truly knows his facts and is neither 'for' or 'against' Dahmer, which is great because he tells you two sides of the story as oppossed to just one, which is usually the argument 'against' Jeff.

The author goes into enough detail, not too much as to not upset family members of the victims etc. You can see that Brian Masters has really done his research, speaking to main characters involved in the case. He goes into detail about Jeff's childhood and now we can all see where things really went wrong for Jeff. He refers to Denis Nilsen alot, a 'serial killer' much like Jeff who was convicted of killing 15 young men back in the 1970's.

This is a 'must-read' book and it will be hard to find any other book/movie that is as accurate about Jeff's life as the author is in this book.

After reading this book, you will become either a friend or a foe of Jeff.

Definitely recommend it.
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on 8 December 2016
Great book, very in depth about Jeffrey Dahmer as a person & about the murders he committed. Definitely worth a read it was written to try & get the reader into the life & the head of Jeffrey which I enjoy the most to try get some understanding of why people committ such crimes rather than just read the gory details.
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on 22 June 2016
Omg. I can't put this book down. It's amazing. I've seen all documentarys on this guy. But book goes into real detail. Can really imagine your at the crime scene. So far so good. Highly recommended.
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on 9 December 2001
There are countless books available on serial killers, but I don't think I've ever read one as detailed or insightful as Brian Masters' illuminating study of Dahmer. He expertly takes us on a harrowing journey through Dahmer's tortured life, striking a perfect balance between sympathy and revulsion. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the book is how Masters makes us pity and understand Dahmer without ever excusing his appalling crimes. This is perfectly illustrated in the author's tendency to refer to the subject as "Jeff" when dealing with the childhood section of the book, but calling him only by his surname in the latter stages of his crimewave. Also impressive is Masters' dissection of the trial, where he eloquently points up the absurdity of a legal system that looked at Dahmer's bizzare catalogue of murder and still deemed him "sane".
I thouroughly recommend this outstanding book to anyone remotely interested in true crime literature.
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on 28 November 2004
I'm going to keep this short and to the point. This book is really great; it's written really well, the lay out is perfect, it has all the information you could want to know (and what you probably don't want to know, unless your really morbid) on the crimes of this man, as well as a psychological look at him, the possible motives for his crimes, very insightful and not judgemental at all. Brian Masters is one of the best true crime authors out there. This is the best book you could find on Jeffrey Dahmer, its not cheap or sleazy at all, and if you are looking thing purely from the point of view of wanting to gain a psychological insight into the mind of a killer and necrophiliac, and/or just wanting to know more about the crimes, then this book is perfect for you. Though if you want to know about the guy's childhood, or if you are some kind of "fan" (seriously misguided if you ask me) of him then you may find Lionel Dahmer's "A Father's Story" more interesting.
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on 2 May 2017
stupid title. but the best dahmer book
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on 18 January 2000
For those who are fascinated by the brutality and inhumanity of Jeffrey Dahmer's crimes, it is likely that this book is not for you. While the violence is explicit, this is not the main focus of Masters' wonderful book. The text detaches Dahmer from his crimes, looking at him as a man rather than a monster, and questioning why he did such terrible things? It is the kind of book that will appeal to many neglected an unloved children. For masters draws upon the most extreme examples of abandonment sending a seemingly normal man over the edge. The book is fascinating, especially the disscusions of the shrine; an alter crafted from his victims, the only palce where he felt he could fit in on this earth. While packed with facts, it is a hard subject, and tales of dismemberement and necrophilia was even hard for me to take in. Gruesome and brutal it may be, but I think we all have something to learn from this book.
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on 21 January 2008
I have an immense interest in crime, and the majority of the books I own are based on true crimes. However this book, is quite simply one of the best I have ever read, and after reading it 3 times, I passed it on to who ever I could just so I could talk about it.

Perfectly written, with shocking facts, including information that I had never heard of before in regards to Dahmer and interesting psychological evaluations. The author, manages to get the reader in front of Dahmer, watching his every move, and hearing his thoughts. Its an unbelievable account,and a book that NEEDS to be read.

One of my favourite books, I strongly suggest checking it out!!
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on 5 October 2009
After reading this true gruesome story about one of America s most recent notorious serial killers Jeffrey Dahmer, i felt compelled to ask "Was he a monster hiding behind a human mask or was he a human being hiding behind a monster s mask?"
Brian Masters makes an excellent job here of taking us on a journey throughout this man s life from when he was born to the day he was sentenced to more than 900years in prison! Before reading this book i was really curious whenever i heard this guy s name and really wished to know what made him thick and why he did the things he did. And here the author manages to answer all these questions in as much as was humanely possible, seeing this is not a work of fiction all the truth will probably never be known and even Dahmer himself wasnt really able to explain what compelled him to do the terrible things he commited. Without ever excusing Dahmer, the author will manage to make you feel pity for this guy who wasnt born evil as many will assume after the details of his crimes came to light, but a man abandoned to his own destiny who didnt love the act of killing but killed to feel loved.
Really appreciated the style of the author in taking us through his childhood and pinpointing to certain factors that could have been important ones in the making of this man; such as the sudden withdrawl of breast feeding, the bilateral hernia repair he had to endure at a very young age, the incident with the tadpoles, the abrupt abandonment by his mother, the constant change of homes, fighting between his parents, heavy dependency on alcohol etc. True, one might argue that a lot of people who ve passed through these common problems turn out to be normal decent people. But the author s argument is that someone with Dahmer s fragile state of mind could have been easily crushed and led to insanity. And like an infected wound left to fester unattended....so happened with Dahmer s obsession.
Unlike other vicious killers of our time that we know about, Dahmer really loved animals and although he was grossly fascinated by their corpses and experimented on them, he never killed for that purpose but mainly picked roadkills. In fact he was disgusted with a friend of his for his enjoyment of running down dogs. This demonstrates that at the core he wasnt cruel and was in fact rather disturbed for his fascination with death. Another proof to the fact that he wasnt just a sadistic killer is that between his first and second murder, of the 17 he confessed to, a total of 9 years passed during which he tried to redeem himself and live straight. But then he gave in to his compulsion in such a way that in the end he became so sloppy that it was almost like he was begging to get caught.And it was truly by chance that he was apprehended, cause after 17 murders the police didnt even realise that they had a serial killer on their hands. Mind you wasnt easy for them as the bodies or body parts could not be found since he kept or destroyed them to powder. It s incredible how many times there were near misses where he escaped right under everyone s nose. One time a victim of his even managed to escape and the police returned him to Dahmer, and to his subsequent execution. Incredibly to me Dahmer was judged to be sane to face trial and sentenced to various counts of life sentences.
When he was under arrest one day he said to an interviewer "it is proper that i should be killed in prison". In 1994 when this book was already published , he was killed by another inmate. A tragedy of a brief life from beginning to end.
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