June 12th, 2013
I have read many a book about serial killers, and loads of graphic novels, and my “favourite” serial killer probably is Jeffrey Dahmer, which is why I had such a hard time with this book.
The author tried to explain Dahmer, and to plainly describe what Dahmer was like in school; at this, I have to say it seems like he is telling the truth. I mean, Dahmer was, judging from a lot of accounts that I have read from over the years, quite an invisible character, until he decided to become a spaz, a class clown, the Peter Sellers of the school, so to speak, where he was no longer himself but indistinguishable from a made-up character.
The problems I have with this book are legion, but based on two things:
1. The author describes Dahmer as a “MONSTER” and continually falls into a trap where he somehow decides that Dahmer wasn’t a human being, but keeps describing him as though he’s a Boris Karloff monster, á la The Crypt Keeper; this never happens in great non-fiction
2. The author makes claims that he has no real basis for, e.g. how Dahmer “must have felt” at night, or during other points in time
Still, it’s interesting to get more of a feel of Joyce and Lionel Dahmer’s relationship; these are Jeffrey’s parents, and their disintegrating marriage is interesting to know more of.
All in all: useful if you’re a real Dahmer fan, but please, sift through the unknown and all the camp theatric ploys used here.