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Io non sono un serial killer: [romanzo] by…
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Io non sono un serial killer: [romanzo] (original 2009; edition 2012)

by Dan Wells, M (M), R (R)

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8167811,155 (3.65)76
Member:Angela.Me
Title:Io non sono un serial killer: [romanzo]
Authors:Dan Wells
Other authors:M (M), R (R)
Info:Roma, Fazi, 2012
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells (2009)

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English (77)  German (1)  All languages (78)
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
Another one I really liked This is the author's first novel, but he must have written other things - this is REALLY good for a first book. (I am too lazy to look him up right now!) The story is good, the plot, the characters, but the author's ability to describe things is what grabbed me right away: in describing the protagonist's friend, he says, "In other words, he acted like the bullies, but without any of the strength or charisma to back it up." In a sentence, that kid's character is nailed. And I loved how the antagonist was sympathetic in so many ways. This is more of a mystery, but the SFF element is clearly there, so I've categorized it as both. ( )
  4hounds | Nov 2, 2014 |
Unfortunately it failed to suck me in and make me really care. It was a good book, don't get me wrong. I just don't think it's for me. ( )
  Tarklovishki | Oct 31, 2014 |
Really, this should be like 3 1/2 stars. The reason being that, while the beginning was a bit slow, the ending was intense, unforgiving, and carnal. I really didn't dig the way Dan Wells felt it necessary to walk me through the world of serial killers, because it felt very contrived. Then again, it's Pop Fiction, meaning that the major demographic for this book likely aren't as familiar with these disturbed individuals as I am. But still, it does a great job of painting out some powerful imagery, and there are more than just a few scenes in this book that will leave you feeling disturbed. By no means is this novel a limp-wristed affair.

What threw me off was the introduction of a supernatural element to the story. I can't even begin to tell you how surprised I was, and it wasn't unpleasantly so. The monster John Wayne Cleaver has to face is quite terrifying, and his relationship to the creature just intensifies it. Apparently, this isn't the only adventure we get to enjoy with John, and I wouldn't mind checking out its sequel. I'm not sure if it'll have that supernatural element to it as well, but if it was anything like this first novel, it'll probably be a good read. ( )
  Illise_Montoya | Sep 28, 2014 |
As a cross between TV shows Six Feet Under and [b:Dexter|17231|Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, #1)|Jeff Lindsay|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1334404607s/17231.jpg|2113743] for a YA audience (hmm, really?) this was a fascinating and insightful look into the sociopathic mind of a fifteen-year old boy as he attempts to take down a demon serial killer that goes on a rampage in his small town. Strong stomachs are required for this gruesome psychological thriller with undertones of black humour. Or a sick bag.

First off, I must say, sociopathy is becoming popular, is it not?



I referenced Six Feet Under for the family-run mortuary and black comedy, and Dexter for the serial killer with rules but I noticed the one thing they have in common: Michael C. Hall. He stars in both shows. Is he Dan Wells? If not, he must be a fan because the similarities between the TV and book are uncanny. This is good by the way. I loved both.

Anyway, I digress.

Named after the actor and consequently a serial killer, and a weapon, John Wayne Cleaver struggles to appear normal in his quest to not let his inner monster out. In order to succeed he studies what he doesn’t want to become: The Serial Killer. He knows about them all: number of kills, technique used, forensic profiles -the lot. You see, if he understands their motives, what makes them tick then he can create rules for himself to prevent him from becoming...Just. Like. Them.


John as an adult?

His obsession to the outsider is unsettling as it appears he idolises and wants to imitate the killers. He talks about it to anyone and everyone, even submitting school reports on them:
”The project I did last year was on Jeffrey Dahmer,” I said. “He was a cannibal who kept severed heads in his freezer.”
“I remember now,” said Max, his eyes darkening. “Your posters gave me nightmares. That was boss.”
“Nightmares are nothing,” I said. “Those posters gave me a therapist.”
John comes clean with the therapist for the most part but because he’s under 18 his issues are discussed with his mother. She doesn't understand, instead she gets mad at him for things he can’t (or is desperately fighting to) control.

You see, he has many of the predictors of becoming what he fears: he’s an intelligent and insightful sociopath who’s studied human behaviours in order to understand and emulate them, he works part-time in a mortuary run by his family (helping with the embalming process so he’s constantly surrounded by death, natural and otherwise), and he’s killed and cut into animals with no human victims. Yet.

Throughout, John’s level-headedness cons you into believing he isn’t really a bad guy. There’s nothing wrong with him. He's just your typical teenager. That is until you witness one of his outbursts when he’s pushed to breaking point. The monster comes out, and he ain’t nice. It’s quite shocking as you begin to understand what John has to contend with in order to remain part of society without giving into his urges. It's a chilling reminder that he is not an innocent hero even though you're rooting for him.

In a way Wells addresses the subject of vigilantes:
’I wasn’t sad, I was thoughtful; I didn’t feel bad that ________ was dead, just guilty that I hadn’t been able to stop his killer . I wondered then if I was doing all of this because I wanted to save the good guys, or if I just wanted to kill the bad guy. And I wondered if that made a difference.’
Does it matter his intentions, altruistic or not, as long as he disposes of the murderer? But then what do you do with the one that did the murdering? You still have a killer on your hands. He may hurt someone else, perhaps a completely innocent person -a conundrum.

My favourite scene was the ultimate comeback to a bully’s comments at the school dance. John made it into a personal threat so that not only was it scary but 100% true which made it all the scarier. In Max’s words “that was awesome”. It totally was. :D

[b:I Am Not a Serial Killer|5981280|I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1)|Dan Wells|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348925536s/5981280.jpg|6154629] was incredibly realistic. There were moments that really resonated with me -a testament to Wells' research and a great understanding of the human psyche. Everything was so well-developed, the characters and the dysfunctional relationships all realistic, and here’s the But.

The demon. It was so out there. The setting of the book was in the real world, nothing paranormal about it and all of a sudden we have this hideous beast. Huh? I wasn’t quite sure if he was real or a figment of John’s imagination. Was he beginning to lose his mind? Hallucinating? Is he schizophrenic? Was he the killer, projecting what he was on to someone else? This is what studying psychology does to you. You can’t take anything at face value. Eventually I was left with a final question: Was it going to be a Sixth Sense twist ending?

Which leads me to the different ways certain aspects of this book can be interpreted. On the surface, instead of teen angst we get a fight to remain "normal", to fit in with everyone else, to be accepted by society –all classic signs of being a teenager. Perfect stuff for a YA novel, right? Sneaky.

A 15-year old taking on a serial killer is perfectly normal in the real world. It happens everyday. Maybe not. John tries pointing the good guys in the right direction. It was lambs to the slaughter. Cannon fodder. "Messy" doesn't quite cover it. So it was up to him, as an expert on killers and with an inner demon of his very own he understood how this one worked. Unfortunately he has to sacrifice his hard won control in order to fight the demon. And once the cat’s out of the bag, he can’t shove it back in. Eep!

[b:Mr. Monster|7167271|Mr. Monster (John Cleaver, #2)|Dan Wells|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1291075456s/7167271.jpg|7542680] is out.

Is it cold in here? ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
How in the world would Mr. Crowley's NOT know what was going on, if her husband was taking the entire body? Even an arm... wouldn't you think she'd notice his arms look different? His body? ( )
  recipe_addict | Sep 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
"I liked I Am Not a Serial Killer. It wasn’t a perfect book but it was engaging and creepy while still managing to be sweet. "
added by r.orrison | editTor.com, Brit Mandelo (Apr 26, 2010)
 
Great pacing, a likable character, and a combination of horror and supernatural elements make this title in a new trilogy appealing.
added by Katya0133 | editLibrary Journal, Craig Shufelt (Apr 1, 2010)
 
[T]his deft mix of several genres features a completely believable teenage sociopath (with a heart of gold), dark humor, a riveting mystery and enough description of embalming to make any teen squeamish even if they won't admit it.
added by Katya0133 | editKirkus (Apr 1, 2010)
 
Wells does a good job entering the mind of his unlikely protagonist, but a surprising revelation about the Clayton killer's identity may turn off thriller readers who prefer not to mix genres.
added by Katya0133 | editPublishers Weekly (Feb 1, 2010)
 
gives a fascinating glimpse into the psyche of a fifteen year old boy on the verge of possibly becoming a serial killer. It delves into the human side of what it's like to have dark, murderous thoughts and how to keep them in check.
 
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Epigraph
I should have been a pair of ragged claws / Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
- The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Dedication
For Rob, who gave me the best incentive a little brother can give, he got published first.
First words
Mrs. Anderson was dead.

Nothing flashy, just old age—she went to bed one night and never woke up. They say it was a peaceful, dignified way to die, which I suppose is technically true, but the three days it took for someone to realize they hadn’t seen her in a while removed most of the dignity from the situation. Her daughter eventually dropped by to check on her and found her corpse three days rotted and stinking like roadkill. And the worst part isn’t the rotting, it’s the three days—three whole days before anyone cared enough to say, "Wait, where’s that old lady that lives down by the canal?" There’s not a lot of dignity in that.

Quotations
Tiger, tiger, burning bright / In the forests of the night / What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
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Book description
Fear the darkness within...

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it. He's spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.

He's obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn't want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he's written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don't demand or expect the empathy he's unable to offer. Perhaps that's what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there's something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat — and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can't control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

Dan Wells's debut novel is the first volume of a trilogy that will keep you awake and then haunt your dreams.

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John Wayne Cheever keeps his obsession with serial killers in check by a set of rigid rules that he lives by, hoping to the prevent himself from committing murder, but when a body turns up behind a laundromat, John must confront a danger outside himself.… (more)

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