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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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8338310,829 (3.64)78
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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Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
(I should include a warning right off that this will have a few spoilers--compared to usual anyhow.)

John Wayne Cleaver (named after the movie star) knows he's not normal. Interacting with people doesn't come naturally for him--in fact it doesn't come easily, naturally or, well, anything for him. He doesn't know how to be 'normal' and interact with those around him, how to do the things that almost all of the rest of us take for granted. He can't connect with people, can't understand them.

He can understand serial killers, though. He's fascinated by them (he avoids using the word obsessed). Whenever he has to do a school report on someone, he chooses a serial killer. He talks to his therapist about how he thinks he'll become a serial killer-but doesn't want to. John even has rules to avoid something like that happening.

Then his small, midwestern town is struck by a killer--and John just knows it's a serial killer before there's more than one murder. Through his own investigation he's going to find the identity of the killer.


I had really high hopes for this book. A fifteen-year-old main character who thinks he has the characteristics of a would be serial killer, but wants to avoid that happening, all the while working in his family's mortuary embalming bodies? There could have been a lot of done with looking at human nature and psychologically how things affect us. At least that's what I was hoping for--something more like Criminal Minds, or something but sort of the reverse side or something.

Instead, though, Wells brings in a supernatural element for the serial killer so while John is still battling things in himself the external element that he is battling, isn't human at all. There are a lot of supernatural books that still examine human nature and what it means to be evil, etc but I was really hoping for something that only dealt with people and conscience and that sort of evil without tangible monsters/demons.

For me, at least, that really took something away from the book--and how good it was--or could have been.

I do think, however, if you go into it knowing there's a supernatural element or not really, really wanting a book that explores human nature in the way that I did, you could really enjoy this book. I'm giving it a lower rating becuase I had such a problem with one of the major elemnts of the plot, but the characters were well done, the story developed well (minus the supernatural bit for me).
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
This was the first time I read something faster than I could put it on my shelf here. Listened, I should say... and I found it hard to stop. It started off funny, then became disturbing, and then downright scary. It is a very interesting look into the mind of a sociopath, I must say. Some things I related to a lot, actually, which concerns me now :). A couple of my favorite quotes were "Talking is normal. It's what normal people do together. I needed the practice." And, "I wanted to be a real boy." The latter allusion to Pinocchio is like a twisted and perfect metaphor. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
Poor John Wayne Cleaver is named after a two serial killers and a weapon for his last name. Plus it does not help that he keeps a list of rules to keep himself from killing others and sometimes he can't help himself. But he never really truly kills someone he just threatens to do so. John is totally obsessed with serial killers even though he doesn't want to become one.

Dead bodies are normal to John and in fact he actually appreciates them. He can't give any emotion and dead bodies don't ask for emotion so maybe that why he likes dead people. Or maybe he is just socially awkward. To find out read the book. ( )
  JaFi14 | Feb 7, 2015 |
Book stores really need to shelf this book in young adult and not in regular fiction and literature sections. That way middle-aged women who routinely buy books on a whim won’t end up with another young adult series on their hands. Because even if this is marketed as adult fiction, it’s young adult, and while I am not a snob against young adult, it’s not my first choice when deciding to read a book. So that was the first strike against the book and I guess we can blame that on Barnes and Noble instead of Wells.

But Wells has some marks against him, too. Overall, the idea is interesting – a kid who believes he is a soul-less psychopath and destined to become a serial killer finds out the real thing is living very near him and he is obsessed with finding out who is responsible for the string of gory murders plaguing his town. He lives with his mother above their mortuary business and for a while you think this book is going to be a nice blend of Catcher in the Rye, Dexter and Mary Roach’s Stiff. And it is for a bit. But then you notice that the protagonist teenager really doesn’t seem to meet the criteria for psychopathy and not in a “wink-wink, the kid really isn’t a psychopath but doesn’t know it” sort of way, but rather in a “crap, read the goddamn DSM, please” kind of way. Still, Wells didn’t go off the rails as badly as some writers do when trying to write about mentally unstable characters.

But the real problem with this book was the supernatural element that Wells imbued in the killer. We went from a real kid with real problems inserting himself into a real crime spree to a questionable episode of True Blood, but since it is a young adult novel, we don’t even have Alexander Skarsgard’s ass or random breast shots to try to distract us from what a bad decision the supernatural element is. And this is all the worse because the book remained more or less readable, in that I didn’t put it down even as I cursed inside at the really crappy plot twist. So buyer beware – not the worst book ever and it has some interesting, visceral moments, but I’m totally not reading the rest of the books in this series. ( )
  oddbooks | Jan 22, 2015 |
Author adds humor to bizarre and scary situation. The child is a psychopath from a dysfunctional family that runs a funeral home. Kid is obsessed with serial killers and discovers his neighbor is one (but he's also a demon who needs body parts to stay alive). Humor and sympathetic character, weird details about bodies and embalming, gross. Fun but disturbing ( )
  jenzbaker | Jan 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 82 (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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