Reading List: Serial Killers

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“Psycho” (1960).

Since we’re all eagerly awaiting the return of Hannibal this summer, I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of books to tide you over.

It should go without saying that these books are not for the faint of heart.

Proceed with caution.

The Killer Inside Me (1952), Jim Thompson

It was like being asleep when you were awake and awake when you were asleep. I’d pinch myself, figuratively speaking – I had to keep pinching myself. Then I’d wake up kind of in reverse; I’d go back to the nightmare I had to live in. And everything would be clear and reasonable.

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955), Patricia Highsmith

He loved possessions, not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with. They gave a man self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality. Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn’t that worth something? He existed.

The Collector (1963), John Robert Fowles

I think we are just insects, we live a bit and then die and that’s the lot. There’s no mercy in things. There’s not even a Great Beyond. There’s nothing.

Red Dragon (1981), Thomas Harris

Before Me you are a slug in the sun. You are privy to a great Becoming and you recognize nothing. You are an ant in the after-birth.
It is in your nature to do one thing correctly: before Me you rightly tremble. Fear is not what you owe Me, Lounds, you and the other pismires. You owe Me awe.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (1985), Patrick Süskind

He was a master in the art of spreading boredom and playing the clumsy fool – though never so egregiously that people might enjoy making fun of him or use him as the butt of some crude practical joke inside the guild. He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.

American Psycho (1991), Bret Easton Ellis

Each model of human behavior must be assumed to have some validity. Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter (2004), Jeff Lindsay

I’m not sure what I am. I just know there’s something dark in me. I hide it. I certainly don’t talk about it, but it’s there always, this Dark Passenger. And when he’s driving, I feel alive, half sick with the thrill of complete wrongness. I don’t fight him, I don’t want to. He’s all I’ve got.

No Country For Old Men (2005), Cormac McCarthy

You’re asking that I make myself vulnerable and that I can never do. I have only one way to live. It doesn’t allow for special cases. A coin toss perhaps. In this case to small purpose. Most people don’t believe that there can be such a person. You see what a problem that must be for them. How to prevail over that which you refuse to acknowledge the existence of. Do you understand? When I came into your life your life was over. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. This is the end.

 

Reading List: True Crime


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