Sunday, December 2, 2012

Psycho USA: Famous American Killers You Never Heard Of by Harold Schechter

Title: Psycho USA: Famous American Killers You Never Heard Of
Author: Harold Schechter
Format: Paperback, 416 pages
Pub. Date: August 7th 2012
Source: Goodreads First Reads


Four stars.

I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Psycho USA is a nonfiction book that documents forgotten or not well known murderers or killers in American History. There's a nice (is that a word that can be used when discussing serial killers?) sprinkling of weapons and poisons, making the overall theme of "murder" a more varied read.

My favorite part (again, that sounds creepy) were the songs and poems that were written about some of these killers to keep the story alive. It sounds dark, but how many people know the Lizzie Borden rhyme? It was a cool glimpse into our history (our being America.... Not murderers).

Overall, I found this book an interesting and morbidly entertaining read. I was admittedly a bit bored in the beginning, and I wasn't sure if it was going to be my kind of story. I'm not sure if it was my mood or the book that changed, but it picked up and I'm very glad it did. I have a dark interest in murders and prisons, and this book was right up my alley. It was informative, well written, and reflective. People always say, "Man, the world is going to hell in a hand basket. We never acted like this." Well, the murderers of the 1800s who wielded pickaxes and hammers instead of guns beg to differ. As Sartre said, "L'enfer, c'est les autres."

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime novels, nonfiction, or even horror.


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