Nonfiction Benediction: The Return

Good evening, my scrumptious lebkuchens. How are your delicious lives? I for one am glad that November is about to end. It’s been a hell of a month (but isn’t it always?). I completed my probationary period at  November, you ruthless son a bitch, I will be glad to see the back of you. Between Nanowrimo and work and wedding planning, I barely have two brain cells left to rub together.

This week, I’m reviewing Sons of Cain: A History of Serial Killers From the Stone Age to the Present, by Peter Vronsky

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Cover Talk

Not too shabby. I approve.

The Summary Heist

From the author of Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters comes an in-depth examination of sexual serial killers throughout human history, how they evolved, and why we are drawn to their horrifying crimes.

Before the term was coined in 1981, there were no “serial killers.” There were only “monsters”–killers society first understood as werewolves, vampires, ghouls and witches or, later, Hitchcockian psychos.

In Sons of Cain–a book that fills the gap between dry academic studies and sensationalized true crime–investigative historian Peter Vronsky examines our understanding of serial killing from its prehistoric anthropological evolutionary dimensions in the pre-civilization era (c. 15,000 BC) to today. Delving further back into human history and deeper into the human psyche than Serial Killers–Vronsky’s 2004 book, which has been called “the definitive history of the phenomenon of serial murder”–he focuses strictly on sexual serial killers: thrill killers who engage in murder, rape, torture, cannibalism and necrophilia, as opposed to for-profit serial killers, including hit men, or “political” serial killers, like terrorists or genocidal murderers.

These sexual serial killers differ from all other serial killers in their motives and their foundations. They are uniquely human and–as popular culture has demonstrated–uniquely fascinating.

Robyn Says

Okay so this book was kind of underwhelming for me… but I am very picky when it comes to serial killers (don’t ask). From the synopsis, I was expecting a rich study of serial killers throughout history. It kiiiiiiiiiinda delivered – the first few chapters were really great, examining possible evolutionary causes for the phenomenon of serial killers. I would have liked more on that subject, but the author moved pretty quickly into your standard list of serial killers, organized more or less chronologically. It was a good overview, but if you’ve read other books on serial killers, you won’t find anything new.

Still, if you’re just dipping your toe into the true crime genre, this is a very good place to start.

Verdict

Not bad. Read it, because why not.

Best Lines

“It was only in the mid-1970s, after Ted Bundy started abducting and killing middle-class white college girls at schools, shopping malls, ski chalets, national parks and public beaches, that the media suddenly began paying close attention.”

FUCK YOU CORROSIVE HEGEMONIC BLINDERS

Fancasting couch

Oh HELL to the nah.

Book Boyfriend material

Um

Rating

6.5 out of 10 clones of 14-year-old me, obsessed with all things related to true crime, What a weirdo you were, 14-year-old me. And guess what, you still are.

ROBYN’S FINAL THOUGHT

You know what really bothers me though? The Zodiac. We can put a man on the moon, we should  be able to catch that cryptic fucker. NASA, GET ON THIS.

-xo, R

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