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Everyday Psychokillers: A History for Girls, A Novel

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  122 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
In Everyday Psychokillers spectacular violence is the idiom of everyday life, a lurid extravaganza in which all those around the narrator seem vicarious participants. And at its center are the interchangeable young girls, thrilling to know themselves the object of so much desire and terror.

The narrative interweaves history, myth, rumor, and news with the experiences of a
Paperback, 223 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Fiction Collective 2
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Jan 10, 2016 Jonathan rated it really liked it
Very good - reminded me at times of a slightly more fucked-up Joy Williams.
Mar 13, 2011 Megan rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Megan by: jenn
"They say one main thing about psychokillers is they have no boundaries, they get mixed up with self and other, is the way they put it, they're so essentially self-loathing is the implication, that they're killing all signs of themselves and their various personal traumas. People say this, or hear each other say it, or say it to each other in the face of the news or the psychokiller flick, and they shake their heads and say it's simply monstrous, it's incomprehensible.
But it's hard to make anyt
Jun 30, 2014 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-review
ARC for review.

Corin nudges some boundaries of the idea of a "novel" here as it's really a loose mixture of incidents from our young narrator's life interspersed with some history about serial killers. Our narrator is a teenager living a hardscrabble life in Florida and Corin does a good job with both the setting (you can feel the oppressive humidity of the place and how it makes everything hazy and more difficult) and with the constantly shifting relationships between teenage girls ("intimacy
Fernando Fernández
Jan 03, 2015 Fernando Fernández rated it it was ok
I abandoned the book halfway through, because it is too irregular to compete with the prospect of better readings. To be fair, I will be moving to another book from the same author right away, since it is obvious that she can make you feel remorse for not paying attention to what she might say next, and that's interesting.

Nevertheless, in too many stretches there is a problem with the narrator's tempo, and the style goes from barely doing its job to brilliant -dwelling in tiring, unnecessary de
Maxwell Howard
Set in Florida, Lucy Corin’s debut novel (Everyday Psychokillers: A History For Girls) follows the life of a girl surrounded by the threat of far-off, but ever encroaching violence. Within this book, the most terrifying element is Corin’s thematic conclusion; that we are all capable of violence, the intense passion of the everyday psychokiller.

Through the ever present stories surrounding Corin’s narrator, an assortment of girls come of age near the Florida swamps, noting the mythic violence of s
Sep 02, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books ever. A treasure!
Debra Blasi
Sep 08, 2007 Debra Blasi rated it it was amazing
Lucy kicks ass.
Apr 08, 2015 flannery rated it it was amazing

"Mean, the word itself, means run-down, stunted. Mean means mean. Huts and shacks. Brain stem responses. But it does not come down to raw stupidity. I didn't think of it in so many words, but I know I felt meanness connected to that place. The school, the town, the rumors of the city, the whole notion of the whole state seemed to conjure meanness. Right about that time, someone in Chicago was putting cyanide in Tylenol, so someone in Miami started putting antifreeze
Juli Rahel
Feb 08, 2015 Juli Rahel rated it really liked it
One of the first things that drew me in about this book was its rather interesting title. You don't often see a book about "psychokillers" advertised for girls. And then the synopsis was enough to set my mind upon reading it. And I found myself inexorably pulled into the novel, unable to put it down and strangely fascinated.

The narration of this novel is definitely one of its major advantages. It stays very true to its protagonist, who is never named, as she looks back on her life. Corin manages
Sep 07, 2015 Marjolein rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-english, arc

Read all my reviews on

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

I was immediately intrigued by the title (and especially this A history for girls part). I really liked it and wanted to know what kind of story this would bring. The problem is however that even some days after finishing the book, I still don't know what I read...

Sure, there are psychokillers, all throughout t
May 30, 2008 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: 2008
Lucy Corin's a great writer, and this book has some great writing in it. I think the problem is it's written in chapters that are each their own short story, all of which pertain to the main narrative, have the same narrator, the same voice, etc, but some of which don't really relate and start to feel a little specious, and you sort of start to lose interest. The language also gets a bit abstract at times, a bit poetic, and, again, I think the narrative suffers, as does the formation of the prot ...more
Aug 27, 2015 Audra rated it it was ok
This book is well-written, but it felt too disjointed to really be a novel. It has a few really interesting sections that I, as an avid serial killer case enthusiast, really enjoyed. The writing is fantastic, Corin is a truly talented and smart writer.

It's definitely more on the experimental side, which I have nothing against, but in this case I would have really enjoyed something linear with more plot development. This book felt more like a set of monologues from the same character.
Tricia M.S.
This one left me a little scattered, just like the bouncing around the storyline did. It was a bit problematic for me. I really did want to like this book, as I do like a lot of true crimes stories. But it was too disjointed and it changed points of view on a dime with each chapter. I really wished that the author had taken the time to smooth out the characters and combined some of the chapters together. I believe that it would have benefited the book greatly. I am going to be generous in give t ...more
Feb 03, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing
It's surprising difficult to describe this novel of stories, episodes from a childhood in florida matched with facts and fictions about serial killers and their victims. it's a psychological novel, i suppose, but it's not a thriller and it's not about damage and it's not about being afraid. to some extent it's about friendship and learning, the small personalities that colored the youth of the narrator for some unclear period while she lived in suburban florida. the stories are interlaced with s ...more
Dec 04, 2015 Leslie added it
Gorgeously written, this book belongs on a syllabus with another book I adore: Lynda Barry's Cruddy. A quote:

"I worry about innocence. I worry every time I find myself imagining someone as innocent, or as ever having been innocent. No one mentions innocence unless they mean to point out how something isn’t anymore. To point to something and call it innocent is to suggest that it won’t be for long, or it’s so stupid nothing will ever get through, no matter how awful. No one says innocent unless
Cole Ott
Mar 24, 2016 Cole Ott rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but it felt like a pleasant wander—few parts really sucked me in. I liked One Hundred Apocalypses and I LOVED Corin's first story collection, The Entire Predicament, so I'm wondering why this didn't land as hard. It might be a matter of the stories (chapters) themselves. It might be that the more meandering structure let her playfully-profound moments slip by more easily than they do in her short and super-short stories. It might also be that I listened to this as an audiobo ...more
Allison Floyd
*[Subjectivity alert!]

GUTGed on page 22. *Boring. And bleak. In that order.
Feb 24, 2008 Flora rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
I looked forward to this novel with great excitement, having followed Lucy Corin's work in journals over the years. "Everyday Psychokillers" feels as though it was written around the "Henry Lee Lucas" chapter, which is absolutely breathtaking; the rest -- told from the POV of an all-things-dark-obsessed teenage girl -- seems more concept-y than novelistic, but never mind; I'll read anything she writes. If you can dig up her story "Who Buried the Baby?" from a mid-90s "Ploughshares," you'll see h ...more
Pam Thomas
Jun 29, 2014 Pam Thomas rated it it was amazing
A very interesting story to read, its a journey of life at the heart of young girls whose capabilities instigate terror and desire on those who come into contact with them.
Sarah Metts
Apr 30, 2013 Sarah Metts rated it really liked it
It has been a few months since I read the novel and the atmosphere Corin created in her chapters, this still, sticky, eerie Florida that exists, is prevalent still. I've forgotten the particulars, but I remember the characters and settings, how each chapter was a new story, a new direction.

It is a strong first novel that should be read as a collection of episodes. These are events in the lead character's life that create layer upon layer, the back, middle and foreground.
Oct 22, 2008 Npaw rated it liked it
Most of the book was just ok, but there were a couple of stories that made it worth reading. Corin is a talented writer who knows what she is doing and puts all that a stories needs on the page, but didn't do it in a way that I was ever drawn in or interested. Except in Flight and the story after that. Those were excellent. I also liked that the stories were connected. That worked well for me.
Oct 15, 2007 Corina added it
Recommends it for: If you like experimental fiction
Lucy was my favorite college professor; incredibly talented, she likes to experiment with form and plot. She's not conventional, so don't expect the obvious introduction-ascension-climax-denouement structure you were taught when you were 12. But if you're looking for something challenging and new, I recommend her.
Jan 22, 2008 Colshy rated it liked it
The author was my fiction writing teacher. She had a red velvet couch. She had cool glasses. This book was beyond my intelligence level, but I remember a few cool descriptions, like how she described rain falling in spoonfuls. I forget all plot. Kudos to her for being published though.
Sep 12, 2007 Alison rated it really liked it
Anastasia's and my creative writing teacher wrote this book. I am so proud of her-- I want everyone to buy it so she becomes well known and well liked. Way to go Lucy!
I couldn't get into this book at all... Usually I would try it again at a later point, but this one will stay in the "not again" stack.
Abby Sominski
Jan 21, 2008 Abby Sominski rated it did not like it
I couldn't get into the writing style of this book ... I didn't finish it.
Katie Cruel
May 08, 2013 Katie Cruel rated it liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
It really loses momentum in the middle of the book.
Hillary marked it as to-read
May 19, 2016
Michael marked it as to-read
May 15, 2016
Jessie marked it as to-read
May 12, 2016
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