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There But For the Grace of God: Survivors of the 20th Century's Infamous Serial Killers
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There But For the Grace of God: Survivors of the 20th Century's Infamous Serial Killers

2.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  126 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
They stared into the faces of pure evil . . . and survived!

Ted Bundy . . . Jeffrey Dahmer . . .

David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz . . . Dennis Rader, the BTK Killer . . .

These are some of the names that strike terror into even the bravest of hearts. Human monsters, they preyed upon the unsuspecting, freely feeding their terrible hungers. Their crimes were unspeakable, as they ma
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ebook, 304 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 270)
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Liza
Feb 15, 2008 Liza rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one-ever
This is some of the worst writing I've ever seen. The subtitle says the book is about the survivors of the 20th centruy's serial killers. It's not. It's 90% about the killers themsevles, and about the victims that didn't survive. And maybe 10% about the survivors. Plus, it's just terrible writing. I can't remember being so relieved to be done with a book. It will be going to McKay's, but I will be suprised if they offer me even a penny for it.
Lucie Cavaroc
Feb 12, 2012 Lucie Cavaroc rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The entertainment for me in this book was to marvel at the incredibly poor writing. I had no idea something like this could even get published. I kept asking myself, "Where was the editor?"
Ruth
Oct 13, 2014 Ruth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The prose is terrible. Worse, the author comes across as high-handed and judgmental, making needlessly-disparaging remarks about law enforcement, perpetrators, and victims alike. Only my high interest in true crime kept me turning pages. (Thanks again to my friend Julie for passing this along to me! Despite the negative review, I am thankful.)
Jana Denardo
Apr 19, 2014 Jana Denardo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Usually I can find something redeeming in a book but not here. It's not really about the survivors and when it is, there is no sympathy/empathy for them. Mostly they're a vehicle for mocking the police and FBI which I think is the only reason this book was written. The writing is also atrocious.
Mirjam Penning
Although I liked the book, it wasn't as good as I hoped. From the named victims two were only spoken about, not with. I really would have liked to read what the surviving victim of Speck, Corazon, would have to say. But it seemed she didn't wish to be found, which is understandable. Of all the cases in the book, the Dahmer case appealed the least to me. That story somehow never got to me and again didn't this time.
The book did give me info I didn't know before, that scored points with me. I pro
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Cornerofmadness
Apr 07, 2014 Cornerofmadness rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dawn
Aug 03, 2009 Dawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody; people who like crappy writing
This book got crappy reviews on Amazon, but I saw it at the library and picked it up. I don't have high hopes, but I'm a sucker for serial killers.

**LATER**
I read the first chapter or two of this book and had to put it down. The writing is too awful. Seriously. It's un-readable. Find yourself another serial killer book STAT.
Npaw
Oct 22, 2008 Npaw rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of psycho killers but wasn't a big fan of the writing. Could have been so much better. Great idea, wasn't executed well.
Laurie
Dec 07, 2013 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting true crime book and great stories of survival against all the odds.
Kristin
Jul 07, 2008 Kristin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book had the potential to be MUCH MUCH more.
Tori C.
Apr 06, 2012 Tori C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a look into the minds of 7 of the most infamous serial killers. It also gave some insight into what had happened to some of the survivors of these serial killers. All of them not meant to be alive. It detailed their experiences, the cases that made national headlines and the story of the lucky few survivors of these heinous acts. It would give an explanation of the minds of the serial killers, before and after. It also showed the lives of the survivors and their experiences befo ...more
Juli
Apr 27, 2014 Juli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars becuase of how little atention is actually devoted to the individual survivors. Although Mr. Rosen does provide fairly in-depth narratives of the serial killers' actions, relatively little is divulged about those who survived their infamous attackers. The dearth of information may be due in great part to the survivors' understandable quest for privacy and freedom from these events. At any rate, it still is an interesting read.
Kylie Stoneburner
Dec 29, 2012 Kylie Stoneburner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an interesting and terrifying glimpse into the worst yet luckiest nights of these survivors' lives. I have a thing for horror, or even better, true horror so I loved the recounts of these events. HOWEVER, the grammar/writing was so distracting because there were too many errors. And what made it worse was that the errors were typically the victims' names or names of locations. The author would report a victim's name and then spell it differently the next time it was used, or do the same for ...more
SouthWestZippy
What a let down of a book. Research is lacking as well as the voice of the surviving victims or the dead victims. Seven chapters of rehashing some of the killings of serial killers with a sprinkle of the survivors stories. Some stories are a very dry read and lack depth of the situation. One story, Jeffrey Dahmer, is over the top detail about the ones he killed. Again, is this book not suppose to be about the ones who survived. Chapters are short and is a quick read but not worth the read. There ...more
Scott
Apr 23, 2016 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The chapter detailing Jeffrey Dahmer's activities was particularly disgusting.
Jenna
Jan 14, 2014 Jenna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always been fascinated with the various aspects surrounding notorious criminals, especially serial killers. When you read on the topic, you rarely have a major focus being on the victim. This book was interesting and easy to read.
Autumn Renae
I had really high hopes for this book despite the lack of satisfied reviews. The concept sounded well enough, but the actual book is too deep into description about things that didn't need describing. It was poorly written and in the end, the reviews are justified.
Chris
Jun 17, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scary
Kelleigh
Aug 22, 2014 Kelleigh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-story
Disappointing in that it doesn't really provide any new information about the serial killers or their crimes, and doesn't even greatly explore the whole "hand/grace of God" aspect of the survivors' stories... the author doesn't even speak with one of the survivors whose story he uses! Completely skippable.
Laura
Dec 02, 2013 Laura rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read that I got a book sale. It wasn't particularly well written. At times, the grammar and phrasing felt forced. It's like an accident and you just have to look; I had to read, and finish, the book. Enough said.
Renae
Aug 18, 2013 Renae rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the author's writing style, but the book was a lot more of a vague overview than I was expecting. I don't feel like he actually taught me anything by recounting his interviews with the survivors.
Holly
Aug 14, 2015 Holly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
got this for a buck at a local dollar store. it was a quick and interesting read.
Tracie Wesner
Subject matter is very interesting, but the writing left a little too be desired.
Lori
Jul 22, 2008 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one gave short detailed descriptions of the most famous serial killers of our time. A very informative look at how serial killers think.
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Brandie Rolling rated it it was amazing
Jul 17, 2016
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American true crime author and former columnist for the Arts and Leisure Section of The New York Times.

Rosen's published works in the genre include Lobster Boy, There But For the Grace: Survivors of the 20th Century’s Infamous Serial Killers and When Satan Wore a Cross.

He is also the winner of Library Journal’s Best Reference Source 2005 award for The Historical Atlas of American Crime, and has w
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