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Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son: The Story of The Yorkshire Ripper
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Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son: The Story of The Yorkshire Ripper

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  16 reviews

It seemed the case of the notorious Yorkshire Ripper was finally closed when Peter Sutcliffe was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1981. But in the early 1980s Gordon Burn spent three years living in Sutcliffe's home town of Bingley, researching his life. A modern classic, Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son offers one of the most penetrating and provocative insights into

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Paperback, 372 pages
Published (first published 1984)
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Kirsten
Apr 25, 2007 Kirsten rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in serial killers

This kind of book isn't to everyone's liking. But if you are interested in the psychology of - or rather the clues allowing you to guess at the psychology of - serial killers / psychopaths etc., then this one is for you!

I find this area fascinating anyway, but Gordon Burn is a very intelligent, sophisticated and careful writer to boot. He manages to convey a sense of pervading menace and darkness in his tone. He also, fundamentally, writes of the people involved in a way that emphasises that th
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fox bronte
The first 50 of so pages, you never really hear about Peter Sutcliffe, it's more to do with his Parents growing up and their upbringing. It's very easy to lose patience. But stick with it, as by learning about life before he was born, it actually sets up the rest of the book perfectly. We don't just get to follow where Sutcliffe went, we see where he came from.

The title is perfect. It really is about a very simple man, it reads just like a biography of your average Joe, but knowing - as I read i
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Xanthi
I found this book engrossing. The author gives you a solid feel for the place he wrote about and the era. This book focuses upon who Sutcliffe was, where he lived, what his family and upbringing were like, his social life etc. It gives an account of his life between the murders. The murders themselves and the trial are touched upon, but it is the Yorkshire Ripper's private life that the author focuses upon. I read this book with some morbid curiosity, I guess, though have to point out in no way ...more
Susan
This must be one of the most fascinating and unsettling books I have read. Rather than a 'true crime' book, this is a biography of Peter Sutcliffe, looking at his family, childhood and youth, through his adulthood, crimes and imprisonment. The book in no way dehumanizes Sutcliffe's victims, but what it does do is show us the bizarre way that the Yorkshire Ripper was both a savage killer and the man who visited elderly relatives at Christmas; a man who helped his father and brother rearrange furn ...more
Neena
This book was extremely well-written and informative and without bias either for or against Peter Sutcliffe.
We learn about his childhood, his previous jobs, his deep love for his mother and the women in his family, his love for Sonia (and also how dominant and condescending she was towards him and how she was mentally ill with a real dislike for children despite being a teacher), his love for children and how considerate he would be towards his neighbours .......... but you also learn about his
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Chris Wright
As much a book about a community at a specific period of time as about the Yorkshire Ripper. One of the few books to give voice to real people and their opinions are laid out in amazing detail. I would think the book would be an eye-opener for those who never come into contact with the sort of people as the Sutcliffes and their friends.

Doesnt really come to any conclusions about Sutcliffe himself. Was he mad,or bad, or is it irrelevant anyway.
Kyla
Gordon Burn is the master of True Crime.
Mordecai Wearie
As with 'Happy Like Murderers', Gordon Burn takes a very difficult and real subject and gets the tone just right.
He also understands how to describe an English dialect in a much more appropriate fashion than that written in 'Beyond Belief' about the moors murders.
A great writer.
Janet
A look into the mind of a psychopath. It is very easy reading and thought provoking. It did make me wonder about other prostitute murders such as Mary Judge murdered in 1968 at the time that Peter was having problems with Sonia. But that we will never know! Good book worth a read.
Melanie
Oct 06, 2008 Melanie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like reading about serial killers
If you like this sort of glimpse into the motivation of a serial killer then you might enjoy this one. I read it because I had really enjoyed Happy Like Murderers (not sure enjoyed is the right word) but I felt like I had strayed into that 'true crime' genre. A bit creepy.
Tracy
2.5 stars. I felt there was too much irrelevant information included. Yes, his childhood is important, but did the author need to include pages and pages of his parents', brothers' and friends' histories?
Jacqueline
This is a spooky read. I grew up afraid of this man in my area and this book paints him as a 'normal' if not eccentric young man. Great book well written as its about HIM.
Tallburt
Truly excellent. The life story of Peter Sutcliffe who happens to be the Yorkshire Ripper and not the other way about.
Neil Hanson
Terrifyingly good in every way
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Gordon Burn was an English writer born in Newcastle upon Tyne and the author of four novels and several works of non-fiction.

Burn's novels deal with issues of modern fame and faded celebrity, as well as life through a media lens. His novel Alma Cogan (1991), which imagined the future life of the British singer Alma Cogan had she not died in the 1960s, won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel.
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More about Gordon Burn...
Happy Like Murderers Alma Cogan Born Yesterday: The News As A Novel Best and Edwards: Football, Fame and Oblivion Fullalove

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