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The Mammoth Book of the History of Murder

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3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  95 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
Murder provided public entertainment for the Caesars of ancient Rome, and executions drew huge, enthusiastic crowds in Elizabethan England and at the Bastille in revolutionary France. The thirst for blood and cry for deadly vengeance lie deep in humankind, as criminologist Colin Wilson authoritatively illustrates in this millennial history of the most heinous of human crim ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published January 27th 2000 by Running Press
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Susanne
Jan 25, 2010 Susanne rated it it was amazing
Originally I had this at 4 stars but, y'know what? I'm giving it 5. Because, really, what more could one ask for in a history of murder? This book covers all the infamous ones past and present, plus some more esoteric ones you may not have heard before. It provides theories and solutions if there are any.

Plus, the author digresses into discussions of H P Lovecraft several times, even working in THE CALL OF CTHULHU, despite the fact that Lovecraft's writing is not about murder.

Gratuitous Lovecra
...more
H
Jun 27, 2009 H rated it really liked it
Murder! Mainly the history of murder in the western world. From Vlad the Impaler, Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, and so on, Wilson narrates murders in grotesque detail.

Wilson includes his concept of the 'outsider' in modern society. The 'outsider's' emergence as serial sex killers and other criminals in the last 150 or so years is explained, along with less logical inserts. For example, he claims that Grace Kelly was a nympho, and made odd tie ins with the occult, with Lovecraft analyzed as
...more
A.L. Butcher
Sep 30, 2014 A.L. Butcher rated it liked it
Interesting cases discussed - and some lesser known but as many of the other reviewers have mentioned there were a lot of proofreading/editing errors.

Less sensationalised than many other true crime books. Fairly easy to dip in and out of.
Amy
Aug 03, 2014 Amy rated it it was ok
NEVER have I read a book so FULL of grammatical and spelling errors. I was so thrown by the sheer number and scope of mistakes that it became difficult to focus on the content (which was generally thoughtful and well-researched).
Jo Ann
Oct 18, 2007 Jo Ann rated it liked it
Only recommended to those interestedthe psychology of serial murderers and Colin Wilson's work.
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Colin Henry Wilson was born and raised in Leicester, England, U.K. He left school at 16, worked in factories and various occupations, and read in his spare time. When Wilson was 24, Gollancz published The Outsider (1956) which examines the role of the social 'outsider' in seminal works of various key literary and cultural figures. These include Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Her ...more
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