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The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  743 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
When Milwaukee police entered Jeffrey Dahmer's North 25th Street apartment in July 1991, they discovered that for some time this quiet, undemonstrative man had been living amidst the debris of an orgy of killing. A severed head lay in the refrigerator. A freezer contained two more heads and a human torso. Two skulls and a complete skeleton were found in a filing cabinet. A ...more
Paperback, 297 pages
Published November 18th 1993 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published January 1st 1993)
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Tagged by Joseph M. ChironHELP!  A Bear is Eating Me! by Mykle HansenThe Road by Cormac McCarthyIt Lives in The Basement by Sahara FoleyThe Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Best Books about Being Eaten
26th out of 86 books — 156 voters
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Best True Crime
114th out of 562 books — 971 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,923)
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Paul Bryant
Jun 30, 2010 Paul Bryant rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
I do not wish to mitigate the seriousness of the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer but its hard not to imagine a conversation between JD and Britain's own rather more intellectually pretentious Dennis Nilsen, who had a similar interest in collecting dead gay boys or should that be gay dead boys.

Note - obviously this imaginary conversation took place before Jeffrey's demise, otherwise it would be completely unbelievable.

DN: I believe the authorities have incarcerated us here because our recreational pre
...more
Natalie
I didn't expect much from this book. It was published in 1993, not very long after Dahmer's trial, and before he was killed in prison, so I figured it was one of those rush jobs written to capitalize upon the sensationalism of the case.

I was surprised, however, to find that it was actually a well-researched and well-written case study of not only Dahmer's crimes, but of his childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, his aberrant psychology and bizarre personality, and his motivations for his crim
...more
Steven
Jan 31, 2013 Steven rated it it was amazing
Though classing a book about a infamous, brutal serial killer as one of my 'favourite books' may cast me in a somewhat dubious light, I'm unashamed to say it's the truth. There is something gloriously chilling about Master's clear-cut writing, delving into Dahmer's past, his killings, crazed obsessions and his capture, culminating in his trial. There is no other book (apart from Master's other opus, Killing For Company, about the 'English Dahmer', Dennis Nilson) which fully displays, with unstop ...more
Bryn Dunham
May 20, 2012 Bryn Dunham rated it it was amazing
By far the very best book on any one specific serial killer I've ever read! This is book is extremely graphic in details regarding the Jeffrey Dahmer murders, but it's necessary to fully grasp how utterly insane he was. The author is English and is an amazing writer who delves into multiple subjects regarding Dahmer's influences, psychology and criminal pathology, philosophical concepts regarding good and evil throughout history, etc. It's really an awesome read. It's not like a typical Ann Rule ...more
Petra Ramsak
I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Considering that this is a book about a famous serial killer, I went in with low expectations. I don't have many experience with reading books about this type of people, but for me it has always been so that the book called the person a monster, they were way exaggerated in all shapes and forms. The thing i liked most was the way the author presented Jeffrey Dahmer as a human first, serial killer later. It wasn't much about what horrific things he di ...more
Laura KJ
Jul 14, 2013 Laura KJ rated it really liked it
I really did like this book, even though it took me five months to finish it. The length of time to finish it is intricately tied to the reason I enjoyed and appreciated the book so much: humanization. Masters humanizes a man who has been thoroughly demonized in our culture. He hands his back his humanity through the close attention paid to Dahmer's quality of life and mental state. The man was psychologically tortured and could not make the pain stop. Reading about his pain and desperation, his ...more
Aseel Ibrahim
Jul 15, 2015 Aseel Ibrahim rated it it was amazing
Well-researched, well-documented, with very interesting philosophical and psychological insights. It was a really enjoyable read. I would love to read more of Masters' work, especially his biography of Dennis Nilsen.
Hal Bodner
Mar 25, 2014 Hal Bodner rated it did not like it
What a grueling and annoyingly pretentious read this was!

I had hoped for a decent expose of the Dahmer case, perhaps containing some new valid insights, written by someone who was able to interview the various parties involved. Instead, Brian Masters' book is a never-ending stream of psychobabble, combined with the author's criticism of everyone from the psychologist witnesses at the trial, to law enforcement, to the American justice system, all accompanied by the strong implication that Masters
...more
Patrick Ellard
Apr 07, 2015 Patrick Ellard rated it really liked it
Considering that this book was written in 1993, mere months after Dahmer's trial and before he was murdered in prison, I wasn't expecting a huge amount of insight into the twisted mind and actions of such a notorious killer. I was pleasantly surprised however as Brian Masters has written a hugely in-depth account of all aspects of Dahmer's life, from childhood right up to the end of his trial. All the grisly details are present so readers of a sensitive disposition should be aware of this. My on ...more
Nicole
Jun 15, 2015 Nicole rated it really liked it
Not going to lie...didn't get much sleep last night. -_-

Despite the horrifying subject matter I do consider this a good book. It succeeded in humanizing Dahmer in a way I did not expect at all. Having recently listened to a podcast detailing his crimes and eventual capture by the police I was interested in reading more on this (perhaps in an effort to understand how anyone could be capable of such depravity).

The book delves into his early childhood, adolescence, his decent into madness and fina
...more
Kristina Weber
Sep 25, 2015 Kristina Weber rated it liked it
Hoo boy. This was a tough book to read. I picked it up because I just read My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf and I was curious about what happened after that book ends. Wow. So much I didn't know about this, even though it was in the news a lot when I was a kid, and really, wish I still didn't know.

The only reason I didn't rate it higher was because between passages of great insight, there were these rambling, pretentious, pedantic diatribes that could have been presented in a more straightforward design in which the material
...more
Jesse
Jun 16, 2015 Jesse rated it it was amazing
A masterful and elucidating account of one of the most enigmatic serial killers in history. Far from being a dry relating of events or a sensationalistic biography, Masters writes with an assured hand, with poetry, intelligence, and insight. And in this incredible study, he finds the humanity behind the monster. He does not excuse Dahmer's actions, but he makes them comprehensible, and out of that comes an understanding of Dahmer's loneliness, his isolation, his wish to only have a friend, and i ...more
Chrissey
Apr 04, 2011 Chrissey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in serial killers
i've been "studying" Jeffrey Dahmer since i was about 10 yrs old. i'm always interested in finding out what exactly went wrong in his life and this is the perfect book to do it.
Jude
Aug 01, 2013 Jude rated it really liked it
A well-written analysis of a subject which is obviously very depraved (would not recommend for those of you who do not have a strong stomach). My only criticisms would be (1) the pop psychology scattered throughout by the writer did get somewhat tedious at times. If the half dozen expert psychiatrists at Dahmer's trail couldn't agree about his motives/state of mind and whether or not he was actually suffering from a specified mental illness, I find it quite hard to believe the author has any mor ...more
Terry
Dec 18, 2014 Terry rated it it was amazing
This was one of the first true crime books that I brought. It gives an insight on one of the worst serial killers known. Jeffrey Dahmer was a very disturbed individual who reading later through this book tried to create his own zombie gay lover,he didn't want to be alone.
A really interesting insight and I still have this book even today,coupled with his fathers story these two books are well worth a read, again if you like true crime and interested in this part of it.
Fishface
Feb 06, 2016 Fishface rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
This one gave a lot more of the details of Dahmer's life than other books, and more from the lives of his victims. This book also told me WHOSE sister (Errol Lindsey's) blew her stack at him during her victim's impact statement. It was interesting to read this one partly because the author is a Brit and does not hold back his disparaging comments about the way the American legal system works. I had to laugh at the points he got wrong, for instance when he said Dahmer watched THE EXORCIST 2: THE ...more
David Scott
Jul 26, 2015 David Scott rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea
Feb 02, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing
If you are a morbid fan of serial killers as I am, then you will find this a titillating experience. Oddly, I first read this book as a child when I found in the garage lol. Jeffrey Dahmer's trial had ended sometime before so I knew a little bit about his crime, but not the gruesome details. It was an unusual introduction into the world of reading, but it really peaked the unwholesome side of my curiosity. At first, you're introduced to his family, his early life. But then it picks up speed afte ...more
Jeanette
Apr 11, 2014 Jeanette rated it it was amazing
An excellent read and a very detailed account of Jeffrey Dahmer. Brain Masters takes you through a harrowing journey through Dahmer's life, until his arrest. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys true crime.
Dan
Jun 02, 2014 Dan rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal book. This is the one to read if you want to know about this man. It provides psychological analysis alongside the history and description of the crimes.
♥ Marlene♥
on Saturday, September 22, 2007 I wrote:

Well I have already read it and yes I am not disappointed.
Brian Master is a wonderful author.
I also owe another book written by him called Killing for Company, which is also about a guy murdering (and slaughtering other men and both Dennis Nilsen and Jeffrey Dahmer seem to have lots of similarities)

Brian Master is very good at writing about the emotional state of Dahmer, more into the psychology stuff. Was he sane when he committed those crimes? This made
...more
Diggle30
Jun 01, 2013 Diggle30 rated it really liked it
Many of us want to try to understand what drives another human being to commit heinous acts such as those of Jeffrey Dahmer. It's more than morbid fascination. Brian Masters helps us to see a man with a "dark side" that shattered the lives of many young men and their families. Not least his own. This is a very good book. It isn't simply gory details, it's a psychological study that a lay man can understand. It is disturbing not just because of the story being told, but because we all have a "dar ...more
Chuck Hemesath
wow...just wow...
Amy Williams
Mar 23, 2013 Amy Williams rated it really liked it
A really interesting read. A very in depth look at Jeffrey Dahmer from his childhood right upto his death. Quite disturbing, but if you are going to read a book of this kind that has got to be expected. Gave me a much better insight into the life of Dahmer and perhaps the 'reasons' behind his crimes.
Erzebetdahmer
Jul 16, 2008 Erzebetdahmer rated it it was amazing
Excellent, excellent, excellent book on Dahmer! It is well researched and very well organized and written. By far, the best book on Dahmer I've read. The author shows us Dahmer as a human, not just as some sort of freak-monster like most authors portray. I love this book.
Emma Hatherley
Apr 09, 2015 Emma Hatherley rated it it was amazing
A truly evil man - worth reading if you want to look into the psychological madness of a prolific killer of young men. Unbelievable how the US police missed his murders for so long, scary to put it mildly. How many others quite literally get away with murder?
Holly
Jul 19, 2013 Holly rated it did not like it
i gave it 50 pages and i really didnt enjoy it. i dont ussually read murder related books and i dont enjoy them so pciking up with one was a mistake. if you are into that genre of writing then i am sure you would like this it just wasnt for me.
Ultimecia
Jun 05, 2009 Ultimecia rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The book is very detailed and easy to follow, but sometimes a bit too poetic to my taste. It's difficult to say, but it seems the writer is idolising Dahmer a bit.
Matilda Johansson
Sep 08, 2012 Matilda Johansson rated it it was amazing
Well written biography which manage to take an interesting look at every aspect of Dahmer's life - from childhood to trial - with straight facts and no judgement
Stefanie
Apr 04, 2008 Stefanie rated it it was amazing
This book provided a fantastic insight into this particular criminal's nature. If you're ever interested in learning more about him... this is a good read.
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Brian Masters is a British writer best known for his biographies of mass murderers, including Killing for Company, on Dennis Nilsen; The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer; She Must Have Known, on Rosemary West; and The Evil That Men Do. He has also written about the British aristocracy and worked as a translator.
More about Brian Masters...

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“Shower while there were two dead bodies in the bathtub, and he was sane. He drilled holes in the heads of living people to make them his unresisting companions, and he was sane. He ate a bicep which he fried in a skillet, tenderised and sprinkled with sauce, and he was sane. For hours he lay with corpses, hugging them, cherishing them, and he was sane. He kept eleven assorted heads and skulls, and two complete skeletons, for eventual use in a home-made temple, and he was sane.” 3 likes
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