backderf writes and illustrates an interesting, chilling story about his time in high school in the acquaintance of jeffrey dahmer. it's drawn well, ibackderf writes and illustrates an interesting, chilling story about his time in high school in the acquaintance of jeffrey dahmer. it's drawn well, in a rough, early r. crumb kind of way, and it's clear that backderf knows how to construct a story. he explains the demons that obviously haunted the young dahmer, expresses sadness and disbelief (and maybe a little bit of vitrol?) over the lack of interference or even acknowledgement in the troubled youth's life by the adults in it and explains that while he was friends with the young man, he was not close to him and had separated himself completely from him by graduation. it is, overall, a decent read.
now let me tell you a story.
in the middle of the summer of 1990, a young good looking guy went to a bar in chicago to meet his friends. he got there earlier than they did, and he met a guy who he found to be sweet, charming and romantic. they danced, they held hands, they kissed, and when his friends showed up, he introduced his new interest as jeff, from milwaukee. his friends all liked jeff, as well, and were excited that the somewhat shy guy had found someone that he connected with. the two talked all night, and as the bar closed down, our young, timid friend approached his best friend in an excited rush of emotions. he told his best friend that jeff wanted to take him back to milwaukee for the weekend, that he didn't do that sort of thing very often but that he had strong feelings for our friend. the best friend, feeling that he'd gotten a good read of jeff from milwaukee and he seemed like a perfectly fine guy, told him to go for it, so he did. off he went into the night, embarking on a romantic adventure with this new guy who'd swept him off his feet.
in milwaukee, our friend has a distinct experience with jeff. he goes home with him, stays up all night with him, has sex with him and eventually goes to bed with him. he wakes up and enjoys the day with him before sadly beginning to collect himself to go home as he has to work the following day. it is at this point where this man, who'd worked to earn his trust, who acted totally normal and happy, like a guy falling into infatuation for another guy, who wholly manipulated his feelings, drugged this kid who'd trusted him so naively and drilled a hole into the back of his skull. over the next several days he kept him alive, injecting his frontal lobe with boiling water and acid to keep him reactive and drugging him to keep him from fleeing. he comes in an out of consciousness throughout all of this. finally, jeff gives him a dose of drugs before a shift at work and returns to him in a coma. he strangles him until he's dead, and makes slow work of dismembering him and documenting every step with photographs. he keeps parts of his body, including his head, in his freezer and shoves the rest of the remains in a barrel full of bleach. he kills his next victim a little over a week later. the kid's name was jeremiah. jeremiah's distinction from the rest of the victims is this - he is the only one who willingly stayed with dahmer, who slept with him overnight and stayed into the next day. he wasn't drugged until it was time for him to leave.
now. i can't read this book about this guy, this killer, who clearly lured men into his arms using whatever device he knew he'd have to use, be it romance and affection or money and liquor, and blame it on his parents. his school. his teachers. he says somewhere in the book that if only he'd had someone to talk to, someone to admit these fantasies to, maybe his life would have been different though he would have probably lived it out in a padded cell. i know a lot of people who went through terrible childhoods, who came from smashed against the wall and shattered into pieces broken homes. not a single one of them became murderers who dismembered and ate people. some became drug addicts, some ended their own lives, but none devolved to a point where they were hunting human beings down and experimenting on them. i don't think there is anything his parents did to turn him into what he turned into. i don't think any teacher could have made a difference. i think, if anything, he might have developed the presence of mind to commit suicide had he gone to therapy, but probably not, and a therapist wouldn't have been any more inclined to realize that his fantasies were very much realities in his private life. in these situations, with sadistic, crazy (but not entirely insane - still in control of their actions) killers like this, there really isn't any way to blame anyone other than the person who chose to listen to his desires instead of killing himself or demanding to be locked up. i appreciate what backderf does and tries to do in this book, and i found it entertaining, but i don't appreciate or even understand the desire to shift the blame around and to ultimately ensure that the finger is never pointing in his direction. ...more
so this has nothing to do with the book but i was at work a couple of weeks ago and some dude was kind of mackin, kind of spittin game and he asked meso this has nothing to do with the book but i was at work a couple of weeks ago and some dude was kind of mackin, kind of spittin game and he asked me what i was reading lately. i told him i'd just finished this book about a congolese kid who escapes from africa and joins the US marines. He was all like "oh that's real interesting. i'd like to read that" and i said "oh cool. well my copy was an advance reader copy so" and he cuts me off with "I KNOW HOW TO READ!" and i was going to FINISH with "...so i don't know if it's been published yet...." but he got all mad and stormed away. awesome....more
oh man. oh, brautigan. the snarky smarmy schtick that i love about your poetry does not translate well to short stories. i didn't know he was schizophoh man. oh, brautigan. the snarky smarmy schtick that i love about your poetry does not translate well to short stories. i didn't know he was schizophrenic! you learn something every day....more
Oh my GOD this book was so lame. First of all, I am so sick of hearing (seeing? hearing? hearing in my head?) the phrases "we kids" and "us kids" by tOh my GOD this book was so lame. First of all, I am so sick of hearing (seeing? hearing? hearing in my head?) the phrases "we kids" and "us kids" by the end of the third chapter that I pretty much wanted to stop reading right there. If there's one thing I generally can't stand, it's a whiny self righteous memoir recounting a shitty childhood but GOD never really blaming the source of the pain/problem, that would make you look weak, right? Sheesh. Get a therapist, lady....more