Joanna's Reviews > My Friend Dahmer

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf
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Sep 28, 12

bookshelves: 1960s-1970s, 2010s, biography, comix, amurika
Read in September, 2012

This was really disappointing. So... it's sorta a memoir by this guy who knew and kinda bullied Jeffrey Dahmer when he was in High School. Sounds okay! How can that be boring.

It's kinda boring.

Problem is, I'm more sympathetic to Dahmer than Derf! That's crazy! I mean, it's Dahmer and Derf is just like... a douche. But even then the douchiest douche can't possibly inspire more negative feelings than a goddamn serial killer! I mean... can it?

Derf's not even that much of a douche. Kinda flawed in the self-reflection department (a glaring weakness in this memoir, and dammit memoirs need genius level self-reflections to be readable), but one of those nice, ambitious boys who got out of midwest suburbia to work in creative fields. Still, reading his book just made me kinda angry. Like, didn't he learn anything? Everything in this book is emotionally defensive. Like... okay Derf, you knew Dahmer? Do you feel regret over not treating him as kindly as you could have? Do you feel scared knowing that someone capable of doing such things was a relatively normal-seeming human being standing right next to you? Do you feel fooled? Derf spends like one second on uncomfortable, unflattering questions and then, snap! blames the "adults" and moves on. It seems like the most emotion he can display here is disgust. So that's this book. Disgust and tired armchair psychiatry. I guess what I mean is Derf should have explored his own emotions and actions instead of trying to figure out Dahmer's, which was obviously something out of his psychiatric and empathic league.

But the art was great.
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message 1: by KC (new) - rated it 3 stars

KC Love this review.


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