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Talking with Psychopaths and Savages: A Journey into the Evil Mind

2.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,237 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Criminologist Christopher Berry-Dee takes readers deep inside the dark minds of some of the most pitiless and dangerous people alive. Having spent years interviewing imprisoned criminals, including notorious serial killers, he discovered that the lack of remorse they showed was in many ways more terrifying than the crimes they had committed. Yet in the course of these conv ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 2017 by John Blake
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Average rating 2.72  · 
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 ·  1,237 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Jade Hoggins
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was looking forward to reading this book, but I felt that it failed deliver on most fronts. Berry-Dee repeatedly states that he is not going to dwell overly on the salacious details of the crimes committed by the 'psychopaths' in question, while continually plugging his other books where he presumably does impart these tidbits. Instead, we are told that his focus is on psychopathy itself: looking at how psychopaths develop, whether they are born, and how one might recognise a psychopath in our ...more
Daisy Moon
Jun 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-i-own
I'm only about 50 pages into this book and I am seriously considering giving up on it. This is something that NEVER happens. I have a strange compulsion with books where I feel that I absolutely have to finish a book even if I'm hating it (seriously, to the point where if I leave a book at home I can't start a new one because it's "cheating"). But I really feel I might have to abandon this one.
Firstly, I can't seem to separate the author's voice- his presence, as 'author' - from what he's discu
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Talking with psychopaths and savages by Christopher Berry-Dee is the first in this series and it's interesting to see the way one has to try and get into the mind of evil, it's not so much the killers crimes we see it's the relationship the criminologist has to make to gain some kind of trust for the killer to open up.
How someone can sit there and listen to those evil pieces of skin I have no idea ☠
Definitely worth a shot if you like to know the why!📖
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
'In a world where elephants fly, lead balls bounce and fairies reign supreme...' a thought, but perhaps if the author didn't use this horrendously tedious sentence every other page he wouldn't have to lament the insufficient word count every four pages. Interesting subject matter, find a different author, this chap's a narcissistic numpty.
Ann Carter
Jun 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Utter shite
Stephen McQuiggan
Nov 06, 2018 rated it did not like it
A disturbing look into the self involved mind of a narcissist - pity it's the author's.
There's so much wrong with this book it's hard to know where to begin. Proofreading aside, it is one of the most badly written things I've ever read (and I've read The Turner Diaries). It is padded to the gills with repetition and self serving quotes. The dates are haywire - some people are executed before committing the crimes that landed them on Death Row in the first place - perhaps Dee was channeling Phil
Phoebe Parker-Lloyd
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
After reading Talking with Serial Killers I was looking forward to another in-depth look into the minds of killers, however like most commenters I found this book very self-indulgent; ironic that the author in discussing grandiose sense of self worth goes on at length at how he cleverly manipulated the psychopaths - and in greater detail than he discusses any of the criminal backgrounds or crimes themselves.

Another big issue I found with this (in the John Blake UK edition) is the amo
Jack M
Sep 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Christopher Berry-Dee should be renamed Narcissus. This is a terrible book; notwithstanding the overt self-plugging on every other page, both of his former books and his "heroic" crime solving/ personal crusades, he gives little substance other than sensationalist remarks. His pages are full of tautology and superficial anecdotes. I'd recommend heading to Wikipedia and saving yourself the time and cost of trawling through 290 pages of dross.
Mike Davis
Jul 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is probably the worst book I have read and one of the very few that I had to abandon at the risk of my head exploding. It is badly written, appallingly edited (if at all), patronising, inaccurate, repetitive, dull, mundane, narcissistic, did I say repetitive, probably but who cares! The publishers should be ashamed of themselves.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is offensively bad. First of all, the blurb (and title) are misleading - the writer barely speaks to these people and when he does it’s mainly to flirt and talk about painting. He constantly brags that he’s getting into their heads and knows them better than they know themselves (it’s painful to trawl through all the compliments he gives to himself - I lost count of how many times he called himself ‘best-selling’) but I honestly think I’d have learnt more from Wikipedia.

The worst thin
Oct 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Mr. Berry-Dee needs to learn how to write and where to put a comma, to start with. To follow, maybe do not make your book a list of all your other, presumably more detailed books for the reader to check. If you could avoid stroking your own ego line after line during 290 pages, the reader would appreciate it too. All in all, I am glad this cost me about 3 pounds, as I would not wish it upon anybody and it is going right into the trash.
Jen W
May 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was a gift from my work mates when I left to start a new job, and I really wanted to like it more than I did because of that. I'm a true crime nut so I thought this would be great but it just wasn't up to my expectations. Don't get me wrong, it was a very interesting book but it's the author who let's it down. I can't count how many times he talks about his other books, even going so far as to leave information out of this one while telling the reader you can find it in my other book. ...more
Jun 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: have-in-paper
This book read like one of those TV episodes made up of cuts of already made old episodes and flashbacks. It's repetitive - the same phrasing is used over and over again and not to good effect. It references itself over and over, contains too many mentions to the author's previous books and feels like a cheap infomercial. I wanted to like it but I really couldn't. This book cannot stand on its own.
Nick Davies
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
The book had an interesting premise, was promising, and did have plenty of detailed content about a small number of murderers which fit a definition of 'psychopath', as well as several who didn't (and who were assigned the arbitrary term 'savage'). Well researched and peppered with interesting insights, it added a little more to my understanding of this specific type of criminal.

However, the longer it went on, the less it had to give. There was an extent to which it became somewhat r
Jan 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
Because this is such a short and uninteresting book my review is going to be just that, short.. hopefully it's still interesting to you though.

TALKING WITH PSYCHOPATHS AND SAVAGES has a low average rating on Goodreads and now I know why, I don't usually like calling out the author if it's down to just a poor story but this true crime book came across as really tedious. Christopher Berry-Dee does not know how to write or how to not come across as an a**hole.

The author expr
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’ve read books by Christopher Berry-Dee before, and always found them really interesting. I generally prefer novels to non-fiction, but I do find the subject matter of his books fascinating. This book was as good as his previous works. It starts with an introduction to the concepts of savagery versus psychopathy, and then moves on to case studies of various killers. The case studies don’t focus so much on the crimes themselves, as on the psychological state of the criminals, and possible events ...more
Rachel Welton
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is not an insight into the psychology of killers. This is a selection of case studies - most details of which can be found on Wikipedia - linked together with the author's self-agrandising narrative. Berry-Dee uses language best suited to a gutter tabloid to paint demonic pictures of serial murderers, without giving any understanding or insight into why they committed such dreadful crimes. Indeed, I feel I have learnt more about how Berry-Dee manipulates people, than I have about the mindse ...more
Victoria Brown
Jul 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
I was so disappointed by this book. It is perhaps the most poorly edited book I have ever read. It was more than just missing punctuation (even at the end of sentences), but glaring mistakes, like a victim being referred to as 'Tina' and 'Gina', or the convict arrested in 2979. And for an author who continually refers to being 'limited' to 75,000 words, the repetition in the case studies is surprising. Such a disappointing read.
Aylssa Cowell
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
You know those really annoying blokes down the pub who keep bragging about what they've done, and you so want to just tell them to piss off but you're a little transfixed so you buy them another pint then instantly regret it as they ramble on some more with just enough interesting stuff to keep you going? This book is like that.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
How the fuck did this get past an editor?
Carly Richter
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok

20% of this book is really good and a great insight into the minds of sadistic criminals.
80% of this book is the author self promoting his other works and being obnoxiously boastful.
Claudia Glazzard
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Some interesting points but the author’s constant boasting about his achievements let it down!
Aug 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A journey into the minds of the dull and illiterate. The author can't string together a sentence or follow a thought for a page. He seems to have discarded the usual conventions of logic and reason. There is not much in the way of content, although we learn a lot about the author, his clever exploits, and his other books.

As promised, this is disturbing stuff. I am left bewildered that some people can get away with this again and again. Did no one tell him about commas at school? Why didn't an E
I was really disappointed in this book, I thought it was going to be actual conversations with psychopaths and savages. It wasn't, it was a short amount of correspondence with them in order to get to the point where they would want to talk. Sometimes it wasn't even that. There was a case study about Oscar Pistorius with no evidence to show that the author had ever spoken to the man. There was no talking, there wasn't even correspondence, it was just a couple of pages about his crime. He was an O ...more
Porsha Iris
Oct 28, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I joined Goodreads just so I could warn people not to waste their time or money on this ridiculous book, which is essentially the incomprehensible ramblings of a narcissistic lunatic who obviously has never heard of an editor in his life.

The book is FULL of grammatical errors in every sense. It is repetitive, with confusing prose that rambles on for full paragraphs. The author doesn't seem to understand how to use commas, because on one page they are seriously lacking (please, Mr Aut
Berry-Dee's narrative could've been captivating due to the subject matter alone. Yet, he presented his cases and information in such a disjointed way that it was hard to follow. Was an editor even involved? His story also didn't benefit from his tendencies to self-centredly insert himself into the narrative and to clap himself on the back for his own accomplishments, be it his other publications, tv productions or how he was able to extract information from these criminals. Would not recommend t ...more
Erin McElwee
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I demolished this book in a day and was weirdly captivated considering the subject matter that was being discussed. I would recommend this to anyone who has never really read True Crime before as the chapters were fairly punchy and you do race through it.
The downside was that I felt this author was very ‘self important’. He clearly had a limited amount of characters for the book and he took up too much of the writing space to talk about himself. It should have been used for the s
Becky Bentley
May 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
I almost gave this 2 stars as there were interesting moments within the book, however I lost all faith in accuracy after losing count of the mistakes throughout book which left me questioning if the interesting elements were factual or described correctly.

As a lover of true crime I picked this book up in the shops multiple times, so I am disappointed to not have enjoyed it more having finally read it - but the overall tone (for example, too many exclamation marks) came across as unpr
Dec 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
learnt more about the books the author published and the serial killers they visited than i learnt about about psychopaths and savages. basically a book about bragging more than anything else. it may be good for very very brief descriptions on some serial killers but that's all, and there's a lot.of repetitive sentences.
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So so interesting
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Chris was a former Royal Marine intelligence officer. He is now a criminologist who has interviewed over 30 serial killers.