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The Last Book on the Left: Stories of Murder and Mayhem from History’s Most Notorious Serial Killers

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An equal parts haunting and hilarious deep-dive review of history’s most notorious and cold-blooded serial killers, from the creators of the award-winning Last Podcast on the Left

Since its first show in 2010, The Last Podcast on the Left has barreled headlong into all things horror, as hosts Henry Zebrowski, Ben Kissel, and Marcus Parks cover subjects spanning Jeffrey Dahmer, werewolves, Jonestown, and supernatural phenomena. Deeply researched but with a morbidly humorous bent, the podcast has earned a dedicated and aptly cultlike following for its unique take on all things macabre.

In their first book, the guys take a deep dive into history’s most infamous serial killers, from Ted Bundy to John Wayne Gacy, exploring their origin stories, haunting habits, and perverse predilections. Featuring newly developed content alongside updated fan favorites, each profile is an exhaustive examination of the darker side of human existence. With appropriately creepy four-color illustrations throughout and a gift-worthy paper over board format, The Last Book on the Left will satisfy the bloodlust of readers everywhere. 

304 pages, Hardcover

First published April 7, 2020

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Ben Kissel

10 books55 followers

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5 stars
2,701 (48%)
4 stars
1,887 (34%)
3 stars
748 (13%)
2 stars
148 (2%)
1 star
45 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 621 reviews
Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
628 reviews4,259 followers
October 29, 2020
This book is up there as one of my favourites so far this year. It was INCREDIBLE. I loved it so much that I stretched it out over 3 months! The Last Book on the Left is really just an extension of the podcast, as Marcus, Henry and Ben cover 9 of the most infamous serial killers - the “heavy hitters” as they’re referred to. They tackle everyone you can see the cover - from BTK to Ted Bundy to Andrei Chikatilo and so forth. As is the case with the podcast, Marcus does all the research and educates us, whilst Ben and Henry intercept with funny comments.

Reading this was a joy from start to finish - but don’t make the same mistake I did and try to eat while reading the Dahmer chapter... The illustrations are absolutely INSANE, so detailed and funny, perfectly matching the tone of the book. My minor critique is that sometimes the jokes don’t land the same way as they would if you were listening to the podcast. But for the most part they do, Henry had me laughing out loud on multiple occasions.

If you’re a fan of the podcast, you’ll love this. If you’re a true crime fan, you MIGHT like it. You need a dark sense of humour though and ideally shouldn’t be too easily offended. 5 stars.
Profile Image for Jessica Marsh.
224 reviews48 followers
July 30, 2020
Edit: 7/30/2020: I finished this audiobook finally! It took a while because life but I enjoyed this so much. Some of the jokes would have hit better if there was actual laughter like in the podcast, but I wont knock that because I know audiobooks are tricky. Anyways, 5-Stars to my favorite boys!

EDIT: I have the book and the audio and I an now diving the hell in! Let's do this!

YALL!!!! My favorite podcast in the entire universe is releasing a book. Marcus, Ben, and Henry got me through some times and this is officially my most anticipated book EVER.
Profile Image for Kelso.
61 reviews3 followers
January 15, 2020
UPDATE: I received a physical ARC of this from one of my coworkers who was hoarding it for himself. I ate it up in a few days, here's my review below.

I know why you're here, I know why this is on your TBR list, it's because you're a fan of the show. So, I really don't have to explain what you'll get out of this book. If you love LPoTL, then you're going to obviously enjoy the heck out of this book.

The book (which sounds like the first in a possible series of topics) is about some of the more famous serial killers they have covered in the past on their show. There are no new topics or folks they cover in this book, but each chapter does have lots of content about the serial killer they're covering that was never aired during their episode (example, there's stuff in the Ted Bundy chapter that I don't remember hearing about when those particular episodes aired a handful of years ago).
It's definitely well researched and you can tell that Marcus put a lot of hours into making this book flow into something that is equal parts nitty-gritty fact while still being entertaining.

My only problem with it was the format. Interspersed between the paragraphs of text are (I'm assuming) Ben and Henry's hot takes and jokes. Although most of the jokes land well, some fall flat when just reading them instead of listening to them on the show. It also feels like it hinders the flow of the text, but it's an easy fix (just skip the sections).

I have been listening to these good good boys for nine years.
I have been waiting NINE YEARS for this book.
N I N E Y E A R S.
I've been scouring and harassing my reps for an ARC of this.
I promise I'll come down to earth soon.
Profile Image for Laura.
29 reviews2 followers
January 3, 2020
Honestly? I was really disappointed by this book. I've listened to LPoTL for 3 or 4 years now, and I was SO EXCITED to read this. But it's just...boring. Listen to the podcast instead (unless you also disagree with the podcast moving to Spotify exclusively, which screws over listeners in countries that can't get Spotify; a fact the guys have never addressed to my knowledge). I certainly acknowledge the hard work Marcus Parks put into writing and researching while also working on the podcast, but really y'all, it's just a recap of some serial killers. If that's all you're looking for, you'll love it. If you're looking for new information or something as entertaining as the podcast, you won't find it here.
Profile Image for Farren.
673 reviews67 followers
July 14, 2020
This book is well researched and all, but nothing you haven't heard before, and quite frankly, this guys are so unfunny I can't stand it. I half-heartedly laughed one time the entire book. They just try too hard and it's so cringy. I can never get into the podcast and thought this book would help, but I gave up on that ever happening. I'll just stick to all the other ones out there that are actually hilarious.
87 reviews1 follower
April 15, 2020
"There's no place to escape to..
This is the Last BOOK on the Left...
*chainsaw revs* Rise from your grave...
"That's when the cannibalism started"...
"...What was that?"

For the past ten months, the voices of Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski, and Ben Kissel have kept me company through some of the darkest nights of the soul I've experienced in recent memory. Their ability to make even the most gruesome, tragic events palatable and dare I say it, enlightening, should be commended. While their podcast certainly isn't for everyone--if you like your true crime stories/weird history stories delivered in a soft, professional cadence accompanied by eerie piano music, I'd probably stay away--but if you like a podcast that feels like hanging out with your three best buddies, shootin' the shit while drinking beers and telling each other some of the weirdest, grossest stories you ever heard, then definitely give it a listen.

Or, ya know, now you can just read the fuckin' book.

This is, to quote the boys themselves, "edutainment" at its finest. Structured very much like the podcast, "The Last Book on the Left" features academic-grade, meticulously researched biographical sketches of some of history's most notorious, depraved serial killers, written by the West Texas Bone Collector himself, Marcus Parks. Amidst the blood-soaked history, comedians Zebrowski and Kissel provide welcome, irreverent commentary that takes the edge off of some of the more heinous material. I was so thankful for them, especially during the Dennis Rader and Andrei Chikatilo chapters. Seriously, fuck those guys.

Lavishly illustrated with pictures and cartoons by horror artist Tom Neely and published in a rich paper-over-board format, this is a book that will soon be getting passed around by every 8th and 9th grader in the country with a fascination for murder and mayhem. Even so, this is NOT an exploitive piece of blackly comic novelty. This IS one-hundred percent an educational and informative book on serial murder; honestly, I'd rank it up there with Peter Vronsky's "Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters." It just, to paraphrase Mary Poppins, who I'm willing to bet was among Zebrowski's first masturbatorial fantasies, has a spoonful of comedy to help the true crime go down.

I was also taken in by the boys' insistence that by laughing at serial killers, you take from them their power. So, in a way, Marcus, Henry, and Ben are very much like the Losers Club in Stephen King's "It." Except, to my knowledge, they've never engaged in an underground sewer orgy.

If you love true crime and you need a quarantine read, buy this immediately. Then, if you haven't already, check out the podcast.

Hail Yourself.
Profile Image for PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps .
2,286 reviews216 followers
January 3, 2021
Though I usually enjoy true crime books about serial killer, this offbeat graphic book took me a while to get into. I often couldn’t decide whether the irreverent humor was funny, in poor taste or both. Mostly the mood I was in while reading determined whether I laughed or felt disgust.

The facts seemed to be accurate, based on other books I’ve read. THE LAST BOOK ON THE LEFT isn’t really a graphic book, it’s a book with a few graphics. The writers have a humorous podcast (allegedly), but I didn’t like their senses of humor most of the time, so I had no interest in listening.

Normally I’d fly through a book like this, if I enjoyed it. When I didn’t I planned to read a chapter (serial killer) a day, but I couldn’t even manage that. I do think this book has an audience, a particular nuanced group of fans, more than universal among many types of readers
Profile Image for Madeline .
1,627 reviews122 followers
May 31, 2020
The stories of Murder and Mayhem of the most notorious serial killers are excellent! Yep. Excellent. 5 stars.

Why the two stars? The COMMENTARY! Very inappropriate and crude. I have a great sense of humor, but those comments are really going overboard. Attacking Christianity, the president, and the list goes on and on. How does the narrator’s opinions on those subjects relate to the topic?

One narrator actually relates all of the serial killers to HIMSELF. Do I detect a narcissist?

Any hoo, that’s my opinion. It certainly differs from all of the other reviews...
Profile Image for Coral.
584 reviews96 followers
April 20, 2020
I have some thoughts

I think this format is kinda weird. I understand the choice to do it - this is a lot like how the podcast is formatted. But I'm not sure if it really works as a book. With the added bits of commentary and jokes sprinkled in and breaking up the main narrative, it felt a little disjointed.

I gotta say too, this was a great, well researched book. But the topics are all topics I've heard and read about myself in great length. And I'd venture to say that will probably be the same for other fans of the LPOTL podcast. The serial killers researched for this are probably the most well known serial murders, which means there is a vast amount of information on them already. I dont know if anything I read here was really new to me.

But damn, it is cool to have some physical object that some of my favorite dudes put hard work into. The artist knocked it out of the park. This would be a great book for people who are "beginners" and want an interesting, well researched book on some of the craziest, most awful heavy hitters the world has seen.
Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,740 reviews750 followers
June 14, 2020
This book is just bloody freaking AMAZING! I adore Last Podcast on the Left and when they announced this was coming out I did a little dance in my chair and may or may not have shouted with glee. These three guys just bring such a special brand of humour to everything from true crime to horror to alien conspiracies and that humour just SHINES throughout this book. They manage to make some of the most terrifying serial killers in history into something that both made me laugh out loud and shudder with fear. I don’t think anyone can do what Ben, Henry and Marcus do, they truly are one of kind! I love that the humour you get on the podcast is also present in the book, you get awesome illustrations, hilarious antics and extensive research on serial killers, what more could you ask for?!
Profile Image for Robyn.
1,708 reviews118 followers
September 21, 2021
OMG, I only thought I wanted to read this....

Clearly, I am not the person for this podcast book. I didn't think that any of the humor was funny. Nope, nothing funny there.

DNF at 34%

1 star

Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Chelsea &#x1f3f3;️‍&#x1f308;.
1,490 reviews6 followers
February 10, 2021
Grim subject matter, but well compiled with a comedic edge that didn't feel disrespectful to the victims.

Look, these days, everyone and their mom has a true crime podcast. I'm subscribed to 4 different ones and I prefer the ones that tell the stories with a bit of levity. Of course, while maintaining respect for the victims. This book certainly does that. The authors take away the myth surrounding these horrific monsters and reveal them as the pathetic men they are at their core.

Admittedly, there were some details and insights here I actually hadn't read before and I've been a fan of true crime stories since I was 9 years old. I had actually never heard of the Russian killer Chikatilo and there were a lot of details about Gein's life that I'd never heard before.

This was definitely a great book to read for overviews of all of them with some comedic anecdotes mixed in. An easy recommend if you know what you're getting into. I couldn't even attempt to detail all of the warnings for the subject matter.
Profile Image for Lyndie.
277 reviews56 followers
May 5, 2020
This was an interesting take on the true crime novel. They used the combination of facts and dark humor to present the stories of 9 differnt serial killers . Unfortunately some of the humor fell a little bit flat ( would work better in its usual podcast setting). I really enjoyed the little comic strips throughout the book as well.

Overall this was well written and as far as the facts go it was on point so I really have no complaints.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Fishface.
3,070 reviews222 followers
June 21, 2021
This is a compilation of several of the best-known serial killer stories, reheated for you as the authors of the book joke around continuously in an effort to keep things light. There were quite a few tidbits in here that were new to me, but I really wondered how much of what I was reading was true after the authors admitted that there was no reason to believe that Ted Bundy's father was also his grandfather, then appeared to accept it as a fact anyway. It was an uncomfortable, yet fairly entertaining read. Would have been far more gripping if a single story had been new to me, though.
Profile Image for chloé ✿ alovelybibliophile.
77 reviews61 followers
July 24, 2022
I’m a true crime junkie and I’ll admit I know a fair deal about famous (ahhh I hate using that word here) serial killers.

This is a really good outline of the most well-known serial killers with a pinch, maybe a handful, of humor. Super straightforward.

My only complaints are the following: 1. No Ed Kemper (he definitely deserves to be in this book of horrors) and 2. political jokes are so stale at this point that I don’t find them funny.

4 stars for the book composed by my favorite podcast.
Profile Image for Shainlock .
720 reviews
Shelved as 'review-of-the-year'
May 31, 2021
Dnf...80 plus percent, but just leaving it here...
Not for me... Not my type of humor, not even my brand of dark humor really...
This should probably have more of a warning on it where i found it on sale ....
You don't expect info about serial killers to be lighthearted and like so fun, of course!
Several ppl would prob find this hilarious and some of the facts were good and this is a really unique approach. The book is based on a podcast, of which i knew nothing. Also unique and an interesting idea.
I got really tired of the .... Well certain types of jokes about the serial killer's organic substances... Tmi...t...m..i..
At least in this way! It might just be something I'm not keyed into and that is just fine by me. So there are several of you i would recommend this to with a different threshold for humor! I do not like pestering ppl with those however as i do not like getting them except for a handful of friends that i swap book recs with regularly. Also HA members may like it.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for ElphaReads.
1,613 reviews26 followers
January 3, 2020
Thanks to NetGalley for sending me an eARC of this book!

THE LAST PODCAST ON THE LEFT is my favorite podcast out there, for a couple of reasons. The first is that the content it covers is always going to be up my alley. Serial killers, aliens, supernatural events, and conspiracy theories are par for the course on this show, and I find myself learning a lot about crazy topics. But it's also hosts Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, and Henry Zebrowski that really sell this show to me. Not only is the content incredibly well researched and presented in comprehensive and entertaining ways, all three hosts are very, very funny in their commentary and insights. They've also grown a lot in the ten years that they've been podcasting, and have tried to adjust and improve their show as time has gone on. So when I found out they had a book coming out, I was ECSTATIC. I kept looking for eARCs on NetGalley, and when I was approved for it I literally screamed out in joy.

Marcus Parks, Ben Kissel, and Henry Zebrowski have compiled comprehensive histories of some of the most notorious serial killers the world has ever seen. With deep dive research and black humor, Parks, Kissel, and Zebrowski tell the stories of these murderers in similar ways that they would do so on their hit podcast.

I'm incredibly biased, so I, of course, really loved THE LAST BOOK ON THE LEFT. Marcus Parks has once again brought his impeccable research skills to the table and crafted interesting and intricate narratives that map out the histories of people like Ted Bundy, Ed Gein, Richard Ramirez, and more. While I know a lot about almost all of the people covered in this book, Parks always manages to bring new information forward that teaches me something new. I especially loved that even though all of these topics have been covered on the podcast, Parks made sure to make it fresh, new, and unique with new material and content to share. But the other thing that really worked for me with this book was that, thanks to Ben Kissel, Henry Zebrowski, and some well designed graphics, we still get the Kissel and Zebrowski commentary on the stories that we get on the podcast. It truly felt like I was reading a podcast episode, and I was laughing just as hard as I do while listening to their show. The fact that they were able to capture the essence of their show and what makes it unique and put it successfully to the page says so much about the talents of all three men.

THE LAST BOOK ON THE LEFT was everything I wanted it to be. I think that people who are unfamiliar with the podcast (who are open to the idea of gallows humor) who are interested in true crime will find a very informative spread within its pages. Hail Yourselves, guys!! This was great!
Profile Image for FlowerFairy.
91 reviews
May 3, 2021

I’m torn as how to rate this one. I listen to many (probably too many) true crime podcasts. Many inject humor into their stories. However it’s never in a disrespectful manner or in such as manner as would be deemed irreverent or insulting to the victims or their families.
I have listened to several episodes of Last Podcast on the Left since they began. However I never particularly cared for it. Nothing I could really put my finger on, just not my style.
When I saw a true crime book written by the cast of Last Podcast on the Left, I decided to give it a go. I enjoyed the well researched facts that presented regarding the crimes perpetrated by several infamous murderers. But I felt the comments and jokes they threw in between the facts were unnecessary and very juvenile. As the book progressed, the jokes became more like something one would hear from a 14 year old teen boy. But they totally lost me when they made what I felt to be a victim blaming joke regarding siblings that were assualted (and one ultimately murdered) by Jeffrey Dahmer. The comment they made was that since Dahmer had preyed upon both brothers, they must have been very good looking boys. That made my stomach turn and completely negated the research and fact gathering they put into this book. I can’t even begin to imagine how family members of these two young men would feel if they were to read this
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
56 reviews40 followers
May 6, 2020
If you're a fan of the Last Podcast on the Left, I think you will enjoy this book for what it is. However if you are looking for something a little more compelling than your average serial killer/true crime collection, it's not this. The book reads like a deep-dive episode of the podcast, Marcus narrating the story with Ben and Henry interjecting humorous quips. The issue with this particular format is that some of the jokes Henry and Ben write fall flat while reading them whereas hearing the podcast, the delivery adds to the humor. Content wise, the boys are covering the MOST well known killers and this makes the content kind of boring. Most readers are going to be fans of Last Podcast and already know all of this information about these particular killers. I wish they would've covered some more obscure subjects, which I know they can do well based on their podcast history. Overall, it's a well-written, detailed book, with awesome illustrations but the tired information and dialogue makes the book fall a little flat. I hope in the future they will continue writing books but write about some of the other subjects they research and present so well, such as aliens or urban legends.
Profile Image for Alex | | findingmontauk1.
1,111 reviews97 followers
August 30, 2020
While I do enjoy the podcast from these guys, I expected more from the book. It did not fully deliver in the way I had hoped. On one side, the chapters and cases are extremely informational and very well put together. To learn something new about some of these serial killers when their stories saturate the markets is a good thing. I would like to see these guys take on LESS notorious crimes but with people just as evil and methodical. I would have been fine with just the normal narrative flow. BUT... this book is playing on their podcast some and so the audio version is just loaded with loud and obnoxious interjections with ridiculous commentary and jokes that are not funny because you can tell they are 100000% canned, planted, and staged. You can't have one person reading all calmly, matter-of-fact, and with the intent on educating us while the other two seem drunk, obtuse, and have a tone that totally contradicts the main story while seeming organic. The audio just did not work for me here. I would rather have read this one - but even then, I feel like these guys should just stick to podcasts as their medium. They can do that well - why rock the boat and muddy the waters? 3 stars here!
25 reviews
January 23, 2020
The hilarious and morbid LPOTL is one of my favorite podcasts. After reading Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide (from another of my favorite podcasts) I was eager to read this offering from the guys. Long time listeners and hardcore true crime fans aren't going to learn anything new here. However, the humor and tone of the show are spot on which makes it very easy to "hear" Ben, Marcus & Henry's voices as you read. That, combined with the new and hilarious illustrations, will make this a perfect keepsake for fans of the show!
Profile Image for Eric.
3,473 reviews21 followers
September 11, 2020
Might it be asking too much to NOT celebrate the macabre almost-adulation of the more despicable humans among us who, through whatever may be their motivations, take the lives of others in multiple numbers and often disgusting ways? I feel I might need to beg the forgiveness of my fellow humans for having listened to it - please do not fall into the trap yourselves.
Profile Image for Pooja Peravali.
Author 1 book52 followers
November 6, 2021
The boys from Last Podcast on the Left recount the stories of nine heavy hitter serial killers in this humorous, well-researched book. There's the usual depth of information, jokes and asides, and the art is dark and funny. This is a good little primer for those who don't know much about well-known serial killers, but it had information I'd never heard of before too.
Profile Image for Rebecca Alcazaze.
145 reviews10 followers
February 15, 2021
3.5 stars.

I’ve loved LPOTL for years which is probably why I was a bit frustrated with this book. The illustrations were beautiful but it didn’t feature much info that anyone who listens to the podcast wouldn’t already know. The Big Hitters are usually not my favourite episodes as I like to hear them all squabble about Ufologists, L Ron Hubbard and big foots more than the usual murder stuff.

I appreciate that they probably wanted to aim the debut book to all true crime fans, rather than those who are already LPOTL fans, but I wish there’d been more personal elements about Ben, Marcus and Henry and how they’d interpreted the crimes, personal anecdotes etc.
35 reviews2 followers
December 19, 2019
I love the "Last Podcast on the Left"! These guys and their hilarious podcast have often kept me company on my long commute. Now they have written a book which focuses on serial killers. It reads like you are listening to a conversation among good friends, who are just slightly insane. You can tell they have done their homework about serial killers and maybe enjoyed it just a little too much. Read the book, listen to the podcast- enjoy the creepiness!
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