Deviant: The Shocking True Story of the Original "Psycho"

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9780671739157: Deviant: The Shocking True Story of the Original

Known for meticulously researched and brilliantly detailed accounts of horrific true crime legends, Harold Schechter takes readers inside the very heart and mind of true evil. Here is the grisly truth of Ed Gein, the killer whose fiendish fantasies inspired Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' - the mild mannered farmhand bound to his dominating mother, driven into a series of gruesome and bizarre acts beyond all imagining. In chilling detail, DEVIANT explores the incredible career of one of the most twisted madmen in the annals of crime - and how he turned a small Wisconsin farmhouse into his own private playground of ghoulishness and blood.

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Review:

Harold Schechter is a historian: he takes old files and yellowed newspaper clippings, and brings their stories to life. Deviant is about everyone's favorite ghoul, Ed Gein--whose crimes inspired the writers of Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs. Schechter deftly evokes the small-town 1950s Wisconsin setting--not pretty farms and cheese factories, but infertile soil and a bleak, hardscrabble existence. The details of Gein's "death house" are perhaps well known by now, but the murderer's quietly crazy, almost gentle personality comes forth in this book as never before. As Gary Kadet wrote, in The Boston Book Review, "Schechter is a dogged researcher [who backs up] every bizarre detail and curious twist in this and his other books ... More importantly, he nimbly avoids miring his writing and our reading with minutiae or researched overstatement, which means that although he can occasionally be dry, he is never boring."
Also recommended: Schechter's books about Albert Fish (Deranged) and Herman Mudgett a.k.a. Dr. H. H. Holmes (Depraved).

About the Author:

Harold Schechter is a professor of American literature and culture. Renowned for his true-crime writing, he is the author of the nonfiction books Fatal, Fiend, Bestial, Deviant, Deranged, Depraved, and, with David Everitt, The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. He is also the author of Nevermore and The Hum Bug, the acclaimed historical novels featuring Edgar Allan Poe. He lives in New York State.

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Harold Schechter
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