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Serial Killers: Death and Life in America's Wound Culture
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Also recommended: Of Men and Monsters: Jeffrey Dahmer and the Construction of the Serial Killer by Richard Tithecott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Seltzer's mind is quite keen. He is a penetrating reader of texts and culture. And he sees relationships where others might see separate phenomena. In many ways building on his previous book about machine culture in America and its relationship to various texts (_Bodies and Machines_), Seltzer here probes the interaction between serial violence in real life and in novels and film. Among other things, he maps the generative influence of the one upon the other, and vice versa.
This book will probably appeal more to scholars and graduate students than to a general readership, for along the way Seltzer does draw on various critical theorists, whom those uninitiated into the world of theory will no doubt find obscure. A recommendation for them might be a book by Seltzer's former colleague at Cornell, Jonathan Culler, _Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction_.
If, however, you are not searching for beach reading, but rather a serious, challenging, and often macabre, look at the ways in which our society is obsessed with violence, this is a book that will repay your close and sustained attention. Moreover, it will probably, like Seltzer's other work, rub off on you in some way and help you read texts -- and culture -- with a more critical eye.