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I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver) Paperback – March 30, 2010
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The Butterfly Garden
She’s the FBI’s key to unlocking a sociopath’s grisly garden—but can she be trusted? Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
“This dazzling, un-put-downable debut novel proves beyond a doubt that Dan Wells has the gift. His teenage protagonist is as chilling as he is endearing. More John Wayne Cleaver, please.” ―F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author
“The beauty of the prose, mixed with the depth of characterization, gives the haunting, first person narrative a human touch. Regardless of your age or your genre preferences, you will find this story both profound and enthralling.” ―Brandon Sanderson, New York Times bestselling author
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Top Customer Reviews
Basic plot of I Am Not a Serial Killer has John Cleaver having recently finished primary school entering high school for the first time in the small town of Clayton. John whose father bailed years ago and whose mother's parental skills are so bad they drove his sister out of the family home, is not popular at all in school. A target for bullies he hangs around with Max, an equally unpopular kid, not because he enjoys his friendship, but because appearing to have conversations with someone else (Max is a talker) will make the other kids and teachers not notice just how different he is. You see John is always trying to keep the monster behind the wall. The monster is the fact that John is a sociopath who has a list of rules he makes himself follow so as not to start on his natural calling as a serial killer. His mother and aunt run the local mortuary and he is fascinated by dead bodies, since it is the only place he seems to be able to communicate with this mother at all, he is always assisting with the preparation of the town's bodies. He has read every detail of famous serial killers' sprees, so when a murder victim is slashed open in the town laundromat and their organs piled up beside them, John knows straight away this is no one off.Read more ›
Long version. You can scare the crap out of me (Aracnaphobia), and I will love you forever. You can make me bite my nails in terrible suspense (Wait Until Dark, The Village) or throw supernatural at me (Poltergeist) and I will sing with praise. But the moment you do gruesome, the moment you start showing me entrails and organs, my discomfort level shoots through the roof.
And this is why I would not have finished I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Well's if I had just picked it up off a shelf-because the main character is the son of a woman who owns a mortuary. We get to see him help process a mutilated body very early in the book, pumping fluids in etc., and Wells knows his craft so I was THERE. I'm sure it's not too gruesome for some, but I just have issues with organs. I don't know why. I also have an issue with clowns.
Clowns are, by far, the scariest things around. And this is not because I read the book IT by Stephen King as a wee lad because I didn't. It's because they're painted vessels of evil. End of story. They're perfect examples of the freakazoids that lurk in the uncanny valley.
Anyway, I'd heard Wells read a portion of this book that had all of us in the room crying because we were laughing so hard. So I read on, telling myself I had to at least get to that part. And I am so very happy I did.
I Am Not A Serial Killer is young adult story about a good-hearted teen named John Cleaver who is a sociopath with all the traits shared by serial killers.Read more ›
John Wayne Cleaver is our protagonist, and as you find out very early on, he isn't your average teenager. His troubles go much deeper than most, and are much more serious. See, he worries that he might become a serial killer. He has all the tendencies of a sociopath, and he is very aware of how dangerous they are.
John is obsessed with serial killers--how could he not be considering his tendencies, and the fact that he is named John Wayne (though his mother swears she didn't name him after the serial killer John Wayne Gacy). John, a boy in High School who also works at his family mortuary, begins to notice a strange pattern in the murders that are taking place in his small town. His personal investigation of the murders put him in a unique position to expose the killer, and also put him in danger of losing himself to his inner sociopath.
One of the things I especially liked about I AM NOT A SERIAL KILLER, was that it doesn't seem to follow the typical public's view of "horror." It seems like people are hell-bent on assuming that horror is synonymous with hack-and-slash and blood-and-gore. Guess what? That's garbage, and Dan proves in this amazing novel--the first in a trilogy--that the old-school flavor of horror built on suspense and character is the way it should be written and enjoyed.
Dan's writing is clever, and extremely well done. There are moments where the novel seems YA, and others where is is straight-up Horror/Supernatural Horror. I think it was this accessible blend that really made this book excellent, in my opinion.
When I was reading this novel, I somehow managed to feel pleasantly disturbed, amused, horrified, terrified, and awed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Simply gory at first. Once the story develops, the gore and oddness becomes secondary. Worth reading. Will read the sequels.Published 1 day ago by Debra
I was able to disappear into this story, which is a testament to the author's writing. I love to be able to get carried away with what's happening in the book, and not lose that... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Bibliophile
Was a great read! Didn't see that twist coming. Would recommend to friends to read. Gonna start the next book nowPublished 5 days ago by Kristina Stanley
A good thriller that, thanks to the twists and turns of the story, ends up being great. The first person narrative also helps you connect with the main character in a way I don't... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Kindle Customer
The genre mix threw me off at first, but I kept going, and around page 200 it hit me how brilliant this was.Published 15 days ago by Kira Budge
...too bad it was incredibly stupid and not consistent with the tone of the book up until then. It was okay up until that point, although still not great. Read morePublished 16 days ago by JC
So where to begin with this book!
I loved the characters, John especially. He had some very strong and convincing thoughts though I felt as if a bit of his inner... Read more
I just finished reading this exciting work written by Dan Wells. What a marvelous story! I Am Not A Serial Killer is definitely one of those books that you just can not put down... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Allispiano
Reader thoughts: This is not a book for everyone. It's a bit more gruesome than I like, but this book is exactly the sort for people who enjoy inner struggles and weird... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Denae C