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I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1)…
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I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1) (original 2009; edição 2010)

por Dan Wells

Séries: John Cleaver (1)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,4021139,976 (3.65)91
John Wayne Cheever keeps his obsession with serial killers in check by a set of rigid rules that he lives by, hoping to the prevent himself from committing murder, but when a body turns up behind a laundromat, John must confront a danger outside himself.
Membro:amyotheramy
Título:I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1)
Autores:Dan Wells
Informação:Tor Books, Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:**
Etiquetas:study-of-evil, cw-cheap-or-stupid-ending, one-for-the-x-files, 2-stars-just-ok, before-gr

Pormenores da obra

I Am Not a Serial Killer por Dan Wells (2009)

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    Darkly Dreaming Dexter por Jeff Lindsay (infiniteletters, BeckyJG)
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    Horns por Joe Hill (marcejewels)
  3. 10
    I Hunt Killers por Barry Lyga (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar in style and voice. Both mid-teens who believe they might become killers and both become hunters in a unique way.
  4. 10
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie por Alan Bradley (BeckyJG)
  5. 01
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 1 por Joss Whedon (BeckyJG)
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Inglês (111)  Alemão (2)  Todas as línguas (113)
Mostrando 1-5 de 113 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Warning: This book contains some really dark imagery and supernatural elements. If either of those is not what you're looking for, look elsewhere.

I first heard about the John Cleaver books while listening to the Writing Excuses podcast, which gave me a fairly good idea what I was getting into before I started it.

Essentially, John Wayne Cleaver is a 15 year old boy who lives with his mother above the funeral home she runs. He's literally a sociopath and fascinated by serial killers. He has a whole list of rules he has to follow to keep himself acting normal and from hurting anyone. He's a fascinating character and written rather well.

But when a murder comes to the small town he lives in, of course he thinks its a serial killer. And of course he's correct¹. No one is going to believe the weird 15 year old who's obsessed with serial killers though, so of course he has to figure out what's going on himself.

Writingwise, there are a number of creepy/dark details in the story, including some fairly graphic murders. One that particularly intrigued me was the descriptions of embalming. It was such a combination of squicky but also really interesting. I'd never really thought about it much before.

Plotwise, this could have been a straightforward crime thrilled and it would have been a solid book. Instead, we get some amount of supernatural elements. The first hint comes only 17% of the way through the book:

This was the work of the demon, of course, though we still didn’t know that at the time.

People seem perturbed by this. Perhaps I went in knowing that such a thing was going to happen, but I quite enjoyed how it worked out. I want to know more about the world. I want to see what happens next.

Random amusing quote:

“Four years of Cub Scouts,” I said. “It’s the only organization I know that actually teaches little boys how to light things on fire.”

¹ Close enough for when it's revealed at least. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Fun read! The narrator definitely didn't sound anything like a 15 year-old but besides that, the performance was fine. I'm thinking of picking up the next in the series. I enjoyed getting into John's head. It was a very interesting place to visit. ( )
  amcheri | May 25, 2021 |
This book is, quite simply, amazing. I read it in a single day, which I rarely ever do. I picked it up thinking it was an interesting concept: 15-year-old boy who knows he's going to grow up to be a serial killer but wants to change that fact. About 100 pages into the book there's a major twist that comes completely out of left-field and makes you think the book is going to plummet pretty quickly. But it doesn't. The twist actually enhances the main character's plight and brings him full circle...until the next book in the trilogy of course, which hasn't been published yet. There's plenty of spooky atmosphere and suspense to keep you hooked until the very last page. Now I can't wait for the next one! ( )
  bugaboo_4 | Jan 3, 2021 |
At first, the protagonist in Dan Wells’ I Am Not a Serial Killer feels like a young-adult version of Dexter (Jeff Lindsay’s surprisingly likable vigilante psychopath). John Wayne Cleaver is a teenager with murderous impulses. But he doesn’t want to act on them, so he walls off his inner monster with an ironclad set of rules: if you’re thinking about hurting someone, compliment them instead; if you’re starting to obsess over someone, avoid them for at least a week; etc. Basically, don’t be crazy. All of this is similar to Dexter’s “code,” guidelines he follows to channel his demons in ways that don’t endanger innocents.

But then a real demon shows up and starts butchering people. And it’s this supernatural component that begins to set I Am Not a Serial Killer apart. We’ve seen the “It takes a killer to catch a killer” angle before; setting John on the trail of an actual monster was an interesting wrinkle.

Beyond the otherworldly aspect, though, what I really liked was how John’s inner conflict drove the story. He convinces himself he’s the only one who can stop the demon, but to do so, he has to unleash his own. Embracing his personal darkness both helps and hurts his cause: John’s confident he can kill the demon, but he’s drawn to—and distracted by—the carnage his quarry leaves in its wake. The demon also turns out to be a reluctant villain, motivated by emotions that make it feel more human to John than he does to himself.

My only real issue was that the supernatural element ultimately felt a little underplayed (and late; it doesn’t get introduced until several chapters in). John is shocked when he first sees the demon reveal its true form, but he doesn’t seem surprised that it exists. Even if this is because he lives with his own beast, I could have done with more of John researching tales of demons, looking to mythology for ways to defeat them, etc.

Oh, and it goes without saying that the story is super twisted. But if you liked Dexter or want to see a great example of how to connect—and complicate—a character’s inner and external goals, give I Am Not a Serial Killer a shot.

(For more reviews like this one, see www.nickwisseman.com) ( )
  nickwisseman | Dec 7, 2020 |
An interesting read and not what I expected. Reminiscent of the show Dexter and interesting to see inside a psychopath’s mind. It seemed an accurate portrayal of the mind of a serial killer (to the best of my knowledge anyway)

But the twist was a bit too much. While it was unexpected, it was very jarring and it was a bit of a struggle to finish the book. Not sure if I’ll continue the series but it was an interesting read ( )
  m.reoch | Nov 16, 2020 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 113 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
"I liked I Am Not a Serial Killer. It wasn’t a perfect book but it was engaging and creepy while still managing to be sweet. "
adicionada por r.orrison | editarTor.com, Brit Mandelo (Apr 26, 2010)
 
Great pacing, a likable character, and a combination of horror and supernatural elements make this title in a new trilogy appealing.
adicionada por Katya0133 | editarLibrary Journal, Craig Shufelt (Apr 1, 2010)
 
[T]his deft mix of several genres features a completely believable teenage sociopath (with a heart of gold), dark humor, a riveting mystery and enough description of embalming to make any teen squeamish even if they won't admit it.
adicionada por Katya0133 | editarKirkus (Apr 1, 2010)
 
Wells does a good job entering the mind of his unlikely protagonist, but a surprising revelation about the Clayton killer's identity may turn off thriller readers who prefer not to mix genres.
adicionada por Katya0133 | editarPublishers Weekly (Feb 1, 2010)
 
gives a fascinating glimpse into the psyche of a fifteen year old boy on the verge of possibly becoming a serial killer. It delves into the human side of what it's like to have dark, murderous thoughts and how to keep them in check.
 
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For Rob, who gave me the best incentive a little brother can give, he got published first.
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Mrs. Anderson was dead.

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Tiger, tiger, burning bright / In the forests of the night / What immortal hand or eye / Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
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John Wayne Cheever keeps his obsession with serial killers in check by a set of rigid rules that he lives by, hoping to the prevent himself from committing murder, but when a body turns up behind a laundromat, John must confront a danger outside himself.

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