Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane contains stories by Neil Gaiman, Lawrence Block, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Thomas Harris and more and is edited with commentary by New York Times Best Selling author John Skipp.

To be honest, I’m not sure why I chose to read this book. I have an incredibly over active imagination and it does not take much to freak me out.  Reading 600 pages about psycho killers is probably a sure fire way to having nightmares for the rest of my life, but I chose to read it anyway.

The book contains 38 stories – each with a photo that if you are a scaredy cat like me will make you jump out of your skin – even though they aren’t all that scary. (Sometimes I get scared by my own shadow, so you know, it doesn’t take much).  Ultimately I didn’t end up finishing this book because I valued my sanity a bit too much and I was freaking myself out over basically nothing.  I did pick and choose a few of the stories to read though, that I thought wouldn’t be too much for me to handle.

However, if you can handle reading about psychos without completely freaking yourself out (or maybe you LIKE freaking yourself out, I’m not one to judge) then this would be the book for you.  It is 600 pages of stories  about all sorts of crazy guys and the crazy things that they do. The book is a bit of a “greatest hits” and doesn’t claim to have every story out there cataloged, but I’d say 38 is a decent start.  If you check out the book – good luck – and let me know if there are any specific stories you think I should have actually finished…

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.


About the Book

“A staggering thirty-eight-course banquet of literary mania and mayhem, served up by some of the most amazingly astute, deeply disturbing, immensely entertaining chronicles of crazy ever to grace the printed page.” – John Skipp, Introduction.

Stories of serial killers and psychos loom large and menacing in our collective psyche. Tales of their grisly conquests have kept us cowering under the covers but still turning the pages.

Psychos is the first book to collect in a single volume the scariest and most well-crafted fictional works about these deranged killers. Some of the stories are classics, the best that the genre has to offer, by renowned writers such as Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Block, and Thomas Harris. Other selections are from the latest and most promising crop of new authors.

John Skipp, who is also the editor of Zombies, Demons, and Werewolves and Shapeshifters, provides fascinating insight, through two nonfiction essays, into our insatiable obsession with serial killers and how these madmen are portrayed in popular culture. Resources at the end of the book include lists of the genre’s best long-form fiction, movies, websites, and writers.

Selections from Neil Gaiman, Thomas Harris, Ray Bradbury, Lawrence Block, Bentley Little, Edgar Allen Poe, Simon McCaffery, Mehitobel Wilson, and more.

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