(as culled from every member of bookcrossing.com who has commented on my book)
“This is feeling vaguely like a deja vu experience. Well, not exactly. I wasn’t good enough for invisible friends or multiple personalities of any kind.”
“I think people are expecting a shocking book, with the ‘normal’ parts trimmed out, but I think that overall it’s the normal that IS shocking.”
“Here I am a month or months…(I can’t remember when I finished!) and it is STILL in my head. I keep bringing it up around my friends…they are dying to read it.”
“I remember telling MonstrousWalker that I was looking for something different. To say he delivered is an understatement! I had gotten into a routine of reading what is thought of as “women’s fiction”, Oprah book club selections, etc. Those books mentally made love to me. Yet, like a typical one night stand, the whole thing was forgotten within a week. This book fucked me. Then rudely shot its load in my face. I loved every minute of it.”
“This paragraph on page 13 really blew me away. I found myself going back to read it again and again. I haven’t had that feeling about a paragraph since I was 15 (now 31) and read Keroauc’s ‘the only ones for me are the mad ones’ for the first time.”
“It amazes me that you have remembered so much…The book says things that everybody thinks, but denies thinking them. Excellent book…I avidly recommend.”
“One of the most interesting things about reading this book was how often the old mirror radar went PING! VERY nicely written…this is the story of a man adrift in his mind and his efforts towards a kind of ‘perfection’.”
“a singularly affecting book…it has the potential to become a classic of its genre (which is probably somewhere in the same section as Hunter S. Thompson)
“Whilst reading I had such a tremendous empathy with you that believing us to be so alike, I just could not credit that you would become a serial killer at any point, since I myself have not. It therefore made me uncomfortable when our similarities apparently diverged and in the action of the book, you did something which I would not– how to explain that to myself? Am I also a serial killer but for the grace of god?”
“There were particular moments when I broke into manic giggles, only to be followed by tears (over my own painful adolescence). Quite a catharsis for me. ”
“Here’s this deep, murky story, and all of a sudden it turns into a fairy tale of sorts…I think that is one of the most deviant things about your book.”
“I agree with salinger007 that the book was extremely well-written. For me the flow and tempo…were perfect…I am glad that I read the book and would definitely recommend it to people wanting something different.”
“Remarkable story…Why?…because ‘Monstrous’ is not a story that can have been easy to tell, yet [it] is told eloquently, without prettifying or making excuses for its occasional crassness.”
“This book provided interesting reading material…A very Freudian look at human development.”
“The treks Walker takes…to different parts of the country remind me of McCandless in ‘Into the Wild’.”
“I could hand ‘Monstrous’ to someone and say, “Here, this guy is a good writer. The book is long and messed up and you might not like it, and you’re not going to like him at times, but it’s still worth reading if you can get through it.”
“A well-written book following the mind of a boy into becoming a man and how he tries to fit in society which he really doesn’t, at least not in a normal way. Or as we think normal. He was just the way he was.”
“A shocking book to be sure. The things talked about by Tommy and the things he describes doing. The writer has much talent…the ability to make me visualize exactly what was being described.”
“It took immense courage to not only write so openly and honestly about what you thought and did but also for you to see yourself so clearly and honestly. You spared yourself in nothing when looking at yourself. You were clear and objective. Not many people can put aside ego and the self-protectiveness we all seem to instinctively have against exposure, to see ourselves so clearly.”
“I felt a tremendous admiration for Tommy…a stunning and unique read.”
“wow interesting book though the man is a bit of a narcissist.”
“As a diary of a [boy’s] life, it is amazing.”
“It felt naughty peeking into your private diary and it certainly was interesting. You have a wonderful writing style.”
“…wasn’t at all what I was expecting but it’s pretty well written.”
“I think this is his ‘Monstrous’ side (duh!), the Hyde side of him, the crudest, most honest, animal instinctual, barbarian side, that’s bared in this book. But I believe that a person’s personality has more than one aspect, and while we’re not obviously seeing the good side of him, I believe we can find it between the lines.”
XLonelyGuy (my correspondence chess buddy)
“It strikes me that Tommy writes like he plays chess; patient, careful, systematic. He likes to ‘set his stall out’ over days, sometimes weeks before the stage is set for the pounce– which often comes from a completely different direction from the one you expected.”
“I was…blown away by the title. That someone was willing to describe themselves as a “serial killer but for the grace of God” was amazing. Or was I being too literal? Maybe we could all describe ourselves in that way.”
“i only got to page 30, i found it totally uninteresting and dull.”
“I thought it was terrible and written by an egotistical writer. I don’t believe he remembers half the things he said he did as a child.”
jnorth1000 6 months ago (edited)
It’s funny how he actually trusted the police to be “honest” with him when they said they couldn’t trace a computer disk to him- and that’s exactly how he was caught. They traced it to a computer at a church where he worked, and then he complained that they lied to him, as if they were the ones with no morals. He murders 10 people, 2 of them children, and thinks the cops were the “bad guys” for lying to him. What a jerk off!
MONSTROUS by Tommy Walker 2 months ago +jnorth1000
Rader had been coming from a spiritual place where the conscious and subconscious commingle, and had let Lieutenant Landwehr, the Highest Authority available, stand in for God. He figured that God would have given the Devil his due and been honest, because the Devil is God’s favorite son. All God’s children fight to stay whole, battle against socialization, elude the authorities until they accept their moral authority as being greater than their own. Parents stand in for God all the time, as do teachers in their turn, and usually they win but not always. Not if the child in the equation is the actual moral superior to who he is matched against. In this case, it is the herded social units in the process of losing their battles and who wish to drag down with them everyone they can, who become the next line of defense. This great rolling mass that picks up more mass as it rolls looks unbeatable, but it has one weakness– truth. That’s how Garry Kasparov could beat The World at chess, and how the likes of a Dennis Rader could beat all of society too. No one gives you a medal when you win the only race that gets all humans racing, but God can at least appreciate the accomplishment, even if He’s hellbent on catching his wayward son, dead or alive, in the end.
Properly understood on the highest plane, Rader did not murder ten people, but ten cells in the social body, standing in for God, who he deep down wanted to align with, if only God could win. He had shown God beyond all reason that he was a worthy adversary, worthy of this one small favor while he edged toward a conditional surrender, on his own terms. He did not actually want to kill people, any more than he wanted to kill God; he just wanted to be recognized as worthy of standing at God’s side. God will kill millions gleefully if it means killing a Devil in dictator form, if it should come to that, but Rader here is saying no more bloodshed please. Just let me surrender on my own terms, and I will join your side.
I have my doubts as to whether Landwehr played it cosmically correctly.
jnorth1000 3 hours ago +MONSTROUS by Tommy Walker
You act like you know God. How is that?
MONSTROUS by Tommy Walker 50 minutes ago +jnorth1000
Largely I am drawing from an imaginary network of friends I had in childhood that I see now as a kind of Olympus, now that I have effectively woken up from what had been a daydreaming state that lasted many years. I have written down everything I could remember from that dream, and been blown away while re-reading at how many details suggested metaphoric deeper meanings. One of my imaginary friends was a guy I have re-interpreted in adulthood as Satan (with the help of Faust) while I know now that my planet’s General (with the help of logic) had been my network’s God. My buddy Satan and respected boss God co-starred in several stories over the years, culminating in a scene that was almost a page out of Bind Torture Kill when Rader was communicating with Landwehr.
On page 30 of 224
I soaked Derf’s miniature “My Friend Dahmer” for free online years ago, and really REALLY loved it. So far, his long form version (in my physical hands) has me really REALLY annoyed.
The miniature was more like him taking dictation from God, consenting for his pencil to be led where it will, while the longie has him trying to force his subjective narrative into the minds of his readers. I would need a brain transplant to conclude from what I can’t comprehend that a given point of view is nonsense, yet that is precisely how he dismisses perspectives on Jeffrey Dahmer as an anti-hero, a take on the guy that can easily be supported by a close reading of Derf’s earlier work.
He should really just shut up and draw. Yes, to this point I’ve been treated to more words than pictures, and in fairness I had been warned. I read an interview with the author a while back that put me off-balance, learning then that he wasn’t as sympathetic to Dahmer as it seemed his first book was. Reminds me of Robin Williams talking about the ultra-sympathetic character he played in “One-Hour Photo”, or Ed Asner about his Lou Grant character’s famous line to Mary Richards: “You have spunk”; I hate spunk”. Asner thought that his most beloved line was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard.
“When I was a kid, I was just like anybody else.”
This quote from Jeff is immediately contradicted by a photograph of him being a freak in high school. Nevermind that the greater experience of childhood is pre-adolescent (when freakiness is the norm); the thrust is to discredit what comes out of Jeff’s mouth. Just as when in the action of this graphic novel, Jeff’s peers (represented by a single speaker) call Jeff a liar when he tells them he’s been dissolving roadkill in acid as any good young scientist would. Jeff gets angry and acts like a freak, as any normal person would if the default position they met in life was for people to disbelieve them.
After Mom and Dad, the cartoonist was extremely high on the list of people responsible for the way that Dahmer turned out. It is interesting that Derf shifts blame by asking where all the adults were, when grown-ups are like those unseen voices in Peanuts cartoons talking gibberish when you’re a kid in a kid’s world. You seriously think that ostracizing him was going to endear him to you?
But saying it anyway.
And those weren’t crickets– they were frogs!
Fake readers, not so much.
- The Spirit of Dennis Rader
- My Friend Dahmer
- Not Much to Say
- Only the Shadow Knows
- Jagged Breathing and All
- Talking Cows
- Colin Flaherty of ‘White Girl Bleed a Lot’
- What the Heck to Call This Thing, and
- I Can See Two Starbucks at the Same Time
- I Love Trolls
- I Ended Up Reading the Book Twice
- Coming Up With a Title– The MONSTROUS by WALKER Show