Fleeting thoughts: My Friend Dahmer / When I Found You

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I happen to have a huge review backlog at the moment, which I am not surprised by considering how sporadic my reading and blogging has been, but my articulation quotient has kind of dried up on some of these books as well - so rather than compose huge articles of nothing, I'll just summarize my thoughts on these books.

My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf: Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991 and was also guilty of rape, dismemberment, necrophilia, and cannnibalism. My Friend Dahmer is however not a narration of his crimes, but rather a portrayal of the killer from the viewpoint of the author, who used to be his classmate.

The husband and I read this book together and in the end, we both felt the same way. It was good but nothing fabulous or intriguing. Dahmer's portrayal was quite interesting. He grew up in a troubled home - his parents divorced, his mother moved out taking his younger brother with her. He was shy and an outcast at his school, but he managed to get some attention when he started imitating his mother's interior designer, who had cerebral palsy. He was also this "weird" kid who had smelly bottles of dead animals immersed in some liquid, which freaked some of the kids in his neighborhood one day. I found this book a nice insight into the person Dahmer was and the slow progression into the man he would become. It was informative, but it didn't leave any major impact.

My brother picked this book at the New York Comic Con last year and kindly handed it to his amazing sister!



When I Found You by Catherine Ryan Hyde: Nathan McMann is leaving for his usual hunt, when his dog gets a bit frantic. When Nathan goes to investigate, there is a newborn baby almost half buried. He races to save the baby and finds that he is keen to adopt the child if no one comes to claim it. Someone however comes to take the child - the baby's grandmother. He makes a deal with the woman - that someday she introduces him to the child. What he gets is more than that when the lady comes with a troubled teenage boy at his door one day and hands him over to Nathan.

When Danielle asked me if I wanted to read and review any of Catherine's books - I jumped to pick this one. I was just somehow fascinated by the synopsis. I read this book months ago, but it is only now that I am getting to it. When I Found You was a sweet read. Nathan really really wanted the baby boy to be his but even when he is presented with the chance to bring up the kid (who is also called Nathan), he doesn't falter, even though his wife doesn't agree. The two don't really hit it off. Nathan the teen is very rebellious and doesn't respect authority. Nathan the man however has immense reserves of patience that sustains him. There is a lot that happens in this book - teen Nathan's coming of age, the relationship between the two men, the evil fates that shine on them one way or the other. Although I wasn't wowed by the story, I enjoyed reading about their trials and bonding.

The author sent me this book for free for review.

8 comments:

bermudaonion(Kathy) said...

Hm, I don't think I want to read about Dahmer from a classmates perspective - if they were really friends, it seems like the author's cashing in on his friendship. I love the premise of When I Found You - too bad it didn't wow you.

zibilee said...

The Dahmer book sounds frightening, and also interesting, and I can't imagine being a classmate of his! Also, When I found you sounds excellent, and like something that I would love to read. It doesn't sound like your typical story. Excellent mini reviews today!

Quirky Bibliophile said...

These both sound really interesting. I think I'd enjoy When I Found You.

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Athira / Aths said...

Although the author mentions they were friends, I didn't really see any evidence of that, which surprised me. It sounded more like they knew about each other's existence than that they were buddies.

Athira / Aths said...

Thanks!

Athira / Aths said...

If you read it, I will be eager to hear your thoughts.

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