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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUT OF AMERICA'S HEARTLAND....
This is a well-researched book about Ed Gein, the mild mannered, Midwestern psychopath from Plainfield, Wisconsin who, in the nineteen fifties, would shock the nation with his gruesome crimes. Ed Gein would become the basis for the best selling book by Robert Bloch, "Psycho", as well as for the Hitchcock film of the same name. Accounts of Ed Gein's heinous...
Published on Oct. 19 2003 by Lawyeraau

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Psycho
I found the book just a little dramatic and not as matter-of-fact as many other true crime novels. I was left with a feeling that a lot of what went on is conjecture on the author's part. However, it did state the facts of the crimes quite clearly and if you are looking to find out more about this rather sick fellow and how he could have inspired Robert Bloch to write...
Published 16 months ago by Cattieluver


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUT OF AMERICA'S HEARTLAND...., Oct. 19 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Deviant (Paperback)
This is a well-researched book about Ed Gein, the mild mannered, Midwestern psychopath from Plainfield, Wisconsin who, in the nineteen fifties, would shock the nation with his gruesome crimes. Ed Gein would become the basis for the best selling book by Robert Bloch, "Psycho", as well as for the Hitchcock film of the same name. Accounts of Ed Gein's heinous crimes would also enter the consciousness of a young Tobe Hooper who, as an adult, would write and direct the classic cult film, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".
The author writes a cogent, factual account of the life of Ed Gein and the grisly crimes that shocked the nation at the time of their discovery. It details the hold that Ed's domineering mother had on him, a hold that would manifest itself in unimaginable ways. It is almost hard to believe that this small, inoffensive man could be such a madman, but who but a madman would do what he did? Ed Gein, it was discovered, had turned his small farmhouse into a gruesome charnel house, replete with furnishings adorned with human flesh and bones.
Aficionados of true crime will find this book fascinating, as it is a well-written account of one of the most horrifying and bizarre series of crimes ever to be committed. Eight pages of photographs are included in the book and serve to provide the reader with a brief, visual glimpse into the life of Ed Gein, a man with a secret hobby so depraved that it would shock the entire nation when it came to light. Lovers of true crime accounts will be fascinated by this well researched foray into the life of a seemingly innocuous man from America's heartland who ended up being so deviant from the norm.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrific and un-put-downable!, Feb. 17 2000
This review is from: Deviant (Paperback)
I've heard of Ed Gein off and on for many years. I've heard his crimes were of an unspeakable, stomach-churning, monstrous nature. Yet again, I wanted to satisfy my somewhat morbid curiosity and see just how morbid his crimes were. I was repelled. Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre...all of these films came to, thanks to Eddie and his crimes. A cannibal, necro-sadist grave robber. Not even in fiction have I seen a person crazier than Gein. Harold Schechter does a job that is, in a word, brilliant. As awkward as it may seem, I sympathize with Gein. If his early life hadn't been as it had, he most probably wouldn't have gone so over the edge as he had done in his later life.
It is true to say his crimes are inexcusable, but Schechter looks at it in such an angle that I actually (believe it or not) saw a reason for Gein acting in the way he did...as depraved, as sickly demented as it was. It is highly informative, and written very well. There is not a single boring moment in it. It is impeccably researched. And, believe it or not, it's a true story. This actually happened.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Light reading - not great for research., March 30 2014
By 
Kim A. McCaveney (Central British Columbia, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Deviant (Paperback)
This book was written to read but is not great for research quality. Although the author gives credit for the quotes in the book, a list of citations is not available so it comes across as a "light" read rather than a serious in-depth look at a deviant personality. Good, but not great.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Psycho, March 24 2013
By 
Cattieluver (Ottawa, Ontario) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deviant (Paperback)
I found the book just a little dramatic and not as matter-of-fact as many other true crime novels. I was left with a feeling that a lot of what went on is conjecture on the author's part. However, it did state the facts of the crimes quite clearly and if you are looking to find out more about this rather sick fellow and how he could have inspired Robert Bloch to write Psycho, then you won't be disappointed. It's a quick read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ed gein: The Shy little killer, Jan. 10 2003
This review is from: Deviant (Paperback)
From what I have read of these reviews I haven't heard from one person that really knew much about Ed Gein. Does anybody reasearch ????? Ed gein killed more than two people, possibly a very young girl and maybe his own brother... I did case studies for school I read news articles,books,doc., everything you could think of.. This wasn't a killer this was a very sick little man who knew not what he was doing. Stop making him out to be this Hanibal Lectortype killer that was not Ed Gein, this man was a very gentle scared tormented person.
He would be upset if he knew people thought this of him....Ed Gein did not want to be a serial killer he wanted to fit in and be normal.....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, cousin Ed. What've you done now?, May 29 2003
By 
Cvwbiloxi (Biloxi, MS, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Deviant (Paperback)
Honestly, whatta nut. Very good documentary about a very strange man from the North Woods. Of course, by now aficianados should expect that Schechter will get it right. And very stylishly so.
Apropos of nothing, my family originated pretty near that...and my father used to torment his mother (a very prim and proper lady) by asking for stories about "Cousin Ed." Needless to say, she found that about as amusing as Ed's woman suit.
Enjoy, campers!
BTW, the REALLY graphic pictures and wonderful line drawings can be found in the book written by the presiding judge at his trial, Judge Robert Gollmar. Hard to find, but well worth it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, as always, from Harold Schechter., May 10 2010
By 
Daniel Walker - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Deviant (Paperback)
Harold Schechter's style of writing is straight forward and easy to read. Some novelists write with so many commas and unneccessary twisted words, by the time you've read the sentence, you have to read it over to try and make sense of it. Schechter's way of writing allows you to flow through the novel at a quick pace without missing a thing. It is difficult to write a review without spoiling the book, but what I can say is you will not be disappointed in Schechter's detail. The easy-to-read style backed with perfect details can paint the picture in your mind as it should, almost as easily as watching a film. That is why I enjoy his writing. If you've read this book and enjoyed its intrigue, you should also take a look at his novel entitled "Fiend". Kudos to the author for providing highly comprehensive books with all the grisly, shocking details a "true crime" fan wants to read. Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, highly recommended, July 10 2004
By 
Seti "setithegreat" (San Diego, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Deviant (Paperback)
I found this book to be extremely well-written and informative. The details of Gein's family history and of his crimes are fairly well covered in the true-crime books that make reference to him, but the aftermath is usually not examined very closely - and this book fills in the blanks, describing not only what led up to Gein's arrest, but also the whole media madness that ensued afterwards. The way Eddie was catapulted to "stardom" literally overnight was astonishing - an estimated 4,000 cars filed past Gein's farm on a single weekend after the news of his deeds had spread throughout the nation, and his story was on the front pages of "Life" and "Time" magazines, as well as just about every major newspaper.
The details of Eddie's confessions and the quotes from psychiatric reports are very interesting as well. While it may be impossible to fully understand mental illness, this book makes an attempt to explore the workings of a demented mind.
(Note: this book has none of the usual gory photos; for these, see judge Gollmar's book.)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gein -- Alcoholic Father Beat Him, March 27 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Deviant (Paperback)
The author, Harold Schechter, draws incomplete conclusions when seeking the rationale for Ed Gein's disturbing behavior. Yes, Gein's disturbed, fundamentalist mother, Augusta, impacted Gein's psychological development and his resulting pathology. But there are other men who have had domineering mothers with strange attitudes about sex, who didn't go on to become serial killers. Let's not forget that Gein, despite his reported gentleness, killed two people, probably three (his brother as well.)
The one link you will find when researching the lives of violent criminals, is that they come from homes with violent, abusive fathers or father figures. And they often grow up watching their fathers abuse their mothers, as was the case in the Gein family. Augusta is depicted by Schechter as the controlling one, but her husband hit her often, according to the book. Someone who is getting beaten regularly is not an unambiguous model of power. Gein grew up in a household where violence was acceptable, especially violence toward women.
Gein was also beaten by his father, and that is the key to the formation of Ed's rage as well as his lack of compassion. Violence begets violence, and plays a role in psychopathology. Sigmund Freud overlooked early exposure to violence in human personality formation and instead focused mainly on a subject's mother's personality. Schetcher makes the same mistake.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great, intelligent, and empathetic book, March 23 2004
By 
Nick (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Deviant (Paperback)
I see Ed Gein as one of the most different serial killers. First of all, he's barely a serial killer himself, since he "only" killed 2 persons. It was bodies that he was interested in. Schechter book does an amazing job of exposing who Ed Gein was. That's what I enjoy a lot with this author, he's very honest and never tries to turn the serial killer into some mythical being. By the end of the book I found myself pitying Ed Gein more than I think I ever would. Personally I don't hold Ed Gein for being mean, again he killed two old women, but that is a case of split personality and he was not even conscious at that moment, supposedly. Nevertheless, these two murders are not those of a sadist, there was no torture or anything like that. Bullet in the neck if I remember well, at any rate, tese deaths were rather painless compared to what other killers have done. Ed was a simple minded person, like a sort of kid playing with toys of his own in the most terrifying loneliness. It's a greatly interesting story, but if you expect some bloodthirsty monster, you may be surprised. Ed Gein is a kind of dark Forest Gump. I recommend that book, for its excellent writing and above all for its brilliant honesty and unbiased approach (very different from that movie texas chainsaw massacre who supposedly base itself on Ed Gein, with that book you'll see that it's a heap of lies).
As usual, Schechter draws the reader's attention to the context, the 50es and plenty other things that gives a typically Schechterian richness to the book, as is the case to all the books I have read from him so far. Definitely a GREAT book.
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Deviant
Deviant by Harold Schechter (Paperback - Oct. 1 1998)
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