Deviant: The Shocking True Story of the Original "Psycho"

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Overview

The truth behind the twisted crimes that inspired the films Psycho, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs...

From "America's principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers" (The Boston Book Review) comes the definitive account of Ed Gein, a mild-mannered Wisconsin farmhand who stunned an unsuspecting nation — and redefined the meaning of the word "psycho." The year was 1957. The place was an ordinary farmhouse in America's heartland, filled with ...

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Deviant: The Shocking True Story of the Original

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Overview

The truth behind the twisted crimes that inspired the films Psycho, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs...

From "America's principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers" (The Boston Book Review) comes the definitive account of Ed Gein, a mild-mannered Wisconsin farmhand who stunned an unsuspecting nation — and redefined the meaning of the word "psycho." The year was 1957. The place was an ordinary farmhouse in America's heartland, filled with extraordinary evidence of unthinkable depravity. The man behind the massacre was a slight, unassuming Midwesterner with a strange smile — and even stranger attachment to his domineering mother. After her death and a failed attempt to dig up his mother's body from the local cemetery, Gein turned to other grave robberies and, ultimately, multiple murders. Driven to commit gruesome and bizarre acts beyond all imagining, Ed Gein remains one of the most deranged minds in the annals of American homicide. This is his story — recounted in fascinating and chilling detail by Harold Schechter, one of the most acclaimed true-crime storytellers of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Top-drawer true crime."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671025465
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 243,984
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Harold Schechter is a professor of American literature and culture. Renowned for his true-crime writing, he is the author of the nonfiction books Fatal, Fiend, Bestial, Deviant, Deranged, Depraved, and, with David Everitt, The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. He is also the author of Nevermore and The Hum Bug, the acclaimed historical novels featuring Edgar Allan Poe. He lives in New York State.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2013

    Too much fluff

    He went on and on about the press and townsfolk

    DN

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  • Posted July 13, 2012

    Really interesting!

    Recommended!!!

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Good, but more shrink-age, please

    Schechter provides a good factual account of Ed Gein's life and crimes. Of particular interest is Gein's upbringing: the difficult environment and the, probably, psychotic mother. In fact, a book devoted entirely to this bizarre mother-son relationship would be enthralling. Because if serial killers fascinate you, then you probably thirst for information about their psychological makeup, transformative events in their lives, and you ask yourself, "What was he thinking the day he killed so and so?" You can read interviews with these killers; however, they tend not to be introspective, forthcoming, or honest people. You can also read texts on abnormal psychology, as well as psychological analyses of killers, such as Dr. David Abrahamsen's fine study and interviews with Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz, CONFESSIONS OF SON OF SAM. But best of all, you can seek insight by reading some particularly good fictional accounts that take you inside the mind of a killer. Some of the notables include John Fowles's THE COLLECTOR, specifically the first half narrated by nutty Fred Clegg; Jim Thompson's THE KILLER INSIDE ME, especially the breakdown in the last third; and, humbly offered, my I, KILLER. So, what was he thinking before he killed her? Oh, maybe how good a slice of buttered toast might taste.

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    Well done

    This is solid. I was hoping for some final word on Gein's crimes, final number for example. Appears to be some lack of details for the case. Is 2 murders all that he was responsible for?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2011

    True Crime Must Have!!!!!!

    Great Book! Learn about Ed Gein from a child to the Grave. Very informative but never boring. I read it everyday and could not put it down. There is a huge Wow factor in reading this book, you wonder how someone could do such things. This book tells all from Geins words as well as the town folk and law enforcment. You will love it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2010

    A Decent Read

    This book is a simple read and provides detailed and interesting facts about the serial killer, Edward Gein, who Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were based off of. Harold Schechter does a good job telling about Gein's life from when he was a child all the way up to when he began committing murders and other crimes. Edward was a deranged man, especially after the death of his beloved mother, Augusta. Schecter also goes into gruesome detail about the unbelievable, evil things Ed Gein had done. Some parts of the book seem a bit tedious and boring to read but once you struggle through those parts, the book makes up for it towards the end. This book really made me think of how someone could do the awful things Ed had done and how no one expected him to do them in the little town he lived in. I'd definately reccomend this book to anyone that has a taste for true crime and serial killers. After reading this I sort of want to check out more of Schechter's works. Overall it was a decent read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2007

    A reviewer

    Deviant by Harold Schechter The genre of the story is biography. Deviant is a story about the true life of serial killer Ed Gein. The major theme of the story is that you can¿t judge a book by its cover. The reason behind the theme is that Ed was the town¿s quietest person and they thought he was sweet, kind and harmless. He ended up being different then they thought. The setting in the story is Plainfield, Wisconsin. The farmhouse is significant because that is where he kept all the bodies and where he grew up. Growing up Ed had a terrible childhood. His father was an alcoholic, he was lazy, he didn¿t support the family, and he was abusive. His mom was very religious. She would never leave her husband because she thought it was against her religion. She supported the family and did all the man duties around the house. They had 2 kids (Henry and Eddie). Henry was the oldest and Eddie Ed) was the youngest. Ed was really close to his mom. When his dad and brother died he didn¿t care that much of but when his mom died he was angry. He felt all alone and he felt like no one cared about him. His mom died because a man as beating a dog to death and an unmarried woman ran outside crying. The mom suffered a second stroke which was the on that killed her. After this, he lost all respect for unmarried women and he wanted to seek revenge on them. The main character in the story is Ed. Ed was very shy and he stayed mostly to himself. He suffered from depression after his mom death that made him wants to be all alone and not have a woman by his side. The supporting characters are the victims and the media. The victims and media played an important part of the story because the victims was a result of his actions and the media made the situation was worse by making up lies and always bringing up the situation. The element that the author used was flashbacks. Whenever Ed was being talked about or when he was committing the murders there would always be flashbacks of his mother and his childhood. The author throughout the whole book liked to use flashbacks. It helped explain a lot like why he was feeling during the time he was killing and why he was killing innocent women who resembled his mom. What the author did well was explain why he was doing what he was doing. He made it to where we were able to understand the situation during the childhood to the end. What the author didn¿t do well was he kept going on and on about little stuff when he could have been talking about something important. Overall, I thought the book was pretty boring. It could have had a lot more suspense instead of details about the media and other stuff. It would be good for someone who loves true crime books that doesn¿t have a lot of suspense in it. I don¿t recommend this book for some who loves suspense and drama.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2006

    Sick

    The movie pshyco did no justice in telling the true story about the original pshyco. This book made you glad you werent there to witness the carnage. The way the author told the story really put your there at his house, and it gets pretty nasty. You wouldnt have thought such a horrific person could be real. If you like books about serial killers and gore, this book is for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2006

    GOOD BOOK TO READ!

    it took me two weeks to read this book and i found it to be so sad and very creepy. The character became crazy because of the death of his mother it's so weird because his mother treated him BADLY but i guess this was a way to heal the pain. But killing people is another story. READ THE BOOK I GIVE IT 5 GOLDEN STARS. GREAT WRITER!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2005

    Incredible

    This book was simply amazing, I could not put it down once I started reading. This book looks at the life of the man that inspired Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2000

    great

    this book is so awesome and the really great part about it is that my english professor is the author of it.but everyone should read this book. it's true and frightening.

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    Posted June 16, 2010

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