My Friend Dahmer

My Friend Dahmer

by Derf Backderf

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Overview

The bone-chilling graphic novel that inspired the major motion picture starring Ross Lynch as Jeffrey Dahmer.

NATIONAL BESTSELLER
2013 ALA/YALSA Alex Award
2014 Revelation Award at Angoulême
2015 ALA/YALSA Alex Award (Excellence in Narrative Nonfiction)

Named a BEST OF 2012 by Time, The Village Voice, A.V. Club, comiXology, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, MTV Geek, and more!

You only think you know this story. In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer—the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper—seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, "Jeff" was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides. In My Friend Dahmer, a haunting and original graphic novel, writer-artist Backderf creates a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young man struggling against the morbid urges emanating from the deep recesses of his psyche—a shy kid, a teenage alcoholic, and a goofball who never quite fit in with his classmates. With profound insight, what emerges is a Jeffrey Dahmer that few ever really knew, and one readers will never forget.

Also available by Derf Backderf, Trashed.

Find teaching guides for My Friend Dahmer and other titles at abramsbooks.com/resources.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419702174
Publisher: ABRAMS
Publication date: 03/01/2012
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 47,097
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Derf Backderf has been nominated for two Eisner Awards and has received a host of honors, including the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for political cartooning. His weekly comic strip, The City, has appeared in more than 100 newspapers over the past 22 years. Backderf lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

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My Friend Dahmer 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Gygax More than 1 year ago
I picked this book on a whim because I was currently enrolled in a scientific illustration class and while working on an assignment using the ink medium and I liked the art work and knew a little of Dahmer's story. In high school, all of us know that kid that is more than just a bit off. In college, there even seemed to be more of them. They pass by giving off a constantly odd vibe not only in conversation but in behavior as well. Multiple times, it seemed as if a chance to intervene and change the future might be possible, but this story is not one with a happy ending. If anything it provides a gripping and methodical account of the mental decline of a very lost soul.
drakevaughn More than 1 year ago
Imagine one of your high-school friends turned out to be a notorious serial killer. This is exactly what happened to Derf Backderf who went to school with Jeffrey Dahmer and befriended the quirky teen. Backderf documents in stunning detail the early life of this pre-killer, including such gems as a fan club he created for Dahmer while in school. This intimate portrait is fascinating and avoids sensationalizing Dahmer and his monstrous misdeeds. What Backderf presents is a trouble teen and his own struggles in finding answers why Dahmer became who he did. I normally don’t review graphic novels, but once in a while one comes along that transcends all boundaries and My Friend Dahmer is exactly that. A gripping portrayal of high-school misfits who struggle to find their own identities. Highly recommended.
Anonymous 24 days ago
the book showed how disconnected and lonely Dahmers felt due to life, school and questionable obsession with these things.He felt neglected from society.These scary things actually happen and can be a way to be insightful about issue like these.
DamionaMoore 24 days ago
The book showed how (disconnected) and (lonely) Dahmer felt due to life at home, school, and (questionable) obsession. With these things, he felt (neglected) from society. These (scary) things actually happen and can be a way to be (insightful) about issues like these.
DamionaMoore 24 days ago
The book showed how (disconnected) and (lonely) Dahmer felt due to life at home, school, and (questionable) obsession. With these things, he felt (neglected) from society. These (scary) things actually happen and can be a way to be (insightful) about issues like these.
pdever on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"My Friend Dahmer" is the fascinating story of what it was like to be Jeff Dahmer's classmate in High School. As you can imagine, Jeff was a strange kid--but not the strangest. Derf tells this story with tremendous care, and insight, informed by deep research. He focuses on details that coalesce into a compelling and intimate view of a very particular time, place, and situation, without failing to ask the big questions: Where were the adults in Jeff's life? How could they have not known he was in trouble? Why didn't they try to do something? Derf's portrayal of adolescent life in a small midwestern town in the late 70s is right on, and his drawing style makes the portrayal practically irresistible. He tells a fascinating story, highlights it with his sharp critical wit (you may know it from his weekly strip "The City"), and mines it for the added depth afforded by the long format graphic novel, all to excellent effect. It's one hell of a book.
alexann on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My Friend Dahmer is a graphic biography (although the author calls it a graphic novel, it's more of a memoir than a novel) by Derf Backderf. Right. What kind of a name is that? He's supposed to be some kind of famous cartoonist...let's Google him! Yes! That fount of wisdom, Wikipedia, says his actual name is John Backderf, but he uses Derf as his pen name. And, indeed, he is well known for creating his rather bizarr-o comic strip, The City. Well, guess what! Derf went to high school--and was actually friends with (as much as anyone could be)--Jeff Dahmer, of serial murder fame. This book recounts Derf's relationship with Dahmer, from the time they first met in 7th grade, until their 1978 high school graduation. The author has fleshed the story out by interviewing other high school friends, and researching deeply into the thousands of pages of interviews that were conducted after Dahmer's arrest in 1991. What results is a gruesome, horrifying story of a young life wasted. It was apparent to Derf from early on in their relationship (I hesitate to say "friendship" because it feels more like Derf and his friends condescended to hang out with Dahmer because he was there, and because he was funny in such a bizarre way!) that nothing about Dahmer was normal. Even the things Dahmer did to make the guys laugh were twisted. And as Derf points out, by high school Jeff seemed to have lost himself--he was either "in character" or totally zoned out on alcohol. There just wasn't much of Jeff left! By the last two years of high school he served, knowingly or not, as the butt of the guys' jokes. It is so obvious that not a single adult paid any attention to him! His father didn't even know he drank! The drawings for this book are absolutely perfect--reminiscent of R. Crumb, but still completely Derf's own. Black and white, with totally strange-looking characters (David Small says they "look like organic robots"), with lots of night scenes--these are places you don't want to go! All in all, I have to say this is the most powerful--and chilling!--graphic novel I've ever read! The scene I'll never forget is when ten years after graduation Derf and some of the guys get together to talk about old times. They get to thinking about some of the weirdos in their class and one of them says, "What about Dahmer?" and after some clever repartee, Derf interjects, "He's probably a serial killer by now!" This moment certainly haunts Derf to this day.Read it! It may not be fun, but, so important!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was great to hear the things he went through to become what he was and to know the reasoning be hide it
Wesley_Henry More than 1 year ago
Why I enjoy My friend dahmer This book My friend dahmer is one of the best books I've read in a long time it has a horror feel with lots of suspense in it thats one of the main reason I like this book so much. If you like suspense then this is the right book its like every corner I'm just like no or yes or don't. The reading the story behind jeffery dahmer is interesting to know what he was like back in high school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although it's well written I couldn't help but to think that Derf could've done something more for the kid - it kinda irked me that he included a little lame excuse in the book " you never narced on a classmate " please....
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
What makes this graphic narrative so disturbing is not the nature of Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes—the book covers Dahmer’s adolescence, the period that preceded his first homicide, which began his killing spree—but the gruesome implications of Backderf’s illustrations and the accompanying narrative. As he tries to contextualize Dahmer’s perversion within suburban Midwestern culture, Backderf finds himself returning to the same question—the question that makes Dahmer a tragic figure: why didn’t any of the adults in Dahmer’s life pay attention to the many signs that he was developing into a serial killer? Backderf recreates, to the best of his ability, the story of Dahmer’s—and his own— adolescence as they grew up and attended high school together. Backderf does not excuse himself from his own scrutiny. He was, however, just a teenager like Dahmer. As Backderf himself asserts, right up until the time he begins killing, Dahmer’s story is tragic, and the adults in his life are largely responsible for permitting Dahmer’s mental illness and perversion to escalate into a bizarre explosion of torture, murder, and cannibalism.
Delirium_Opus More than 1 year ago
Without a doubt the best graphic novel I've ever read. If you're looking for something gory/gruesome to satisfy your sick desires, this is definitely not it. Better yet, this is a profoundly deeper peek at a facet of Dahmer's life only a handful mingled in- a story shown in edgy, dark shades matching up to the edge of the author's unique, raw style of illustration.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really interesting insight into Dahmer from a high school friends point of view. On top of that, the illustrations in a comic form were the first I've read like that and kept me wanting to read more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author saw Dahmer start to unravel while they were in high school together. In light of recent tragedies, his story is a cautionary tale to be heeded.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A look into what high school was like for a serial killer. It really only shows what Jeff Dahmer was like in high school but the graphics and story do a nice job. Easy read, maybe an hour, a nice change between other novels.
ceceWA More than 1 year ago
An interesting read. Didn't put it down until it was finished, including all the extras at the end. Was disappointed in Barnes & Noble, however, for not specifiying the Nook devices it would work on. Bought it & it wouldn't open on my Nook HD+. Good thing I still have my old Nook Color & it worked on that!
Sglo More than 1 year ago
very good read, great art.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exactly what it promises to be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago