My Friend Dahmer – Derf Backderf

With the fall season comes #fallintomybacklist and the opportunity to focus on getting to books that have been hanging out on the TBR for far too long.

MY FRIEND DAHMER – Derf Backderf (Released March 1st, 2012)

Book Description:

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.

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

This graphic novel has been on my TBR for far too long and the #fallintomybacklist is the perfect excuse to pick it up. MY FRIEND DAHMER is illustrated by a former classmate of Jeffrey Dahmer’s and he recalls their time together in high school. There’s something eerie about watching the slow deterioration of Dahmer’s mental and emotional health with everything that was happening around him.

I loved the illustrations/comics and how the story was told. It painted a detailed picture for the readers as to how isolated Dahmer truly was in his younger years. The creepiest part was when the author recalled something he said to friends when they had a small reunion after high school. When reminiscing about former classmates the author says, “Dahmer is probably a serial killer by now.” I can only imagine what went through his head when the news broke.

I also liked having the information in the back of the book that had all of the sources the author used. He included the specific pages in the book that each source backed up or corroborated. I think this is perfect for fans of nonfiction/biographies. The fact that this was someone that interacted with Dahmer on a daily basis and at one point considered him a friend, made this more interesting than just a true crime book by a journalist. Highly recommend this one and it reminded me that I need to get more graphic novels in my TBR.

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