Tuesday, June 19, 2012

my friend dahmer by derf backderf

A haunting look at what happens when a kid slips through the cracks (which happened to be gaping wide throughout the ubiquitous 'hands-off-I'm-too-busy-having-a-breakdown/affair/addiction/vision" parenting style of the 70s and 80s). Most of us remember Jeffrey Dahmer as the guy who ate people, but Derf Backderf knew him as the guy who entertained his classmates with an ongoing and entertaining schtick (imitating his mother's seizures), the guy who didn't quite fit in yet maintained a bizarre celebrity status (including his own club), and, eventually, the guy who could finish a six-pack in mere seconds and always had a bottle at the ready to drown out the darkness at home and in his head. Backderf masterfully crafts a thoroughly researched cautionary and poignant tale of a lost young man without glossing over details or over sympathizing. Don't miss it - and pair it with Jeff Jensen's Green River Killer for more graphic serial killer memoir. Click here for a full review. Grade 9+