If you enjoy the show Mind Hunter–
Taking as his text Georges Bataille’s insight that “only at the extremes is there freedom,” critically acclaimed “guerrilla writer” Harold Jaffe documents Bataille’s aperçu with 15 bone-chilling illustrations. Manson, Starkweather, Speck, Son of Sam, the Night Stalker, Aileen Wuornos, the Unabomber, Dahmer, Bundy, Gacy, Kemper, Kevorkian and Kissinger are not merely present and accounted for, they are rendered into a “reality TV” that you’ve never seen before.
Widely praised as a virtuoso stylist, Jaffe employs a number of narrative stratagems, such as letters, monologues, interviews and “unsituated dialogues” to torque the flattened, cartoon-like serial killers into a potently unnerving third dimension.
As in False Positive, Straight Razor, Eros Anti-Eros and Sex for the Millennium, Jaffe’s “docufictions” are at the same time lucid, intricate, gruesome, infinitely sad, and hilarious. At the end we are left with a profoundly incisive commentary on America’s insatiable consumption of extremity, conveniently masked as moral condemnation.
“As in previous works by Jaffe, 15 Serial Killers looks at serial killers through a unique point of view that resists glamorization, and it is effective at reaching deeply into the hic et nuc of the situation…one cannot but admire Jaffe’s courage (and gall) in using these notorious figures as the inspiration for “docufiction.” The potential of ‘docufiction’ is philosophically and narratologically rich.”
—American Book Review
“Certain parts of the book had me wondering if he was actually there, hanging out with the killers, sharing a six-pack with them, and watching the way they tore their victims apart. 15 Serial Killers is a flashback into America’s horrid past, delightfully written so the reader can relate to the fifteen psychopaths Jaffe describes, and sometimes becomes.”
–Stephanie Simpson-Woods, The Midwest Book Review