Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: The Anatomy of Evil

By Sandy Amazeen Jul 31, 2009, 6:00 GMT

Book Review: The Anatomy of Evil

The crimes of Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Dennis Rader, and other high-profile killers are so breathtakingly awful that most people would not hesitate to label them \'evil\'. In this ground-breaking book, renowned psychiatrist Michael H Stone - host of Discovery Channel\'s former series "Most Evil" - uses this common emotional reaction to horrifying acts as his starting point to explore the concept and reality of ...more

Expanding upon his scale of evil made popular in the television show Most Evil, Dr. Stone broadens the definition of evil by placing it within the context of social, religious and psychological references. Using historic and current predators to illustrate his points, Dr. Stone has creating an interesting if very disjointed catalog of human evil in all its darkest facets. Fascinating case histories lose some of their point making punch when placed within a chapter with no introduction or commentary to provide context. Still, this is an absorbing examination of humanity’s capacity for perpetrating truly horrible acts upon one another while looking at the role drugs, alcohol, genetics, upbringing, mental illness and other factors might have played.

True crime readers and those interested in learning more about the possible motivations of torturers and deranged killers will want to give this a look, just be aware that the editing is not as tight as it could be. The nature of the crimes, the sheer depth of evil makes this as terrifying read as any thriller and worse, the villains are real.

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