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I Am Not a Serial Killer: John Cleaver, Book 1 | [Dan Wells]

I Am Not a Serial Killer: John Cleaver, Book 1

John works in his family's mortuary and has an obsession with serial killers. He wants to be a good person but fears he is a sociopath, and for years he has suppressed his dark side through a strict system of rules designed to mimic "normal" behavior. Then a demon begins stalking his small town and killing people one by one, and John is forced to give in to his darker nature in order to save them.
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Publisher's Summary

John works in his family's mortuary and has an obsession with serial killers. He wants to be a good person but fears he is a sociopath, and for years he has suppressed his dark side through a strict system of rules designed to mimic "normal" behavior. Then a demon begins stalking his small town and killing people one by one, and John is forced to give in to his darker nature in order to save them.

As he struggles to understand the demon and find a way to kill it, his own mind begins to unravel until he fears he may never regain control. Faced with the reality that he is, perhaps, more monstrous than the monster he is fighting, John must make a final stand against the horrors of both the demon and himself.

©2009 Dan Wells (P)2010 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (500 )
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  •  
    Alex Albany, NY, USA 06-04-12
    Alex Albany, NY, USA 06-04-12 Member Since 2015
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    4
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    "Genre bending Dexter Jr."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, particularly because of the genre bending twist that comes out of no where. Its the sort of surprise that realy wakes me up durring a listen. "wait! What?!" I love a book that can through you of balance.


    What other book might you compare I Am Not a Serial Killer to and why?

    The sociopathic protagonist puts me in mind of the many wonderful 'Dexter' novels by Jeff Lindsay. The surprise supernaturtal elemnts put me in mind of 'The Harbor" by John Ajvide Lindqvist (of 'Let the Right One In' fame). But in retrospect the unsetling mood that inspires great discomfort reminded me of "The Dead Father's Club" by Matt Haig.


    What does John Allen Nelson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Due to the detatched emotionless pressence the main character maintains through most story Nelson's performance is really effective when he really lets loose. The characters are clearly seperate with enough life and depth that you feel for them even for the protagonist and antogonist, each of which the reader may feel guilty sympathising or empathysing for.


    Who was the most memorable character of I Am Not a Serial Killer and why?

    John Cleaver is an very interesting character. Ironically the sociopath is more human because of the relationships he has with the people in his life, particularly his mother, his phyciatrist, and his 'enemy'. Like Dexter Morgan, John Cleaver has a 'dark passanger'. He calls this darker nature within himself 'Mr. Monster'. It is his desire to sipress and reluctance to unlease Mr. Monster that makes John a sympathetic character. He knows he is different, but doesn't want to be a killer. Hense the title.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought this was a enjoyable story. It is fully selfcontained, but i was plesantly surprised to find out there are more John Cleaver books, that i plan to listen to as soon as possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Bessemer, AL, United States 05-29-12
    Amazon Customer Bessemer, AL, United States 05-29-12 Member Since 2015

    Insert something snarky here.

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    "Compelling, Unsettling Story"

    This is not my sort of book. I generally read fantasy, and urban more the epic. There is really nothing about this book that says that it would be something that I would be interested in but the story of the book really compelled me and I couldn't stop listening even though I really should have.

    I greatly enjoyed the character of John Cleaver. I found it oddly fascinating watching the monster lurking not very far under the surface of the character. John never denies it and works very hard to control it. The struggle he goes through and the breaks in walls he builds around himself is fascinating to watch. John is such a well realized character but you are never allowed to forget his dangerous nature. He's sympathetic and horrifying all at the same time. Honestly, found him kind of noble in his own off-kilter way.

    The main problem I had with the book was the narration. Not that the actual performance was bad, just that he really sounded so mature that for the first hour or so I had to will my self to suspend disbelief and I think it took something away from the beginning of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nikki Chicago, IL 05-22-12
    Nikki Chicago, IL 05-22-12 Listener Since 2009

    Nikki

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    "Hated the narrator"
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I'm not sure if the book is good or not. I was so put off by the narrator that I only lasted 15 minutes.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Allen Nelson?

    Anyone in the English-speaking world except Carrot Top or Steve from the Dell commercials.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from I Am Not a Serial Killer?

    I'll let you know after I read the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. Reevu 05-13-12
    Ms. Reevu 05-13-12 Member Since 2015

    Ms. Reevu

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    "Psychologically Stimulating & Very Well Written"

    This is just the kind of story I long for - one that makes you think and forces your imagination into the darkest crevices of the human mind. One that makes you just a little more leery of the nice teen boy who cuts your grass and shovels your snow. What's so scary about John Wayne Cleaver? Everything. But most of all, his very ordinariness. I have never come across a work that combs so thoroughly the inner-most thoughts of a sociopath - to the point that it makes me wonder about Dan Wells, himself! And with a nice lemon splash of the supernatural - it doesn't get any better than this. Except for the next book, Mr. Monster, which was even a darker shade of evil. Ohhhhh...these are well worth the credits, believe me!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ROBERT 03-26-12
    ROBERT 03-26-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Good read, light, with an interesting twist!"
    What made the experience of listening to I Am Not a Serial Killer the most enjoyable?

    this listen was easy to understand and light hearted.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I like the twist at the end.I think they could have chosen a better reader. overall a good listen.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel Atascadero, CA, United States 03-08-12
    Rachel Atascadero, CA, United States 03-08-12 Member Since 2015

    I own a small shop selling custom/costume Jewelry. I love to listen to audio books while I create jewelry. I love all animals and get very upset when they aren't treated well, even in fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you love animals give this a MISS"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Leave out the torture of animals


    Has I Am Not a Serial Killer turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I'm not sure.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Allen Nelson?

    Someone with the acting ability to sound 15. Andy Crane (Grinny).


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from I Am Not a Serial Killer?

    Anything that mentions hurting animals.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting idea, I guess.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 02-24-12
    Susan 02-24-12
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    "A Good Choice For Fans of Teenage Zombie Novels"

    Any comparison to the Dexter series is accurate on only the most superficial level. The dark self-exploration of the disturbed psyche that is at the heart of Dexter's story is mature, thought-provoking and at times hauntingly lyrical. Mr. Wells' novel is a completely different genre, relying on a fantasy creature rather than the real-life monsters that Dexter seeks. In gastronomical terms, the Dexter series is a blood-rare steak--Wells' book is a bag of Doritos.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Chandler, AZ, United States 02-04-12
    Beverly Chandler, AZ, United States 02-04-12 Member Since 2013
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    "It was just ok"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I don't think this is really my type of book. It was hard to follow at times and the subject was one that does not really interest me. I listen to books on my commute to work each day and now have someone riding with me. This was her book selection - we will complete the series. Maybe the next book will be better.


    Would you recommend I Am Not a Serial Killer to your friends? Why or why not?

    No - not my type of book


    What does John Allen Nelson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He brings the character to the book - the voice and freakiness of the character. Job well done


    Do you think I Am Not a Serial Killer needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Yes to explain the demons


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan Des Moines, IA, United States 01-23-12
    Megan Des Moines, IA, United States 01-23-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Unique story line"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to anyone who likes psychological thrillers. It had a lot of pyscho-analysis of serial killers as well as dealing with inner demons.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John is very upfront about the demons that haunt him. In real life this is hard to find so I always appreciate it when I see (or hear it).


    What about John Allen Nelson’s performance did you like?

    Mr. Nelson was a good reader, but not the right person for this reading. The part of John, who is supposed to be a teenager, was way too mature.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Towards the end, John's mom tried to make an effort to make thier relationship better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila cleburne, TX, United States 12-29-11
    Sheila cleburne, TX, United States 12-29-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "falls a little short for me"

    I think I might have enjoyed this book more with a different narrator. Throughout most of the story, the main character sounded angry, hostile and just plain annoying. I think the narrator was not getting the connection with the character. It was not terrible or unbearable; just distracting. I found some valuable insight into the world of sociopaths, and how it clearly not all sociopaths are inherently dangerous. I appreciate this point of view. Add to that some inside views of a mortuary, and the story becomes that more tangible. The story progressed well, and it was not long before I was feeling a great deal of empathy for this teen and his plight. But, I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the ending. I think maybe the author struggled with this story, and may have rushed to publication a bit. I would not discourage others outright against this book, as it does have some very energetic moments. I found myself crying for some of the characters. But, I will have to think twice about others written by Dab Wells or narrated by John Allen Nelson. It may be that they are just not a good combination together. Overall, it was a worthwhile listen for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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