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American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men

by

American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Utilizing an empathetic narrative nonfiction approach, novelist McConnell, co-chair of the Lambda Literary Foundation, casts a humanizing eye upon monstrous deeds…a journalistic tour de force made all the more impressive by jailhouse interviews…McConnell's unquestionable skill as a writer gives both literary helot and immediacy to the narratives."

--Publishers Weekly

"McConnell convincingly shows how fluid terms like 'gay' and 'straight' can actually be… The author's case studies reflect an intensive investigation into the economic and cultural backgrounds of a wide variety of extremist cultures, research that involved interviews with law enforcement officials, families of victims and the convicted criminals themselves. A shocking look at the subculture of violent crime, not for the fainthearted."

--Kirkus Reviews

"David McConnell has written with beautiful clarity and power about a very specific kind of murder. Not only is this book the best sort of true-crime writing, but it is also a stunning exploration of the concept of manhood in America. Refusing to judge or to gloss anything over, McConnell turns his impressive skills as a writer to a topic that all of us thinks about and few dare to discuss."

--Sebastian Junger, best-selling author of War and The Perfect Storm

"David McConnell's American Honor Killings is a masterpiece of reportage: engaging, deeply felt, and brilliantly imaginative. His subjects are heartland murderers driven by hatred of the Other--gays, nonwhites, Jews. But rather than take their crimes and ideologies at face value, McConnell dives into the killers' inner lives and emerges with shockingly intimate portraits of ordinary Americans gone horribly wrong. At turns heartbreaking and terrifying, American Honor Killings has the soul of a detective novel set in the darkest chambers of the human heart. If Truman Capote were alive today, he would die of envy. David McConnell has taken the mantle of great American nonfiction writer."

--Evan Wright, author of Generation Kill

"American Honor Killings is a spooky, addicting account of twisted sexual drives gone violently awry. McConnell's writing is as profound as Albert Camus's and as memorably chilling as Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. The reader of this astonishing text is dared to set aside squeamishness and look right into the heart of American darkness, where bloody and horrifying acts are the tragic outcomes of lives gone from bad to worse, the murderers themselves victimized by neglect, abuse, and an atmosphere of racist, homophobic hatred, the ugly underbell, author of Assuming the Position: A Memoir of Hustling and The First Time I Met Frank OHara: Reading Gay American Writers

In American Honor Killings, straight and gay guys cross paths, and the result is murder. But what really happened? What role did hatred play? What were the men involved really like, and what was going on between them when the murder occurred? American Honor Killings explores the truth behind squeamish reporting and uninformed political rants of the far right or fringe left. David McConnell, a New York–based novelist, researched cases from small-town Alabama to San Quentin's death row. The book recounts some of the most notorious crimes of our era.

Beginning in 1999 and lasting until the 2011 conviction of a youth in Queens, New York, the book shows how some murderers think they're cleaning up society. Surprisingly, other killings feel almost preordained, not a matter of the victim's personality or actions so much as a twisted display of a young man's will to compete or dominate. We want to think these stories involve simple sexual conflict, either the killer's internal struggle over his own identity or a fatally miscalculated proposition. They're almost never that simple.

Together, the cases form a secret American history of rage and desire. McConnell cuts through cant and political special pleading to

Review:

"Utilizing an empathetic narrative nonfiction approach, novelist McConnell (The Silver Hearted), co-chair of the Lambda Literary Foundation, casts a humanizing eye upon monstrous deeds, but fails to prove his central thesis that the somewhat high-profile murders of gay men he revisits are the result of 'pure masculinity enraged.' Covering 1999 to 2011, he attempts to demonstrate how the adherence to a rigid definition of masculinity caused these particular murderers to commit their crimes, and the case of Darrell Madden almost proves the point as McConnell, in a journalistic tour de force made all the more impressive by jailhouse interviews, traces the killer's trajectory from traumatized farm boy to gay porn pinup, white supremacist, and eventually murderer of Steve Domer. But the central premise, detailed on the opening page ('The fact is, all relationships between men — friendship, rivalry... murder — are casually characterized by sexual metaphors...') simply does not play out in the combination of research, interviews, and restated news coverage of the murders of George Weber, Gary Matson, and Scott Amedure. Even the author seems unconvinced by the conjecture and muddled references used to connect the dots. Adoring physical descriptions of the killers contrast oddly with misogynistic descriptions of women, but it does not undermine McConnell's unquestionable skill as a writer, which gives both literary heft and immediacy to the narratives. Sociologically, however, little is revealed." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

An expose of an America no one is comfortable talking about: the volatile ground where male violence and sexuality overlap.

Synopsis:

Recipient of the 2014 Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award

"Utilizing an empathetic narrative nonfiction approach, novelist McConnell, co-chair of the Lambda Literary Foundation, casts a humanizing eye upon monstrous deeds…a journalistic tour de force made all the more impressive by jailhouse interviews…McConnell's unquestionable skill as a writer gives both literary helot and immediacy to the narratives."

--Publishers Weekly

"McConnell convincingly shows how fluid terms like 'gay' and 'straight' can actually be… The author's case studies reflect an intensive investigation into the economic and cultural backgrounds of a wide variety of extremist cultures, research that involved interviews with law enforcement officials, families of victims and the convicted criminals themselves. A shocking look at the subculture of violent crime, not for the fainthearted."

--Kirkus Reviews

“A masterpiece of reportage . . . Homophobia is not accepted as a mitigating circumstance in murder, but there is no doubt that men are still murdered for being gay. From Jon Schmitz (‘The Jenny Jones Killer) to John Katehis (the teenage hustler who murdered radio personality George Weber), novelist McConnell . . . has compiled a number of these cases and looks into the culture of masculinity for clues to the dynamics behind these killings . . . with no clear answers, but some very intriguing questions, these vignettes of masculine pride and rage will appeal to those interested in gender politics and gay studies as well as true crime fans.”

--Library Journal

"McConnell, who is gay, is convinced he has written a book that no straight man could have written, and he's probably right. Navigating the depressing world of these horrific murders would discourage all but the most determined, passionate writers. Finding the humanity in these killers and the nuance in these most inhumane killings would challenge all but the most compassionate of writers."

--LA Weekly

"American Honor Killings is a strong addition to any criminology or true crime collection with a side focus on gay issues, very much recommended."

--Midwest Book Review

In American Honor Killings, straight and gay guys cross paths, and the result is murder. But what really happened? What role did hatred play? What were the men involved really like, and what was going on between them when the murder occurred? American Honor Killings explores the truth behind squeamish reporting and uninformed political rants of the far right or fringe left. David McConnell, a New York–based novelist, researched cases from small-town Alabama to San Quentin's death row. The book recounts some of the most notorious crimes of our era.

Beginning in 1999 and lasting until the 2011 conviction of a youth in Queens, New York, the book shows how some murderers think they're cleaning up society. Surprisingly, other killings feel almost preordained, not a matter of the victim's personality or actions so much as a twisted display of a young man's will to compete or dominate. We want to think these stories involve simple sexual conflict, either the killer's internal struggle over his own identity or a fatally miscalculated proposition. They're almost never that simple.

Together, the cases form a secret American history of rage and desire. McConnell cuts through cant and political special pleading to turn these cases into enduring literature. In each story, victims, murderers, friends, and relatives come breathtakingly alive. The result is more soulful, more sensitive, more artful than the sort of “true crime” writing the book was modeled on. A wealth of new detail has been woven into old cases, while new cases are plumbed for the first time. The resulting stories play out exactly as they happened, an inexorable sequence of events—grisly, touching, disturbing, sometimes even with moments of levity.

About the Author

David McConnell is the author of the acclaimed novel, The Silver Hearted, 2010. His short fiction and journalism have appeared widely in magazines and anthologies, including The Literary Review (UK), Granta and Prospect Magazine (UK). His novel The Firebrat came out in 2003. Hes the former co-chair of the Lambda Literary Foundation. McConnell lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781617751325
Author:
Mcconnell, David
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Author:
McConnell, David
Subject:
Murder
Subject:
Crime - True Crime
Subject:
Crime-Criminology
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20130331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.25 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruction and Study » Techniques
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General
History and Social Science » Crime » Criminology
History and Social Science » Crime » General
History and Social Science » Crime » True Crime
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Mens Studies

American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Akashic Books - English 9781617751325 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Utilizing an empathetic narrative nonfiction approach, novelist McConnell (The Silver Hearted), co-chair of the Lambda Literary Foundation, casts a humanizing eye upon monstrous deeds, but fails to prove his central thesis that the somewhat high-profile murders of gay men he revisits are the result of 'pure masculinity enraged.' Covering 1999 to 2011, he attempts to demonstrate how the adherence to a rigid definition of masculinity caused these particular murderers to commit their crimes, and the case of Darrell Madden almost proves the point as McConnell, in a journalistic tour de force made all the more impressive by jailhouse interviews, traces the killer's trajectory from traumatized farm boy to gay porn pinup, white supremacist, and eventually murderer of Steve Domer. But the central premise, detailed on the opening page ('The fact is, all relationships between men — friendship, rivalry... murder — are casually characterized by sexual metaphors...') simply does not play out in the combination of research, interviews, and restated news coverage of the murders of George Weber, Gary Matson, and Scott Amedure. Even the author seems unconvinced by the conjecture and muddled references used to connect the dots. Adoring physical descriptions of the killers contrast oddly with misogynistic descriptions of women, but it does not undermine McConnell's unquestionable skill as a writer, which gives both literary heft and immediacy to the narratives. Sociologically, however, little is revealed." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
An expose of an America no one is comfortable talking about: the volatile ground where male violence and sexuality overlap.

"Synopsis" by ,
Recipient of the 2014 Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award

"Utilizing an empathetic narrative nonfiction approach, novelist McConnell, co-chair of the Lambda Literary Foundation, casts a humanizing eye upon monstrous deeds…a journalistic tour de force made all the more impressive by jailhouse interviews…McConnell's unquestionable skill as a writer gives both literary helot and immediacy to the narratives."

--Publishers Weekly

"McConnell convincingly shows how fluid terms like 'gay' and 'straight' can actually be… The author's case studies reflect an intensive investigation into the economic and cultural backgrounds of a wide variety of extremist cultures, research that involved interviews with law enforcement officials, families of victims and the convicted criminals themselves. A shocking look at the subculture of violent crime, not for the fainthearted."

--Kirkus Reviews

“A masterpiece of reportage . . . Homophobia is not accepted as a mitigating circumstance in murder, but there is no doubt that men are still murdered for being gay. From Jon Schmitz (‘The Jenny Jones Killer) to John Katehis (the teenage hustler who murdered radio personality George Weber), novelist McConnell . . . has compiled a number of these cases and looks into the culture of masculinity for clues to the dynamics behind these killings . . . with no clear answers, but some very intriguing questions, these vignettes of masculine pride and rage will appeal to those interested in gender politics and gay studies as well as true crime fans.”

--Library Journal

"McConnell, who is gay, is convinced he has written a book that no straight man could have written, and he's probably right. Navigating the depressing world of these horrific murders would discourage all but the most determined, passionate writers. Finding the humanity in these killers and the nuance in these most inhumane killings would challenge all but the most compassionate of writers."

--LA Weekly

"American Honor Killings is a strong addition to any criminology or true crime collection with a side focus on gay issues, very much recommended."

--Midwest Book Review

In American Honor Killings, straight and gay guys cross paths, and the result is murder. But what really happened? What role did hatred play? What were the men involved really like, and what was going on between them when the murder occurred? American Honor Killings explores the truth behind squeamish reporting and uninformed political rants of the far right or fringe left. David McConnell, a New York–based novelist, researched cases from small-town Alabama to San Quentin's death row. The book recounts some of the most notorious crimes of our era.

Beginning in 1999 and lasting until the 2011 conviction of a youth in Queens, New York, the book shows how some murderers think they're cleaning up society. Surprisingly, other killings feel almost preordained, not a matter of the victim's personality or actions so much as a twisted display of a young man's will to compete or dominate. We want to think these stories involve simple sexual conflict, either the killer's internal struggle over his own identity or a fatally miscalculated proposition. They're almost never that simple.

Together, the cases form a secret American history of rage and desire. McConnell cuts through cant and political special pleading to turn these cases into enduring literature. In each story, victims, murderers, friends, and relatives come breathtakingly alive. The result is more soulful, more sensitive, more artful than the sort of “true crime” writing the book was modeled on. A wealth of new detail has been woven into old cases, while new cases are plumbed for the first time. The resulting stories play out exactly as they happened, an inexorable sequence of events—grisly, touching, disturbing, sometimes even with moments of levity.

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