In order to cut to the chase early: WARNING, Extremely explicit and gory.
Don’t waste your time, although that did not stop me from writing the following rant.
Shawcross Letters has an important subtitle: My Journey Into The Mind Of Evil by John Paul Fay (and Brian Whitney). Brian Whitney is the author of this publication. John Paul Fay is a narrator and commentator. Fay is a commentator when revealing the content of letters written by Arthur Shawcross, an actual serial killer who died in 2008. Fay acts as a narrator when he describes his own struggles with life. Incarcerated Shawcross has been described as evil personified. A serial killer with a fondness for cooking and eating various victim body parts, Shawcross never meets Fay except through letters. If evil personified means the person is a unique representation of evil, Fay would disagree. Fay describes Shawcross as almost a soulmate. It seems as if Fay is saying that he would be Shawcross if only he (Fay) were braver. For now, Fay claims to be able to sublimate the same evil acts described by Shawcross in letters into Fay’s own writings with this book.
If Fay is claiming that in the absence of such a person as Shawcross, he (Fay) would stand in and be Shawcross, this is a very disturbing book. The important character in this book is not Shawcross, despite his gory, violent, and sick descriptions of what he did and what he would do if given the chance to continue his hobbies. The important character is Fay who makes two claims. First, there are many people like him leading seemingly routine, normal lives who would lead the depraved life described by Shawcross if they had a chance. Fay cannot know this; it his opinion. But his second claim is more certain. Fay claims he would emulate and mirror the “achievements” of Shawcross given the opportunity. Finally, Fay claims that his ability to write about his relationship with Shawcross is what prevented Fay from becoming another Shawcross.
Author Whitney warns the reader that many of the letters written by Shawcross have many mistakes of grammar and syntax. Further, they describe horrible acts of cannibalism and sexual depravity that will shock many readers. OK, warning received. Whitney goes on to claim that Fay is a talented and brave author. Fay displays fantastic vocabulary variety but meanders off into incoherent writing that might have been written under the effects of drugs and alcohol. Fay even asserts this to be the case in several places. Supposedly, this will account for some of Fay’s more lurid passages that rival instances described by Shawcross in his letters.
For the most part, and this is clearly my opinion, reading this is offensive and a waste of time. It reads like two naughty teenagers drinking alcohol after hours in a locker room and attempting to gross each other out with increasingly shocking tales. Fay labels his as fantasy. The Shawcross tales may be backed up with evidentiary fact. But it is Fay that comes across looking ridiculous. Claiming that his writing at least saves society from unthinkable horrors and we should accept his meandering abstractions as part of our duty to help a guy with daddy issues, Fay presumes too much on the charity that he hopes is present in society.
Or maybe this is just a bunch of sensationalism to sell a book. I’m going to vote for this latter and give the work one Amazon star just so it registers as a rating.
There is one positive note. I didn’t pay for this book. It was offered as a book for review by Wild Blue Press.