A review of

Everyday Psychokillers

by Lucy Corin

Central question: Can Ted Bundy save a teenage girl from boredom?
Format: 245 pp., paperback; Size: 8.48” x 5.58”; Price: $13.95; Publisher: Fc2; Managing editor: Brenda Mills; Book designers: Tara Reeser and Laine Morreau; Cover designer: Victor Mingovits; Typeface: Garamond; Titles of first works: “The Ducks” (play as dictated to father, age five), “A Bull in the Chicken Coop” (story for school, age ten), and “The Undoing” (novel on legal pad, age twelve); Conceived of novel during: Hikes in Shenandoah Valley; Representative sentence: “How many do you have to kill to make it mass; does mass mean all at once or within one day; what if partway through the day he takes a nap.”

Everyday Psychokillers looks and sounds like a thriller: the cover (a portrait of a sliced-up face) promises an encounter with Ted Bundy, or the notorious “Nipple-digger”—or at least a neighborhood creep. But Lucy Corin’s debut reads less like Bret Easton Ellis than Annie Dillard—poetic, plotless, full of intricate descriptions of lizards and swamps. The book, which elegantly bobs along from one creepy anecdote to another, is not about psychokillers, but the boredom and desperation that makes them appealing. The nameless thirteen-year-old narrator lives in a Florida suburb that is “just more obviously bad than other places.” Like Dillard, who stares at birds for so long that she starts tweeting, the narrator thinks about her freaky culture so much that she begins wondering, casually, what it would be like to kill another girl.

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

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—Rachel Aviv

Rachel Aviv just moved to Brooklyn. She has written about books for the Village Voice, Nerve, and Salon.

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