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book cover of Happy Like Murderers

Happy Like Murderers

(1998)
The True Story of Fred And Rosemary West
A non fiction book by

 
 
Gordon Burn has already written a book about serial killer Peter Sutcliffe so it should be no surprise (apart from wondering at his stamina for this sort of material) that he has also taken on the macabre story of the Wests. This is a vile catalogue of the manner in which Frederick and Rosemary West raped, tortured and killed. It spares none of the utterly sordid details.

Burn, who has also written two acclaimed novels (Alma Cogan and Fullalove), has opted to apply some of the techniques of fiction to this grisly task. But while this approach does raise ethical questions--he sometimes recounts scenes and emotions that only the participants, and they are dead, could have witnessed--such is his obvious seriousness of intent that these episodes can be justified in narrative terms. The vast compilation of awful but indisputable facts inevitably makes the prosaic detail of the Wests' lives, like Fred's endless DIY and Rose's Sunday lunches, almost unbearably sinister. And the ghastly details of their victims' fates are unspeakably depraved. Britain has seen nothing like this scale of domestic degradation before. But while every reader must decide for themselves how much of this they need to know, and how much they want to know, it is nevertheless right and commendable that Gordon Burn has written this chilling book and thus given people the choice. --Nick Wroe

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Used availability for Gordon Burn's Happy Like Murderers

Hardback Editions

December 1998 : UK Hardback
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Title: Happy Like Murderers
Author(s): Gordon Burn
ISBN: 0-571-19546-6 / 978-0-571-19546-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

September 2011 : UK Paperback
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Title: Happy Like Murderers
Author(s): Gordon Burn
ISBN: 0-571-27913-9 / 978-0-571-27913-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2001 : UK Paperback
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Title: Happy Like Murderers
Author(s): Gordon Burn
ISBN: 0-571-20997-1 / 978-0-571-20997-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


September 1999 : UK Paperback
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Title: Happy Like Murderers: The True Story of Fred and Rosemary West
Author(s): Gordon Burn
ISBN: 0-571-19720-5 / 978-0-571-19720-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 1999 : UK Paperback
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Title: Happy Like Murderers
Author(s): Gordon Burn
ISBN: 0-571-19757-4 / 978-0-571-19757-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


October 1998 : UK Paperback
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Title: Happy Like Murderers
Author(s): Gordon Burn
ISBN: 0-571-19705-1 / 978-0-571-19705-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

September 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: Happy Like Murderers
Author(s): Gordon Burn
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA