History of a Drowning Boy

History of a Drowning Boy


, non-fiction, read-in-2021, read-in-2021, books-i-own, Crime, Nonfiction, Biography, Audiobook, Mystery, Psychology

Dennis Nilsen was one of Britain's most notorious serial killers, jailed for life in 1983 after the murders of 12 men and the attempted murders of many more.
Seven years after his conviction, Nilsen began to write his autobiography and over a period of 18 years he typed 6,000 pages of introspection, reflection, comment and explanation.
History of a Drowning Boy - taken exclusively from these astonishing writings - uncovers, for the first time, the motives behind the murders, and delivers a clear understanding of how such horrific events could have happened, tracing the origins back to early childhood. In another first, it provides an insight into his 35 years inside the maximum-security prison system including his everyday life on the wings; his interactions with the authorities and other notorious prisoners; and his artistic endeavours of music, writing and drama. It also reveals the truth behind many of the myths surrounding Dennis Nilsen, as reported in the media.
Nilsen was determined to have his memoir published but to his frustration, the Home Office blocked publication during his lifetime. He died in 2018, entrusting the manuscript to his closest friend and it is now being published with the latter's permission.
Any autobiography presents the writer's story from just one perspective - his own, and as such this record should be treated with some caution. An excellent foreword by criminologist Dr Mark Pettigrew offers some context to Nilsen's words, and this important work provides an extraordinary journey through the life of a remarkable and inadequate man.

Title:History of a Drowning Boy
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    History of a Drowning Boy Reviews

  • Ruthy lavin

    Well this is possibly the most difficult review I’ve ever written...I’m torn with my opinion of this book, because whilst I refuse to glamourise any hideous thing that Denis Nilsen did during his ...

  • Valerity (Val)

    (read different version (ARC) I have read a couple of other books on Nilsen previously, one just recently, but to read one by Nilsen himself is another thing altogether. In the many years he was locke...

  • Nicole

    This book is really difficult to rate. Obviously it wasn't fun or enjoyable to read. It was graphic and difficult to read However, as someone who loves true crime and finds the mind of a serial killer...

  • Stephen

    thanks to netgalley and the publishers for a free copy in return for an open and honest reviewThis book gives you an insight into the mind of serial killer as this book was written whilst he was in pr...

  • Beth

    I won’t be rating this book as I think it’d be inappropriate of me to rate a book written by a serial killer. ...

  • Sue

    It's very rare thing to get a glimpse inside the mind of a serial killer, especially one as notorious as Dennis Nilsen, but this is exactly what this book offers. Written during his time incarcerated ...

  • Michelle

    TW: animal abuse, sexual abuse, sexual assault, graphic content, murder, mutilation and necrophilia/necrofetishism.This is a very difficult review to write and give a star rating and I even considered...

  • Lana Coupland

    “All my life, I'd been searching for the answer to the question, 'Where had grandad gone?' and 'Where was I going?'”What was written before in an endeavour to comprehend such one-of-the-kind case ...

  • Lisa Clift

    I read this after watching the program "Des" on television. I thought it would be interesting to read about a serial killer from his own viewpoint, and Nilsen wrote prolifically throughout his life. I...

  • Star Gater

    My disappointment in History of a Drowning Boy began with the synopsis. This implies I'm about to enter the mind of a serial killer. I requested the book. Explicit male-on -male sex, pickups, rapes, p...