Taboo, horrifying, yet ultimately fascinating, you won’t want to miss these 5 must-read nonfiction and fiction books about cannibals.
1. Alive by Piers Paul Read
“On October 12, 1972, a plane carrying a team of young rugby players crashed into the remote, snow-peaked Andes. Out of the forty-five original passengers and crew, only sixteen made it off the mountain alive. For ten excruciating weeks they suffered deprivations beyond imagining, confronting nature head-on at its most furious and inhospitable. And to survive, they were forced to do what would have once been unthinkable … This is their story — one of the most astonishing true adventures of the twentieth century.”
2. Cannibal by Lois Jones
“German native Armin Meiwes placed this ad in an internet chatroom catering to cannibals. He received 430 responses. Among them was Bernd Juergen Brandes, who arrived at Meiwes’s isolated country home literally to be eaten alive. Escorted to the “slaughtering room”—equipped with meat hooks, a cage, and a butcher’s table—Meiwes assisted Bernd in a gourmet candlelight dinner of his own cooked flesh. Meiwes then stabbed his victim in the throat—bringing the ghastly videotaped ordeal to an end.”
3. Eat the Evidence (Book One of the Bar Jonah Trilogy) by John E. Espy, Ph.D.
“Considered an expert in the area of psychopathic behavior, Dr. Espy has interviewed more than 30 serial murderers throughout the world including Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Eddie Gein.
“But when he was assigned to be the lead evaluator for Montana State Prison inmate Nathaneal Bar Jonah, an already once convicted serial child molester and attempted murderer in Massachusetts, Espy encountered a parasitic personality beyond imagination: a modern-day Cronos, the Greek mythological figure who devoured his children.
“Weighing over 375 pounds, Bar Jonah worked as a short order cook at Hardy’s, carried a stun gun, impersonated police officers, told masterful lies, wrote unbreakable codes, cooked and shared with friends strange-tasting chili and spaghetti sauces, and was thought by Montana State detectives to have murdered and cannibalized at least one victim, 10-year-old Zach Ramsay.
“Culled from hundreds of hours of exclusive interviews with Bar Jonah, dozens of others who either knew or were involved with him, Montana State investigators and prosecutors, and Zach Ramsay’s mother, Espy retells Bar Jonah’s entire life—from the time before he was conceived to after his death—and those who were harmed by him in unparalleled detail and scope.”
4. Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite
“To serial slayer Andrew Compton, murder is an art, the most intimate art. After feigning his own death to escape from prison, Compton makes his way to the United States with the sole ambition of bringing his “art” to new heights. Tortured by his own perverse desires, and drawn to possess and destroy young boys, Compton inadvertently joins forces with Jay Byrne, a dissolute playboy who has pushed his “art” to limits even Compton hadn’t previously imagined. Together, Compton and Byrne set their sights on an exquisite young Vietnamese-American runaway, Tran, whom they deem to be the perfect victim.”
5. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
“As part of the search for a serial murderer nicknames “Buffalo Bill,” FBI trainee Clarice Starling is given an assignment. She must visit a man confined to a high-security facility for the criminally insane and interview him. That man, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is a former psychiatrist with unusual tastes and an intense curiosity about the darker corners of the mind. His intimate understanding of the killer and of Clarice herself form the core of Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs–an unforgettable classic of suspense fiction.”