• Fiend

  • The Shocking True Story of America's Youngest Serial Killer
  • By: Harold Schechter
  • Narrated by: Kyle Tait
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (195 ratings)

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Fiend  By  cover art

Fiend

By: Harold Schechter
Narrated by: Kyle Tait
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Publisher's Summary

A monster preyed upon the children of 19th-century Boston. His crimes were appalling - and yet he was little more than a child himself.  

When 14-year-old Jesse Pomeroy was arrested in 1874, a nightmarish reign of terror over an unsuspecting city came to an end. "The Boston Boy Fiend" was imprisoned at last. But the complex questions sparked by his ghastly crime spree - the hows and whys of vicious juvenile crime - were as relevant in the so-called Age of Innocence as they are today.   

Jesse Pomeroy was outwardly repellent in appearance, with a gruesome "dead" eye; inside, he was deformed beyond imagining. A sexual sadist of disturbing precocity, he satisfied his atrocious appetites by abducting and torturing his child victims. But soon, the teenager's bloodlust gave way to another obsession: murder.   

Harold Schechter, whose true-crime masterpieces are "well-documented nightmares for anyone who dares to look" (Peoria Journal Star), brings his acclaimed mix of compelling storytelling, brilliant insight, and fascinating historical documentation to Fiend - an unforgettable account from the annals of American crime.

©2000 Harold Schechter (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Fiend

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Graphic descriptions of child torture

I only managed the first few chapters. After the seventh consecutive, graphic description of child torture, I felt too sick to keep listening. I wanted a story about dark child psychology, not... whatever this is. Just nope. Nope nope nope.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fascinating story, but a bit long in the tooth.

This is an extraordinary story about a truly disturbed young man who’s crimes are so vile and reprehensible as to belie his 17 years. Unlike most books in this genre, here the author spends for less time on Jessie H. Palmaroy’s crimes and determining his guilt than it does on his entire life story. This would not be so bad except it is incredibly repetitive in many places and you just get the sense that the author could’ve told the whole story in 1/3 of the length. Still, the story is worth the effort and the narration is terrific. Totally worth the purchase.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Fiend: The Shocking True Story of America's younge

I truly enjoyed this book. The narrator delivery held my attention from start to finish. Well written and very well read!

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Sensational yet Hugely Researched

All the books I've listened to by Schetchter are a little dramatic at times, occasionally including including peeks into a person's emotional state or unwitnessed actions, but that doesn't stop them from being the flat best serial killer biographies that I've read

You cannot read them and not be impressed by the sheer weight of research that went into them, including a great deal of letters, reports, quotes, articles, and court records from all relevant parties. Moreover, he spends so much time on relevant side-jaunts that you get a greater sense of context, how this case fits into both its contemporary world and ours of today

Kyle Tait is just enjoyable. His voice lends itself perfectly to this, what more could I say?

7 people found this helpful

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Riveting

For anyone who thinks kids are bad now, this book will change your mind. I was shocked and enlightened about the " Good 'ol Days".

6 people found this helpful

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some things never change

This is a true life story in the late 19th century, of a wicked, deranged, and sadistic boy, and what he did to get a life sentence in prison. but the insane crazy liberals would of let the murdering psychopath out if they would of had there way!! thank God they didn't.

3 people found this helpful

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Grear Book.

I've always heard about Jesse Pomeroy when reading other novels about Victorian era true crime and was finally time to take the plunge.
Interesting read. Recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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interesting and we'll put together

It was a good audiobook, it is interesting to get into the mind of a killer. The story is well put together with different sources of information being used to make it complete.

1 person found this helpful

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Good narration is more than just tone.

This book would have been much more engrossing if the narrator tried to convey some emotion or pathos or timing, subtleties, etc. etc., but instead he seems to only focus on his tone and enunciation, so he sounds incredibly detached. It’s really distracting. What makes a good performance is understanding the material and then conveying it with a handful of different tools by drawing people into the events.
You gotta SELL it, man!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The narrator is horrible.

So far the content of the book seems fine but I don’t know if I can continue to listen to completion. The narration is just terrible. The narrator has a stilted expressionless voice more suited to delivering a cheesecake recipe on YouTube or reciting from medical journals. Definitely not right for reading a book of such dark material. Incredibly poor choice of VO artist.