Saturday, February 23, 2008

An Absolute Gentleman by R. M. Kinder

Published in 2007. 288 pages.

First sentence: Some time ago, two reporters visited me, and I was as open with them as I could humanly be.

Brief description (from the back cover): A spine-chilling first novel loosely based on the author's real-life relationship with a convicted murderer, An Absolute Gentleman delves, with subtlety and tremendous psychological insight, into a serial killer's mind.

Why I read this book: A publicist for An Absolute Gentleman contacted me at the end of December about reading the book and reviewing here on my blog. I admitted to her that I was way behind on my reviews but that the book looked like a compelling read and if she were willing to send it to me, I'd get to it as soon as I could. Joy's rave review prompted me to get to it sooner than later - so here I am!

What I thought of this book: For some reason, it hadn't occurred to me that this book would be written from the perspective of the serial killer - but it is, and his voice is at once both ordinary, even charming, and completely creepy. I found myself liking Arthur Blume, small-town college writing teacher and struggling author, even hearing in his words the voices of acquaintances of my own. And yet he was not just "an absolute gentleman" but also an absolute monster, who could make a decision to kill someone in the same way most of us would decide what to eat for breakfast or which shoes to wear. An Absolute Gentleman is well worth the read, and I'm hoping that short story writer R. M. Kinder is at work on another novel. Jonathan Kellerman, one of my favorite writers of psychological thrillers, is quoted on the back cover of An Absolute Gentleman as saying, "Beautifully written and all the more chilling for that." Well said!

To share in the joy of a good book: I would love to pass my now somewhat used copy of An Absolute Gentleman to another interested reader. Leave a comment if you'd be interested, and I will randomly pick one lucky reader from those who comment by Friday, February 29.



  1. Oh yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, too. :)

  2. I saw this one on Joy's blog as well. Sounds fascinating--especially the perspective of a serial killer. And who wouldn't be interested in a book giveaway! :) Count me in.

  3. Count me in too! I'd like to read it!

  4. Well, now I understand your comment on your other blog yesterday about how this book was "creeping you out." It sounds fascinating, though, and I'd definitely be interested in reading it.

  5. this sounds like an interesting read, and maybe a bit creepy since it's written from the serial killers perspective.

  6. This sounds like a really interesting book. This is the first time I've heard of it, but I'd love to read it!

  7. for the record, this book went to naida, who enjoyed it. her review is here.