Nominated by:

Bibliothèques Municipales Genève, Switzerland

Publisher of nominated edition:

Europa Editions, USA

The Avenue of the Giants

Marc Dugain      

Translated from the French by Howard Curtis

2016 Longlist

Inspired by the true story of California “Co-ed Killer” Edmund Kemper, The Avenue of the Giants follows Al Kenner as he progresses from antisocial adolescent to full-fledged serial killer in the turbulent ‘60s and ‘70s. A giant at over seven feet tall with an IQ higher than Einstein’s, Al has never been ordinary. Tainted by his parents’ divorce and his mother’s abusive behavior, his life takes a chilling turn on the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Al spends five years in a psychiatric hospital, and although he convinces the staff that he is of sound mind, he continues to harbor vicious impulses. Al leads a double life, befriending the Santa Cruz Police Chief and contemplating marrying his daughter, all the while committing a series of brutal murders. Delving into the mind of this complex killer, Marc Dugain powerfully evokes an America torn between the pacifism of the hippie movement and the violence of Vietnam.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Born in Senegal in 1957, Marc Dugain is the author of numerous successful novels. His novel The Officers’ Ward recounts his grandfather’s experiences in World War I and was made into a 2001 film of the same name.

Librarian’s Comments

Inspired by the real story of the serial killer Edmund Kemper, Marc Dugain introduces the reader to the mind of a man so tall that he doesn’t know how to inhabit his huge body and with an IQ close to Einstein’s – that he doesn’t know what to do with…. His childhood in a dysfunctional family was a disaster and made him a person with affective deficits, unable to feel any emotion or empathy for others. Describing the terrible crimes he committed, Dugain manages to show also the victim behind the murder.

Related Entries