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Literature / Savage

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Savage (sometimes subtitled From Whitechapel to the Wild West on the Track of Jack the Ripper) is a 1993 Speculative Fiction novel by Richard Laymon. The narrator is 15-year-old Trevor Wellington Bentley. After witnessing Jack the Ripper kill his 5th victim, Mary Kelly, Trevor tries to kill him. Adventures take him from London to the West.

This novel contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Jesse Sue Longley. Not much older than Trevor, but quite a badass.
  • Ax-Crazy: Whittle can barely keep himself from flying off the handle and threatening to kill a victim before he can murder them himself is a genuine threat to him.
  • Battle Couple: Jesse and Trevor become one hell of an action duo together in hunting Whittle.
  • Big Bad: Roderick Whittle, aka Jack the Ripper.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Many of Whittle's victims.
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  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: Whittle has an EXTREMELY macabre sense of humor.
  • Fan Disservice: Whittle does some truly horrific things to women, even after he's killed them.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Whittle can act extremely polite, but this is a mere Mask of Sanity.
  • The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: Trevor's entire story pretty much.
  • I Love the Dead: Implied with Whittle.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Implied with Whittle.
  • Killer Cop: Whittle becomes a sheriff's deputy named "John Carver".
  • Knife Nut: Whittle. Come on, it's Jack the Ripper!
  • Mask of Sanity: Whittle presents as a gentleman. Under it, he's a raging storm of sadism and monstrosity.
  • Moral Dissonance: 15-year-old Trevor engages in a sexual relationship with Sarah, a woman more than 10 years his senior. It's not presented as rape, despite the fact that she aggressively came onto him. In the end, she's killed off and he starts over with a girl closer to his age, somewhat averting this trope.


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