Books by Daemon Fairless, Paige Cooper, and Aida Edemariam
men are violent. In Mad Blood Stirring, former CBC Radio producer Daemon Fairless sets out to discover why. He spends time with MMA fighters, soccer fans, rapists, and a serial killer, and he wades through nature and nurture theories on why male violence has been a constant thread throughout history. But Fairless’s journey is also a personal one. “There is a part of me that craves violence. Or if not craves it, weirdly gets off on it,” he admits early on. He unpacks the giddy joy he felt after hurting a robber and describes how he once left his infant daughter unattended in a store after getting swept up trying to pick a fight with a bully. This level of emotional honesty can feel like a shock: “We’re touchy about violence the way Victorian society was touchy about sex,” he writes. But as Fairless’s self-examination shows, complex violent urges, both innate and learned, can only be tamed once they are understood.
— Daniel Viola