Mad Blood Stirring

The Inner Lives of Violent Men

Publisher: Random House Canada
With a rare clarity and fearless honesty, journalist Daemon Fairless tackles the horrors and compulsions of male violence from the perspective of someone who struggles with violent impulses himself, creating a non-fiction masterpiece with the narrative power of novels such as Fight Club and A History of Violence.

A man, no matter how civilized, is still an animal--and sometimes a dangerous one. Men are responsible for the lion's share of assault, rape, murder and warfare. Conventional wisdom chalks this up to socialization, that men are taught to be violent. And they are. But there's more to it. Violence is a dangerous desire--a set of powerful and inherent emotions we are loath to own up to. And so there remains a hidden geography to male violence--an inner ecosystem of rage, dominance, blood-lust, insecurity and bravado--yet to be mapped. Mad Blood Stirring is journalist Daemon Fairless's riveting first-person travelogue through this territory as he seeks to understand the inner lives of violent men and, ultimately, himself.


“Daemon Fairless’s Mad Blood Stirring is a brave tour not just of the inner lives of some violent and terrifying men, but of masculinity’s darkest corners. It is as alarming to read as it is compelling.” —Ian Brown
“Why do men fight? Why do men rape? Why do men kill? In Mad Blood Stirring, Daemon Fairless dives into the lives of fighters, rapists and killers, as well as digs into the science, to let us ‘in’ to the pandemic of male violence and the gendered nature of violence. He spares no one, least of all himself; his writing is generous, feminist and at times poetic. I wrote many exclamation marks and notes in the margins, including ‘Thank you.’” —Jane Doe, activist and author of The Story of Jane Doe: A Book About Rape
Mad Blood Stirring is a courageous and deeply insightful exploration of the male appetite for violence. By turns harrowing, dismaying and fascinating, this book stands alone in the humility and intelligence with which it examines this most difficult of subjects.” —Kevin Patterson, author of News from the Red Desert
“Daemon Fairless has written an urgent, compelling account of what makes many men tick. Anyone who cares about men—a son, brother, father or romantic partner—should read this book.” —Susan Pinker, psychologist, author of The Sexual Paradox