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American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0786448067 ISBN-10: 0786448067

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 247 pages
  • Publisher: McFarland and Company (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786448067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786448067
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 3.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this seminal study, Bishop navigates well the oil and water-like mix of serious analysis and zombie cinema. It isn't often that one comes across Marxian dialectics and graphic descriptions of cannibalism in the same paragraph, but Bishop's understated style makes it work." --Library Journal

About the Author

Kyle William Bishop is an assistant professor at Southern Utah University, where he teaches American literature and culture, film studies, fantasy literature, and English composition. He has presented and published a variety of papers on popular culture and cinematic adaptation.

More About the Author

Born in the rural community of Cedar City, Utah, Kyle William Bishop went on to study art history, music, German, English, and film in college and graduate school. He received a PhD in American literature and film from the University of Arizona and has since returned to Cedar City to become a third-generation assistant professor at Southern Utah University. Dr. Bishop currently teaches courses in American literature and culture, film studies, fantasy literature, and English composition.

Dr. Bishop has presented and published a variety of critical essays and articles on popular culture and cinematic adaptation, including such topics as Metropolis, Night of the Living Dead, Fight Club, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawn of the Dead, Frankenstein, The Birds, Zombieland, and The Walking Dead. He is currently working on a follow-up book to American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture (McFarland and Co., Publishers, 2010).

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Noah D. Pappano on March 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Zombie movie lovers can rejoice now that Kyle Bishop's book is out. I have for some years now been a long time admirer of the horror movie subgenre, yet it wasn't until doing research for a paper in a Junior contemporary literature class that I encountered Mr. Bishop's work. It had never occurred to me that there was serious scholarly work done on zombie movies, but after reading some of his articles I was not only stunned by his educated and thorough treatment, but also by how much his attention to the topic enriched my own appreciation. He begins with the genesis of zombies and their folkloric roots in Haiti, gradually fleshing out the walking dead up to the present time. Zombies are significant as evolving outside of any established literary tradition as well as being indigenous to the New World (a claim other major horror monsters can't make) A reflexive Haitian voodoo creation while under pressure by the colonial French, eventually zombies "emigrated" to America where their treatment in cinema did little more than reflect postcolonial fears of repressed subjects rising against the ruling class. It wasn't until George Romero with his Night of the Living Dead in 1968 that zombies became an important cultural archetype as the legendary filmmaker used them to expose racism, consumerism, Cold War paranoia, and other societal anxieties. The zombie as significant cultural archetype has a dynamic film history, and Bishop takes you through their evolution in a prose style that is academic but never laborious; indeed, for a dissertation, it's quite a page-turner. I highly recommend this book and without reservation say that it is indispensable for any zombie movie lover.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Pease on April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback
American Zombie Gothic: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Walking Dead in Popular Culture... by Kyle William Bishop
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As a fan of the horror sub-genre of zombies I found this book both interesting and enlightening. First of all, Mr. Bishop's sources are well documented and from what I found, reliable. As a zombie fan they were also helpful. I was able to add other books and movies that I haven't read or watched or some I would like to revisit.
Not many people that I know will watch a zombie movie and wonder why the fictional creature was invented or the deeper meaning behind zombies. Mr. Bishop takes the reader on a historical voyage of the zombies chronological existence beginning in the folklore of Haiti to modern day apocolyptic fears.
This book goes deeper into zombies and their meaning to us than I expected. I found myself saying "oh okay' a lot and agreeing with his points. I recommend this book to anyone who likes zombie stories or even to someone with a zombie fear (looking at it from Mr. Bishop's point of view might just make you a fan.) review by shayrp
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas A. Rose on January 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
Bishop's American Zombie Gothic is an absolutely essential read for those interested in the zombie phenomenon of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It begins with an in-depth review of the zombie figure's origins in Haitian voodoo before moving to an engaging account of the modern zombie's (the walking dead) importance as a symbol of repressed cultural fears and anxieties. Special attention is given to the seminal films of George A. Romero. For fans of postcolonial theory, Bishop also provides some insight into that. In my opinion, the most distinguishing feature of Bishop's work is his commentary on how the zombie has created a resurgence in the Gothic themes first established by Horace Walpole and Anne Radcliffe. American Zombie Gothic is a foundation of great importance in the growing field of "zombie studies." Check it out for yourself!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By The Redhead Is Always Right on May 8, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Can we, indeed, speak of a current zombie renaissance?

Yes. Yes we can!

A must for film buffs and zombie/horror movie fans everywhere, Bishop's book is a fascinating look at the history of zombie films and their effect on pop culture and cinema.

I don't particularly care for zombie films (notable exceptions: loved Shaun of the Dead and Fido, and 28 Days Later is one of my favorite movies ever), but Kyle "Dr. Walking Dead" Bishop is a friend of mine, so I thought I'd give his book a go. Wow. Couldn't stop reading! He covers everything from the history of voodoo and zombies in the real world up to the release of the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It was deeply interesting to see how zombie films have evolved from the incredibly racist 1930's films to the evil zombie heyday of the 1970's, and then the sympathetic zom-rom-coms of the 21st century.

The book is totally engrossing . . . and also kind of gross . . . (there are pictures) . . . but five stars and two thumbs way up!
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3 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Brendan M. Howard on April 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
That zombies are now grist for the academic mill is a source of sadness for me as a zombie fan.

Zombie fans, avoid this one like the plague. Postmodern and Colonial Literary Studies PhD candidates, enjoy!
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