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Danse Macabre Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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The outcome is an utterly charming book that reads as if King were sitting right there with you, shooting the breeze. He starts on October 4, 1957, when he was 10 years old, watching a Saturday matinee of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. Just as the saucers were mounting their attack on "Our Nation's Capital," the movie was suddenly turned off. The manager of the theater walked out onto the stage and announced, "The Russians have put a space satellite into orbit around the earth. They call it ... Spootnik."
That's how the whole book goes: one simple, yet surprisingly pertinent, anecdote or observation after another. King covers the gamut of horror as he'd experienced it at that point in 1978 (a period of about 30 years): folk tales, literature, radio, good movies, junk movies, and the "glass teat". It's colorful, funny, and nostalgic--and also strikingly intelligent. --Fiona Webster --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Still, this seems to me like a good book for people who don't want to get too deep into literary critism but would like to think about horror at another level. The book's best feature is King's breezy readable style. I'm surprised at the people who had a hard time getting through it because it's an extremely readable book. (Again, I can only guess it's because these people don't like this kind of book--they bought it expecting something else). I've used this book in a course I've taught on horror film and fiction, and it's been pretty well received by my students. The drawbacks (if you think of them as drawbacks) are:
1. King has little to say about his own fiction or the many film versions of it.
2. It jumps all over the place. King does have some intersting things to say about novels like FRANKENSTEIN and DRACULA but not all that much. That's fair enough--this book is as much an account of what makes horror interesting for King as it is about the horror genre--but it leaves me wanting more.
Good book for someone who's just getting into reading about horror as a genre, but probably less than satisfying to somebody who wants more. I'd actually recommend Twitchell's DREADFUL PLEASURES as a better introduction to horror--but I'd bet people who were bored with this book would also hate that one (even though I think it's quite readable).
King professes that this analysis of horror is "a moving, rhythmic search" for "The place where we live at our most primitive level." But "Danse Macabre" is not just an academic colloquium because there are large measures of autobiography and criticism thrown into the mix as well. For King everything is fair game and he is as likely to talk about "Tourist Trap," a personal favorite film that the rest of us have never heard about, as he is "The Exorcist" and "Rosemary's Baby." This is a book where you can pick it up and start reading at any point and find it interesting. After all, this has clearly been the man's life.
I have been reading through "Danse Macabre" again, looking for ideas for a reading list for a class on Modern Fantasy in which Horror literature is a large component. However, in addition to commenting on or at least mentioning dozens of horror novels and short stories, King also sets up a basic schema for considering such works.Read more ›
Other Books Recommended: Stephen Jones and Kim Newman's Horror 100 Best Books (Unusual, Unorthodox, Unbelievable, The Single best book on horror by one than more author)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great sense of humour, let alone the comprehensive insight into the craft of making one's blood run cold. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Sandra D.
Originally released in 1981, Danse Macabre is a non-fiction book in which Stephen King tells the history of horror literature through the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Solari
my wife read this she said it was a great book and loves all of his books,,Published 4 months ago by mickey Dran
Interesting as far as an insight into horror as a cross-medium genre but the heavy emphasis on talking about and quoting Harlan Ellison were by far the best bits.Published 8 months ago by ANovelEromenos
King doesn't really have the scholarly chops to write a book like this - his observations are purely personal and lack any sort of critical heft. Read morePublished 8 months ago by M. Dalesandro
I had previously read this book and found it useful as well interesting. I also have it on Kindle but wanted a hard copy for my library, which contains just about everything... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kindle Customer
Interestingly, I can't read most of Stephen King's fiction - I don't like horror of any kind - but his books on writing are excellent. Read morePublished 9 months ago by G. Marsella
An interesting outlook on the Horror genre! King breaks down many classic stories and their impact on society! Great Read!Published 9 months ago by Craig Fearnside