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In the Dust of This Planet: Horror of Philosophy vol. 1 Paperback – August 16, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The book is featured in the Radiolab episode "In The Dust Of This Planet" (radiolab.org/story/dust-planet/).

"Thacker's discourse on the intersection of horror and philosophy is utterly original and utterly captivating...In the Dust of This Planet is an encyclopedic grimoire instructing us in the varieties of esoteric thought and infernal diversions that exist for the reader's further investigation, treating us to a delightful stroll down a midway of accursed attractions that alone are worth the ticket of this volume."
Thomas Ligotti, author of Songs of a Dead Dreamer and The Conspiracy Against the Human Race

Glenn Beck (ex-Fox News) has done a segment on his show unpicking the "pop-nihilist" conspiracy from the book; posted on youtube.com/watch?v=2IW8OK4_1gQ (Glenn Beck September 2014)

About the Author

Eugene Thacker is a New York based author.

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Product Details

  • Series: Horror of Philosophy (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Zero Books (August 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184694676X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846946769
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.4 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Lyons on March 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary book. Thacker is obviously an expert on a wide variety of seemingly unrelated things: Western philosophy, extreme music, horror and science fiction literature and film, and medieval through modern religious tracts. This book takes all of this and synthesizes it into a series of extremely thought-provoking claims, centered around the idea that horror is a window into the unthinkable occulted reality. If you have an interest in horror or awe you'll probably find something interesting in here and you will definitely be confronted with novel thoughts and ways of thinking. As a purely philosophical work, it's great.

More than that, it is also a success as literature itself. Thacker establishes a sort of horror ambiance that seems only partially derived from the subject matter. He also openly, perhaps somewhat ostentatiously, relies on medieval scholastic structure for the book itself, organizing the material into "lectio," "disputatio" and "quaestio", but it works quite well, because these structures are designed around raising questions, highlighting contradictions and taking diversions rather than linearly building up a proof the way a modern philosophical treatise would.

In short, it's an utter success in both form and content. It's a quick read, but contains many large, difficult ideas but presents them in a fun way. I strongly recommend it.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Colin Hinckley on November 23, 2014
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Deeply unsettling, yet somehow also comforting. By deconstructing the way we consider our world through the lens of the horror genre, Thacker creates a piece of nihilist philosophy that doesn't feel obnoxiously glum or self loathing. Deeply analytical and carefully researched, this book is an excellent way for those new to nihilist philosophy or philosophy in general to dip their toes into the ancient art of placing ourselves in a physical and moral universe. As a lover of the horror genre, this book makes me feel as if my love for the macabre is not only valid and founded, but deeply rooted in my own subconscious understanding that my place in the cosmos is essentially meaningless. And the horror genre is a way in which we cope with that meaninglessness. Also, Glenn Beck hates it, so there's a reason to read it right there.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Vidas on September 14, 2014
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Tough book. Cuts through our "world-for-us" fantasies right through. WARNING: May cause depression and nihilism. Yet the fact that Eugene writes the book and we read it somehow brings us back to our convenient fantasy land: yeah, maybe nothing makes sense in life, and nothing is comprehensible, but at least we can talk and fantasize about it ;) That's what we humans are good at.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Chad Lott on November 13, 2014
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If you're a horror or black metal fan with an interest in philosophy, you're going to enjoy this short book immensely. You can tell the author really loves the subject and he treats it serious, with an appropriate amount of cheekiness. Hardcore analytic philosophy fans might find this to be less rigorous than they might like since It kind of has a comp lit close reading approach (which is what the author's PHD is in), but it's provocative and enjoyable.

I'm a pretty deep fan of this stuff and I found page after page of new books and music to explore that I'd never heard of. True Detective super fans should check this out as it served as inspiration for the development of Rust Cohle.

Read this book with Tomas Ligott's Conspiracy Against the Human Race, Albert Camus' Myth of Sisyphus, and a few of your favorite H.P. Lovecraft stories for the full effect.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Brian on December 21, 2014
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As a writer, this book has helped me flesh out a few interesting ideas surrounding horror and magic. The idea of the "world-without-us" is something that has rattled in my brain for a few years now and I was happy to have Thacker validate and give structure to the illusive black ocean always lapping just around the next corner of my thoughts. A few of his arguments become dense and confusing, and there are moments where he leaps for his conclusions; but there are more fun, provocative, and mind-bending moments than not.

Also, the simple cover art is bizarrely iconic and really drew me to the book. It's great.

It's a wonderful book, and not nearly dark or depressing as its recent reputation has it pegged as. "In The Dust of This Planet" is a beautifully weird read.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By P. Quadrio on January 19, 2015
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There are some things I really like about the book, I think the kind of analysis of Black Metal provided in the first part of this book was long over due, the philosophical treatment of horror deserves more (or perhaps 'better') than the kind of cognitivist reductionism of thinkers like Noel Carroll. Certainly at times I found myself really engrossed by various sections or discussions. But overall, its a grab-bag of ideas that are not well forged together. Those moments that are interesting and engrossing are offset by moments that are frustrating, unfulfilling or empty. Those who love to affect 'darkness and morbidity' will no doubt find this book an essential fashion item.
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19 of 27 people found the following review helpful By c2588 on March 12, 2013
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What made this really fun for me was that most of the literature being cited was more than 100 years old. He's writing, in this book, as if Medieval philosophy were still an important scholarly enterprise, demonology was a well known subfield, and Lovecraft was an intellectual with whom all educated people must engage!
The main concepts were engaging, though very similar to other speculative realist arguments in the intense enthusiasm for doing away with anthropocentrism. At least here we have a very stylized and fun set case, and the world beyond the grasp of humans is Lovecraftian rather than quotidian.
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