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Pretend We're Dead: Capitalist Monsters in American Pop Culture Paperback – July 17, 2006

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Pretend We're Dead sets our monsters free of the dank laboratory of psychosexual studies and sends them rampaging across the landscape of economic reality. A sweeping, liberating, and wonderfully readable book.”—Gerard Jones, author of Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book


“Of all the modern (and postmodern) culture commentators, Annalee Newitz has the perfect blend of a fan’s unabashed enthusiasm and a true critic’s engaged, iconoclastic insights and questions. Casual and smart, bold yet breezy, Pretend We’re Dead won’t just make you take a second look at the landscape of modern horror—it’ll make you look at modern consumerist life (and death) with fresh eyes.”—James Rocchi, editor in chief of cinematical.com and film critic for cbs-5 San Francisco


Pretend We’re Dead is a convincing, accessible work that will interest everyone from academics and media analysts who like offbeat criticism to horror lovers who like to watch zombies eat brains.”
(D. Harlan Wilson, Science Fiction Studies)

“[A] sophisticated and rewarding Marxist analysis of the horror movie. . . . Where Newitz differs from any other writer on horror that I’ve read is in her insistence that her distinctively American, anti-capitalist tradition of horror begins not with the Enlightenment and its discontents, which find form in the European Gothic novel of the late-eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but rather with the naturalist novel of the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This is a startling and, at first sight, highly contentious position, but it’s one that Newitz argues rather brilliantly.”
(Darryl Jones, Modernism/Modernity)

From the Back Cover

"Of all the modern (and postmodern) culture commentators, Annalee Newitz has the perfect blend of a fan's unabashed enthusiasm and a true critic's engaged, iconoclastic insights and questions. Casual and smart, bold yet breezy, "Pretend We're Dead" won't just make you take a second look at the landscape of modern horror--it'll make you look at modern consumerist life (and death) with fresh eyes."--James Rocchi, editor in chief of cinematical.com and film critic for cbs-5 San Francisco
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books; 1st edition (July 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822337452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822337454
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,510,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Pretend We're Dead by Annalee Newitz explores pop culture images of monsters as metaphors for experiences within American-style capitalism. Her premise is stated in her introduction, "Capitalism, as its monsters tell us more or less explicitly, makes us pretend we're dead in order to live. This pretense of death, this willing sacrifice of our own lives simply for money, is the dark side of our economic system" (6.)

The following chapters of this energetic, erudite, and sometimes hilarious study of American pop culture are dedicated to five types of popular monsters, which Annalee shows to be projections of capitalist fears. The monsters are: Serial Killers, Mad Doctors, The Undead, Robots, and Mass Media. The final chapter ends this study of pop culture by reminding us that within this system, we are after all, "consumers" of images and cultural forms, which only exist to terrify us.

A fun, yet important book!
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By Acute Observer on September 20, 2015
Format: Paperback
This book is not in my County Library System and probably never will be. They do have "Hollywood Horror".
"Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley and "Dracula" by Bram Stoker were written in the 19th century before moving pictures were invented.

Scary stories seem part of human history, like the original and uncensored Grimm Brothers Fairy Tales.
Is there a lesson in these fairy tales? "Hansel and Gretel" warn children against friendly strangers, etc.

This seems like the kind of book you would page through but not actually read.
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