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The Monster Show : A Cultural History of Horror - David J Skal

The Monster Show

A Cultural History of Horror

Paperback

Published: 15th October 2001
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Illuminating the dark side of the American century, "The Monster Show" uncovers the surprising links between horror entertainment and the great social crises of our time, as well as horror's function as a pop analogue to surrealism and other artistic movements.
With penetrating analyses and revealing anecdotes, David J. Skal chronicles one of our most popular and pervasive modes of cultural expression. He explores the disguised form in which Hollywood's classic horror movies played out the traumas of two world wars and the Depression; the nightmare visions of invasion and mind control catalyzed by the Cold War; the preoccupation with demon children that took hold as thalidomide, birth control, and abortion changed the reproductive landscape; the vogue in visceral, transformative special effects that paralleled the development of the plastic surgery industry; the link between the AIDS epidemic and the current fascination with vampires; and much more. Now with a new Afterword by the author that looks at horror's popular renaissance in the last decade, "The Monster Show" is a compulsively readable, thought-provoking inquiry into America's obsession with the macabre.
David J. Skal is the author several critically acclaimed books on fantastic literature and genre cinema, including "Hollywood Gothic: The Tangled Web of "Dracula "from Novel to Stage to Screen; Screams of Reason; Mad Science and Modern Culture; V Is for Vampire: The A to Z Guide to Everything Undead; "and, with Elias Savada, "Dark Carnival: The Secret World of Tod Browning." With Nina Auerbach, he is co-editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Bram Stoker's "Dracula." His writing has appeared in a variety of publications, ranging from "The New York Times" to "Cinefantastique, " and for television (on the A&E series "Biography").
Illuminating the dark side of the American century, "The Monster Show" uncovers the surprising links between horror entertainment and the great social crises of our time, as well as horror's function as a pop-cultural counterpart to surrealism, expressionism, and other twentieth-century artistic movements.
Skal explores a broad landscape of cultural expression--from painting, photography, and theater to television, comic books, and novels. Ultimately focusing on film, he examines the many ways in which this medium has played out the traumas of two world wars and the Depression; the nightmare visions of invasion and mind control engendered by the Cold War; the preoccupation with demon children and mutants that took hold as thalidomide, birth control, and abortion changed the reproductive landscape; the vogue in body-transforming special effects that paralleled the development of the plastic surgery industry; the link between the AIDS epidemic and a renewed fascination with vampires; and much more. With a new Afterword by the author that looks at horror's popular renaissance in the last decade, "The Monster Show" is a thought-provoking inquiry into America's obsession with the macabre.
"The best book about horror movies I have ever read."--Robert Bloch, author of "Psycho"
"Fascinating . . . lively and entertaining . . . To understand a culture, you must know what it fears."--Stefan Dziemianowicz, " Washington Post Book World"
"The best book about horror movies I have ever read."--Robert Bloch, author of "Psycho"
"Lively . . . Provocative and illuminating."--Michiko Kakutani, " The New York Times"
"Frightfully well-done survey of modern horror, eclipsing Stephen King's seminal" Danse Macabre" for clarity of writing, if not personableness or depth of idea, and Walter Kendrick's "The Thrill of Fear "for cultural savvy . . . with a wealth of enjoyable anecdote and fact . . . An] impeccably researched, lively chronicle."--"Kirkus Reviews"
"Nearly impossible to put down."--"Fangoria"

"Fascinating [and] entertaining . . . to understand a culture, you must know what it fears." --Stefan Dziemianowicz, The Washington Post Fascinating [and] entertaining . . . to understand a culture, you must know what it fears. Stefan Dziemianowicz, The Washington Post" "Fascinating �and� entertaining . . . to understand a culture, you must know what it fears."--Stefan Dziemianowicz, "The Washington Post" "Fascinating [and] entertaining . . . to understand a culture, you must know what it fears."--Stefan Dziemianowicz, "The Washington Post"

ISBN: 9780571199969
ISBN-10: 0571199968
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 448
Published: 15th October 2001
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.1 x 13.7  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 0.41