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The Monster Show by David J. Skal

The Monster Show (1993)

by David J. Skal

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291238,609 (4.25)4



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I purchased this book many years ago. As with many in my library, it sat on my shelf just waiting for the right mood to strike. I wish I'd read it sooner. It provided a wealth of entertainment; the kind that more likely than not, wouldn't have entered your mind on its own. Now, it all seems so logical. David J. Skal examines the horror genre, not only through the connections of stage performances and video, but the history made through the complicated eras they grew and passed through. If you're a fan of horror on any level, you owe it to yourself to approach the genre from a cultural point of view. It won't dissappoint. ( )
  spartacula2 | Mar 4, 2010 |
My 2 Cents: I really got into this book while I was doing research for a film list that a friend of mine and I we watching. The thing I liked about it was that a) it took the genre seriously, but not too seriously (unlike most other genre critisisms that either repeat the terms "Kicked Ass" or "Sucked Nuts" or go way to indepth, past the point of being an enjoyable read.) Skal covers a nice range of films and topics that should make anyone interested in the genre happy. ( )
  smurfwreck | Feb 9, 2006 |
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"I'll show you what horror means." - Fredric March in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
For Hilary, Malaga, and Scott
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0571199968, Paperback)

This study of the visual horror genre from Dr. Caligari to Dr. Hannibal Lecter starts with a discussion of Diane Arbus's photographs of freaks. David Skal then suggests that he will seek to "explain why the images resonated in the culture ... [and] why so much of our imaginative life in the 20th century has been devoted to peeling back the masks and scabs of civilization, to finding, cultivating, and projecting nightmare images of the secret self." Whether or not you agree with his thesis that horror is a symptom of society's ills (war, disease, poverty), you will find much of value in this thorough, highly readable history--especially the detailed accounts of the work of filmmaker Tod Browning, and of how Frankenstein and Dracula made their way from books to plays to films. The book is handsomely designed (hardcover has dust jacket by Edward Gorey), with illustrations, footnotes, and index.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:06 -0400)

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