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Horror Readers' Advisory: The…

Horror Readers' Advisory: The Librarian's Guide to Vampires,…

by Becky Siegel Spratford

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The ALA Readers' Advisory Series are all written by different people (understandably), which makes for very uneven reading. The romance advisory was written as a defense of the genre, a calling for people to be unashamed of reading romance. Ultimately, I came out with a good understanding of the genre, and several books to read. This horror advisory reads more like several essays on subgenres.

The writing is more academic than conversational, and the separation of the subgenres did not work properly. The authors discuss overlap, but did not format the book in a way to handle the overlap. Books that belong in more than one subgenre receive an annotation in one genre and a note in the other, but there is no consistency in which section gets the annotations (Either whichever comes first in reading the book, or which one is more prevalent in the book would have been acceptable to me). Some books that should have been in more than one category weren't, which would have been fine were the authors consistent with books only being in one. There was no cross-referencing within the text so it was not easy to see that a book under monsters is also under splatterpunk. (Believe me, suggesting a splatterpunk book to someone unawares is bad news.)

The annotations and descriptions did not make me want to step outside of my comfort zone in my own reading, nor were they extensive enough for me to use without doing some of my own research into the books. All in all, I'm not sure that my view of horror was changed at all. Perhaps someone who has never read any horror would benefit more from this book, it is both an easy reference and a quick read straight through. This book has it's purposes for a library, they just didn't suit mine. ( )
  LarsTheLibrarian | Mar 10, 2010 |
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It's a dark and scary world. Fans are rabid. Blood, guts, and gore are the norm. Welcome to the horror genre. Horror classics have been scaring people for years. Nowadays, who doesn't know about Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Dean Koontz? Profiled in a special section, the "Big Three" have turned horror into best-sellers. For all the horror fans that haunt your library, this is the must-have guide. Readers' advisors and reference librarians will appreciate the key tools provided to expand upon this genre, including listings of top books, authors, and award winners within eleven horror subgenres-like mummies, biomedical, monsters, and splatterpunk. Clear descriptions of characteristics within subgenres are provided throughout. To further help you engage new readers, expert horror mavens Spratford and Clausen draw a savvy connection between film and horror as a potent reminder that the scariest movies have been adapted from novels. Their classic and contemporary recommendations like Rebecca, The Shining, and Rosemary's Baby reinforce activities between readers' advisors and library programming and open up the (cellar) door for further patron involvement. Readers' advisors and reference librarians will also learn: The art of the readers' advisory interview for horror Strategies to develop, and tools to market, the horror collection Tactics for introducing non-horror readers to the genre Where to go for more details and resources Horror may be an acquired taste, but under the guidance of two passionate aficionados, any librarian can master the basics to add horror into readers' advisory services.… (more)

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