HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Danse Macabre by Stephen King
Loading...

Danse Macabre (original 1981; edition 1983)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,614382,289 (3.77)135
Member:stephmo
Title:Danse Macabre
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Berkley (1983), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:writing, horror, style, how-to, essay, stephen king, listsofbests

Work details

Danse Macabre by Stephen King (1981)

Recently added byprivate library, Duranfan, drmehollis, MaraBlaise, Gregorio_Roth
  1. 30
    The Modern Weird Tale : A Critique of Horror Fiction by S. T. Joshi (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Another fascinating overview of the horror genre in the 20th century.
  2. 20
    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Look here for Stephen King's take on The Haunting of Hill House.
  3. 10
    Supernatural horror in literature by H. P. Lovecraft (artturnerjr)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 135 mentions

English (36)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (38)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
An intriguing look into Stephen King's insights and interpretations of what horror is about and why horror fiction exists. ( )
  trile1000 | Jul 7, 2014 |
Although I love Stephen King and wanted to hear his insights into the horror found in our pop culture, I was disappointed. The references ramble a bit, in his fiction it seems to have a conversational feel, here it feels like listening to a drunk uncle reminiscing about the good ole days. I did prefer the references to books versus movies and did pick up the invasion of the body snatchers by Jack Finney which I loved.
I do have to say I listened to the audiobook version and learned the narrator is also the voice of Bob The Builder. This was such a turn off, his reading is annoying and laughable at points, maybe I would have liked and followed the narration better if it had been read by Stephen himself, avoid the audiobook! ( )
  mccin68 | Apr 17, 2014 |
I'm re-reading Stephen King's books in chronological order and this was the next book in line. I can now tell exactly how old I was when I originally read his books because this was the first one I bought (well was gifted) brand new from the bookstore. Every July (my bday) and Christmas my dad would give me any new Stephen King books that had come out as presents; so I was 13 when I got this one. I was really looking forward to this, King's first foray into non-fiction, as my first read of it had been soooo enlightening. I wanted to get my hands on every book he mentioned, watch every movie he named but it being pre-internet days that was a very hard task indeed. Now that I re-read the book thirty years later I find that I've watched a great many of the mentioned movies and the major books listed but not all of them so I still had some titles and authors to add to my tbr.

It's a great book and so interesting to read. Parts of the book are biographical telling about young Steve's life as a kid when he connected with this world of the macabre, but mostly it is his treatise on the horror story genre and what it includes both the good and the bad. The movie section was enjoyable but my favourite part was the longest section: on books, of course. Steve has a great writing voice and it's like taking to someone about a topic you both love over a couple of beers. The only part that was disappointing was the section on TV. The book shows its age here, written in 1981, King is writing from an era of Mork & Mindy, The Dukes of Hazzard and Fantasy Island to name a few. King has no use for television whatsoever, feeling that all who lower themselves to its level, actors, directors, writers are entering an abyss of no return. He does manage to tell about a few gems, in his opinion, and he recommends such as Outer Limits and Dark Shadows. The book was written over quite a period of time which shows as when he first starts the book he mentions his own books: . Carrie, 'Salem's Lot, The Shining (and the corresponding movies), further on Night Shift and The Stand and towards book's end The Dead Zone is mentioned once. He had also of course published Firestarter by the time this book was on the shelves.

Since his opinions and views of television are so outdated from now, where horror is a staple on the tube with King even being behind some ventures himself (Kingdom Hospital), I would sincerely love a follow-up to this book. Two ideas I have Uncle Steve, if you are listening: 1) continue with another book following the same theme horror movies, TV, books from the 80s to the 2010's. or 2) A new book just on horror and TV where King can expound on the very short chapter he included in this book and then go on to talk about what happened with horror on TV after the sitcom driven slump of the 80s up to the present. Why was Buffy a big hit in the 90s? Why is Walking Dead so hot today? Great book for the history of the genre but really worthy of a modern follow-up since there is so much more to say when his opinions are rooted in the eighties. ( )
  ElizaJane | Dec 14, 2013 |
Who knew Stephen King and terror could be so... entertaining?! A discussion of all things scary, including a look at films from the 1930s onwards, King brings a discerning and remarkably funny eye to dissecting what makes us scream. The book reads like an extended literary thesis on steroids: analytical but fun. A bit dated now (published in the 1980s) this reader would love a new edition to include films like Paranormal and The Conjuring. ( )
1 vote mjspear | Oct 24, 2013 |
Interesting read. It was fascinating to read this after having read 2000's [b:On Writing|10569|On Writing|Stephen King|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348431774s/10569.jpg|150292]. King's voice is different here, as in 1983 he was a rocket-hot best-selling author still in his thirties, rather than an established best-selling author in his fifties. Here he writes like a man with something to prove, to himself as well as you. Also, this book was clearly written before King openly recognized he was an alcoholic, as he rather gleefully mentions multiple instances of getting shitfaced.

The book itself is meandering and discursive, and it reads more like a set of informal lectures than a "proper" work of literary criticism. King touches on thirty years of horror in the form of films, television shows, and books, taking a few examples of each medium and discussing them at length. In keeping with King's utter inability to write about anything other than himself (that sounds snide, but it's a wonderful quality and I mean it as a compliment), he discusses many of these pieces in terms of how they shaped him as a person and a writer.

Perhaps the best compliment I can pay this book is that it made me wish I were more familiar with the material discussed. It made me want to become a Roger Corman completist, a Twilight Zone completist, reread [b:Frankenstein|18490|Frankenstein|Mary Shelley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1311647465s/18490.jpg|4836639] with a kinder eye, and then come back and read this book again.

King also takes aim at the notion that violent or horrific media cause violent and horrific acts. In an reasoned yet impassioned essay, he argues that if anything, horror fiction serves as a release valve rather than a focus for violent feelings. It's one of the best parts of the book.

I enjoyed this book, not quite as much as On Writing, but well worth the read, as a glimpse both into the horror genre, and King's own development as an author. ( )
  benjamin.duffy | Jul 28, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Enter, Stranger, at your Riske: Here there be Tygers.
"What was the worst thing you've ever done?"
"I won't tell you that, but I'll tell you the worst thing that ever happened to me...the most dreadful thing..." Peter Straub, Ghost Story
"Well we'll really have a party but we gotta post a guard outside..." Eddie Cochran, "Come On Everybody"
Dedication
It's easy enough--perhaps too easy--to memorialize the dead. This book is for six great writers of the macabre who are still alive. Robert Bloch, Jorge Luis Borges, Ray Bradbury, Frank Belknap Long, Donald Wandrei, Manly Wade Wellman.
First words
For me, the terror--the real terror, as opposed to whatever demons and boogeys which might have been living in my own mind--began on an afternoon in October of 1957.
Quotations
Have you ever stood in a bookshop, glanced furtively around, and turned to the end of an Agatha Christie to see who did it, and how? Have you ever turned to the end of a horror novel to see if the hero made it out of the darkness and into the light? If you have ever done this, I have three simple words which I feel it is my duty to convey: SHAME ON YOU! It is low to mark your place in a book by folding down the corner of the page where you left off; TURNING TO THE END TO SEE HOW IT CAME OUT is even lower. If you have this habit, I urge you to break it...break it at once!
Being who I am, I cannot find it in my heart to wish you pleasant dreams.
“I recognize terror as the finest emotion and so I will try to terrorize the reader. But if I find that I cannot terrify, I will try to horrify, and if I find that I cannot horrify, I'll go for the gross-out. I'm not proud.”
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The french book "Danse macabre" is the translation of "Night shift" book. English book "Danse macabre" was translated into "Anatomie de l'horreur".
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425104338, Mass Market Paperback)

In the fall of 1978 (between The Stand and The Dead Zone), Stephen King taught a course at the University of Maine on "Themes in Supernatural Literature." As he writes in the foreword to this book, he was nervous at the prospect of "spending a lot of time in front of a lot of people talking about a subject in which I had previously only felt my way instinctively, like a blind man." The course apparently went well, and as with most teaching experiences, it was as instructive, if not more so, to the teacher as it was to the students. Thanks to a suggestion from his former editor at Doubleday, King decided to write Danse Macabre as a personal record of the thoughts about horror that he developed and refined as a result of that course.

The outcome is an utterly charming book that reads as if King were sitting right there with you, shooting the breeze. He starts on October 4, 1957, when he was 10 years old, watching a Saturday matinee of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. Just as the saucers were mounting their attack on "Our Nation's Capital," the movie was suddenly turned off. The manager of the theater walked out onto the stage and announced, "The Russians have put a space satellite into orbit around the earth. They call it ... Spootnik."

That's how the whole book goes: one simple, yet surprisingly pertinent, anecdote or observation after another. King covers the gamut of horror as he'd experienced it at that point in 1978 (a period of about 30 years): folk tales, literature, radio, good movies, junk movies, and the "glass teat". It's colorful, funny, and nostalgic--and also strikingly intelligent. --Fiona Webster

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:34 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The author addresses the topic of what makes horror horrifying and what makes terror terrifying. King delivers one colorful observation after another about the great stories, books and films that comprise of the horror genre--from Frankenstein and Dracula to The exorcist, The twilight zone and Earth vs. The flying saucers.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
206 avail.
95 wanted
5 pay5 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.77)
0.5
1 11
1.5 2
2 24
2.5 14
3 128
3.5 35
4 180
4.5 18
5 120

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 94,354,555 books! | Top bar: Always visible