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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 --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
The indisputable king of horror TIME One of the few horror writers who can truly make the flesh creep SUNDAY EXPRESS --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
Stephen King talks about horror and horror films. How could you not want to know his thoughts and feelings. It's a great book for horror fans.Published 16 months ago by Jazz Virk
Aside from a mark on the bottom of the book it was in mint condition. No creases on the spine or covers. No tears on the pages.Published 22 months ago by Jason Mercier
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... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Nicola Mansfield
This book, written using the author's notes from a college course he taught, explores the techniques that horror writers, filmmakers, and television producers use to scare us,... Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2013 by John M. Ford
Mr. King introduces several chapters in this book with apologies, along the lines of, "I hate to do this to you, but now I'm going to explain ... Read morePublished on July 13 2004 by Brian
I bought Danse Macabre when I was still in high school and read it so many times that it fell apart. Read morePublished on June 23 2004 by Amazon Customer
When I opened this book, I thought I was going to read the insights of a master of fright fiction, what I found were rambling anecdotes and recollections.
Mr. Read more
And pictures, too! Good ones! King is one of those writers who
has never known when to shut up, but I'll make an exception in the case of this book. Read more
I have probably read "Danse Macabre" more times than I have any other book. Most rereads occur when there is nothing else to do, since the book seems to always just be... Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2002 by Michael Allen