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This title in other editions

The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror

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The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 expressionfrom 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

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

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. He has written, produced, and directed a dozen original DVD documentaries, including features on the Universal Studios' classic monster movies, and a behind-the-scenes chronicle of the Academy Award-winning film Gods and Monsters. He currently lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780571199969
Author:
Skal, David J.
Publisher:
Faber & Faber
Author:
Skal, David J.
Location:
New York
Subject:
Mass media
Subject:
Film - History & Criticism
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
History and criticism
Subject:
Horror films
Subject:
Social problems in motion pictures
Subject:
Popular Culture - General
Subject:
Mass Media - General
Subject:
Film & Video - History & Criticism
Subject:
Media Studies
Subject:
Horror films -- History and criticism.
Subject:
Film and Television-History and Criticism
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series Volume:
no. 1
Publication Date:
20011031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
148 Two-Color Illustrations
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.47 x 5.56 x 1.27 in

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Related Subjects

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History and Social Science » Sociology » Media
Humanities » Literary Criticism » Literary and Cultural Studies

The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror Used Trade Paper
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Product details 448 pages Faber & Faber - English 9780571199969 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
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.

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