Since 2007 book reviews, events, publishing announcements, opinions, wild ideas and more!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Devil is in the Details

This new work from Troy Taylor THE DEVIL AND ALL HIS WORKS, subtitled "a history of Satan, Sin, Murder, Mayhem and Magic" is a detailed look at the roots of our idea of evil, the ways it has been expressed and worse, the manner in which some people have actively sought to encounter it in all its hellish glory.

Descending into this book, there is the feel of heat in the air and the smell of brimstone and sulphur overlaid all too normal  human faces and places. 

Scary, informative, and very insightful.  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Howling At the Moon: Werewolf Bibliographies

Ebon Moon by Dennis Mcdonald,
OK Paracon '12

A werewolf bibliography here.    A werewolf bibliography by students here.    One of the most detailed and annotated collections on the topic is Brian Frost's book, An Essential Guide to Werewolf Literature.   See also this entry on another old class work.

Danse Macabre: A Classic

No library should be without this book and no academic should attempt to teach horror without it.  Danse Macabre explores, as only Stephen King can, the bloodline of 20th century horror through film, television and literature. It is a foundational work crucial to understanding not only the literary or visual genre but to the mind out which they spring.  Other, highly academic works, exist but they lack the viseral and conversational style of King.  Fear, like humor, often is most successful linking with the stresses of its context. King illustrates this by noting the most frightening scene in the Amityville Horror.  It is not, he stresses, the flies, the goo, or the eyes glowing outside the window that gave the person in the theater seats the most discomfort it was instead when the lead character finds his money gone.  The cash only reception payment suddenly, mysteriously, stressfully goes missing...and the film coming out in the middle of the 1970's recession tapped strait into the vein of true horror as  it explored the growing stress, anger, and fear of the ensuing search.  We love the gothic and atmospheric horror since it is distanced from us....the greatest of fears, the deepest horrors stem from the 'it's just  little too real for comfort' bedrock of shared human experience. 

Here is a link to a .pdf version (including useful bibliographies).