Danse Macabre by Stephen King

No Series

From the author of dozens of #1 New York Times bestsellers and the creator of many unforgettable movies comes a vivid, intelligent, and nostalgic journey through three decades of horror as experienced through the eyes of the most popular writer in the genre. In 1981, years before he sat down to tackle On Writing, Stephen King decided to address the topic of what makes horror horrifying and what makes terror terrifying. Here, in ten brilliantly written chapters, King delivers one colorful observation after another about the great stories, books, and films that comprise the horror genre—from Frankenstein and Dracula to The Exorcist, The Twilight Zone, and Earth vs. The Flying Saucers.

With the insight and good humor his fans appreciated in On Writing, Danse Macabre is an enjoyably entertaining tour through Stephen King’s beloved world of horror.

“We need ghost stories because we, in fact, are the ghosts.”

When people think of horror, they think of Stephen King. He should definitely be regarded as an expert in the horror genre.

I had wanted this book for years but once I started reading it, it was hard to keep up with. I kept putting it in the side. Yes it's an older book and not up to date with modern movies...but hearing King speak of memories of horror and his views on movies and books of older day seemed like a priceless idea to me.

While some areas are of course interesting, there is so much repeated and off-topic rambling that sneaks in. Ideas are stated but then beaten to death. 20 novels are discussed as majors in Horror Fiction but even that grows a bit repetitive. The movie section is the largest but feels all over the place. I wasn't interested in the TV section as much but will say King perhaps did the best there with staying on point and with the right touch of brevity. King doesn't hold back on his words at the best of times, but discussing the Haunting of Hill House for almost 20 pages is pushing it. He writes in a conversational tone without clear direction and sometimes circles to the same points again; while this isn't supposed to be a structured school essay, it keeps feeling so disorganized and conversational that it crushes enthusiasm.

On the plus side he mentions some greats and brings to mind some that aren't given enough attention. It's clear in an almost humorous way he's not a John Saul fan - did the two have a personal beef, or is he just unapologetic about his feelings of the author?

I enjoyed his musing in "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft". He's good at capturing the magic of reading and story. I highly recommend checking that one out, but this one didn't leave a favorable impression. It works better as a random reference than something to sit and read for entertainment.

   Book Quotes:

“We fall from womb to tomb, from one blackness and toward another, remembering little of the one and knowing nothing of the other ... except through faith.”

   Cover Gallery: