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Stephen King's Danse Macabre

King, Stephen

21,738 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0896960765 / ISBN 13: 9780896960763
Published by Everest House, New York, New York, 1981
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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About this Item

Maroon spine over red faux-leather patterned boards, gilt titles. First edition with RRD281 code to cr. Book very good with faint edge spotting, very small bump/split to paper at corners. DJ, priced $13.95, also very good with edge/foldwear, two small chips and one tissue-repaired short tear. 400 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 10256

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Stephen King's Danse Macabre

Publisher: Everest House, New York, New York

Publication Date: 1981

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title


The best-selling author offers a subjective tour of favorite books, films, and television programs which have met his criteria for great horror, examines the attractions and satisfactions of horror stories, and recounts his own vital encounter with horror


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

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