The Monster Show

A Cultural History of Horror

David J. Skal

Faber and Faber, Inc.

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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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Praise for The Monster Show

"Fascinating [and] entertaining . . . to understand a culture, you must know what it fears."--Stefan Dziemianowicz, The Washington Post

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About the Author

David J. Skal

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.

David J. Skal

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Monster Show
A Cultural History of Horror
David J. Skal

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Faber & Faber
Faber and Faber, Inc.
October 2001
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780571199969
ISBN10: 0571199968
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 448 pages, 148 Two-Color Illustrations
$18.00
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