From the author of dozens of number-one New York Times best sellers 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 10 brilliant 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 Sacuers.
With the insight and good humor his fans appreciated in On Writing, Danse Macabre is an enjoyable entertaining tour through Stephen King’s beloved world of horror.
©2010 Stephen King (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"[A]n utterly charming book that reads as if King were sitting right there with you, shooting the breeze." (Amazon.com review)
I didn't even stop to consider whether buying Danse Macabre would be a good idea or not. Of course it would! It's a book I've loved for years, now in audiobook format, so I don't have to dig around for my old, crumbling copy! I can even share it with my friends!
Well, yeah... About that.
William Dufris is probably a super nice guy. Like, super nice, super standup.
But he's got a voice for silent movies. His delivery is just so contrived and obnoxious. He doesn't sound like he's reading a book; it's more like he's some cartoon character trying to pretend to be human in a bid to escape his animated purgatory for our world.
He sounds like if someone took Rob Schneider and stuffed him full of bees. This is state-of-the-art in offensively annoying.
I hated every second. And the friends I thought to share it with? They made it about five minutes before begging me to shut it off.
Our noses continued to bleed for half an hour.
This narrator hates your eyes, and he WILL destroy them.
This is by far the most interesting book I read all year! Exploring the horror genre through the eyes of Stephen King - what's not to love? Sometimes the book is written as if the two of us are sitting down and having a cup of coffee and discussing horror films and books. Other times the narrative feels like I am attending a lecture course in college - a good one - the kind that everyone fights to sign up for and actually attends. Either way, King gives great insight into the world of horror.
I purchased the revised book version with the essay "What's Scary" as a forenote and I really loved what had to say 30 years later.
The problem here is that King rattles on about books (particularly books) and films that the reader may not have knowledge of. And - unlike even a bad high-school English teacher - he doesn't hand out the reading assignments in advance. In a paper tome, the reader could simply skip ahead to something he or she was interested in (or read the Cliff's Notes a la Wikipedia) ... but in an audiobook - particularly one listened to in a car - this isn't possible. So the listener is trapped in a long-winded dissertation on "Hill House" when he hasn't read it, has no idea about the story, or anything about the book. Boring.
King is a good writer, and his prose is always witty and engaging, but a 30 minute pedantic yammer about a book I haven't read is just ridiculous. My fault, perhaps. But I'm paying for the ride.
Think of this as more of a guide to horror, rather than a story. After listening to it in Audible form I bought the Kindle version as well so I could take notes. This is Stephen King trying to define the genre of horror through selected works in literature and film. It's a fun conversation about the things that make scaring the pants off ourselves fun. It contains some history and a lot of insight. It will probably not be everyone's cup of tea, but if nothing else, it's a good source for new stories to check out.
Somewhat entertaining if you like the genre. But King uses far, far too many words to relay far too few insights. And the reading is overly dramatic, a little too cheeky. Still, King covers many titles I will make an effort to listen to or watch, based on his recommendations. King can be a solid, but inconsistent, storyteller. This nonfiction effort is squarely in the disappointing column.
I found this book an amazing asset and a must have tool for any fan of horror.
It was eye opening and inspirational.
It goes over the genres of horror and dissects some of the great episodes, issues and books on the subject.
William Dufris must have listened to Stephen King speak. He nailed some of the cadence and tones of humor. Simply put, he was great.
Because of how much I enjoyed this book. I'm looking forward to getting to Stephen King's "On Writing".
I think hardcore horror fans who are familiar with all the movies discussed might really enjoy this.
His reading was mostly very good, but at times, cartoonish.
The book goes into great depth on movies from 1950 to 1980. Sadly, I've seen very few of these, so I did not have a strong frame of reference for the book. Its early chapters were an excellent frame of the horror genre, but after 10 hours or so I figured I'd gotten what I could out of it. A good book, but before my time.
There is one instance of the word "zestful" in this book. Steve, you liar! You swore in "on writing" that you had been innoculated against the use of this word due to a bad science fiction book. WTF.
However, despite this injustice, this is a consistently fun and thought provoking meander through the ideas of horror and what frightens. Also there is a great new and very welcome introduction, in which King, now many years later, briefly talks about modern horror movies. This book contains some great ideas about the genre and is a good listen for those who enjoy time spent there.
The main fault of this book is that it's messy. King doesn't seem to be able to maintain a consistant theme. The book shoots from point to point, anecdote to anecdote, seemingly as they occur to the author.
Fortunately, much of what King has to say is interesting. Some of it, sadly, is the kind of grad-school BS he decries.
While not as interesting and deep as On Writing: A Memoir of Craft, King's Danse Macabre (Death Dance) is filled with some interesting anecdotes. This is also an update of the original from 1981, with updated references to Inglorious Basterds and Drag Me To Hell. Its a lot of rambling, but there are some interesting gems from the modern horror King.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.