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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

"[A]n utterly charming book that reads as if King were sitting right there with you, shooting the breeze." (Amazon.com review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Maggie
  • AUSTIN, TX, United States
  • 01-27-15

Always Hit Preview Before Purchasing an Audiobook!

What disappointed you about Danse Macabre?

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.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

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.

Any additional comments?

This narrator hates your eyes, and he WILL destroy them.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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NON-FICTION but still fun!

Any additional comments?

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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would have been better if king had narrated.

Though I enjoyed the depth of the book, I found the narration most annoying. Kings voice was present in the words, but the narrator kept missing the mark.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The narrator makes a very good text a chore

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Horrible overacting by William Dufris, and on a nonfiction book. King's text, even for a fact-based book, is lively all on its own, Mr. Dufris. There's no need for cutesy or overblown reading. The performance severely subtracts from the quality of the book. Please rerecord with a calm and less obnoxious narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Stay Away! You Have Been Warned...

Let me start by saying that I am a diehard fan of Stephen King's work. I own every first edition/1st printing he has ever released, plus some limited edition works. Of course, there have been novels that I liked more than others, or in which I was downright disappointed. But THIS one...
Danse Macabre is one of the most boring, surgically pedantic, and frankly, self indulgent books I have ever muscled my way through.
It reads as a textbook and made me feel as if I was back in college sitting in a literature class constantly catching myself daydreaming. "Why finish," you may ask? This was literally one of the remaining three novels of King's I have yet to read. My mild touch of OCD would simply not allow me to read every single one of King's books except one. Simply put, I did this for the sake of closure. I typically read books rather than listen to them, but with this one would have been an impossibility. The narrator was a bit grandiose and over the top, although palatable most of the time. Heed my warning, or go with God. Good luck with this one! Oh, and if you DO plan on soldiering on and getting into this book, if aren't already familiar with the terms Apollonian and Dionysian, take a peak at that first. This book is largely conservative vs. liberal under the shroud of Apollonian vs. Dionysian. Sounds exciting, right?

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • CC
  • 03-15-16

A Class with King

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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For Horror buffs

I enjoyed quite a bit. as a huge life long fan of the genre I enjoyed professor king teaching me about it. highly recommend for horror fans or aspiring writers.

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great class in horror: films and books!

Enjoyed sitting in Stephen King's audio classroom. Wish he would have narrated it himself though!

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Not King's best

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.

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The Best Lesson on Horror by a friend and Teacher!

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".