Danse Macabre

Narrated by: William Dufris
Length: 18 hrs and 6 mins
4 out of 5 stars (493 ratings)

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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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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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.

56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

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.

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book, irritating narrator

Everything this narrator says is read with a dopey tone that makes me want to shut the book off. Kings content is too interesting even for this guy to ruin but he is ANNOYING. Here's a hint, not every line needs a snarky or mocking tone.

2 people found this 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.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This isn’t supposed to read like a piece for Saturday morning NPR.

Why is William Dufris’ delivery come across like a Stand-Up schlock on Siririus XM? We’re talking about classic horror, not Calvin and Hobbs. As an audio producer, I would not have allowed you to make it past the first paragraph of your galley.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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one of the most enjoyable books on the subject

I have always been a King fan but this was sublime! so personable I felt part of it. The narrator was the best I've heard. you don't have to be an avid reader to enjoy this selection as it deals a great deal with film and even a little on the human psyche. Loved it!

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Why didn’t King narrate this?

The book is written as if Stephen King was talking to you. Why wouldn’t he narrate this title?

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected.

1. This would be tons better if King himself were the narrator.
2. I guess I expected something different, but it strikes me as King fanboying over the horror genre in general. I don't know what I expected anymore, but it wasn't this.
There are many reviewers who enjoyed his take on his experience with the genre. I am just not one of them, sorry.