Danse Macabre by Stephen King
New York : Everest House, 1981. First Edition; First Printing with code "RRD281" on copyright page. Hardcover. 400 pages ; Photographs ; 23 cm. $13.95 dust jacket with shelf wear and lots of rips along the jacket edges. Corners lightly bumped. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is firm.
STEPHEN KING'S stunning success as a novelist just may be unrivaled in publishing history. Other writers in their early twenties have been acclaimed, but few have reached sales figures of over 25 million books a decade later, and none save King has staked such a solid claim as undisputed master of a very special literary genre—the horror story. Carrie, The Shining, The Dead Zone, Firestarter have led to a worldwide curiosity about Stephen King and his intuitive affinity for the spine-chilling tale.
Danse Macabre is his analysis of horror— as "a moving, rhythmic search . . . for . . . the place where we live at our most primitive level." But it is much more. For the first time, Stephen King establishes a dialogue with the thousands of fans who've wondered about his strange control over a basically uncontrollable emotion. How can he do it? What were the internal and external influences on his writing? What channeled a natural writing talent into this distillation of fear?
King answers these and other questions in a style as readable and as compelling as used in any of his novels. This book is a unique one; a colloquium, autobiography, and critical evaluation of films, TV programs, and books which shaped his career and perhaps altered the tastes of readers the world over.
Danse Macabre is a conversation with Stephen King, a personal, one-on-one exchange of ideas on good, bad, great, and awful excursions into horror. For example, Tourist Trap, a virtually unknown small movie, is King's personal film favorite, although appraisals of Rosemary's Baby, The Amityville Horror, and dozens of others are perceptively and amusingly offered. In like vein, King comments, often saltily, on his fellow writers and, more devastatingly, on horror as shown on television.
Yet the writing goes deeper to examine the role that horror plays in our everyday lives (and in his, as well), and how experiencing horror through books, movies, and television is man's natural method of channeling the secret fears and anxieties in all of us. In his words, "we make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones; with the endless inventiveness of humankind, we grasp the very elements which are so divisive and destructive and try to turn them into tools ... to dismantle themselves."
Here, then, is a unique combination of fantasy and autobiography, of classic horror writing honed to a deeply personal, unforgettable edge. Here is Stephen King's Danse Macabre.
Stephen King's first novel, Carrie, was made into the hugely successful Brian De Palma film of the same name, and The Shining was filmed by Stanley Kubrick in 1980. Mr. King's other books include: 'Salem's Lot; Night Shift, a collection of short stories; The Stand; The Dead Zone; and his new #1 bestseller, Firestarter. Mr. King lives in Bangor, Maine with his wife Tabitha and three children.
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