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$12.24 list($18.00)
1. H. P. Lovecraft: Against The World,
$7.19 $4.87 list($7.99)
2. Stephen King's Danse Macabre
$24.99 $15.45
3. The Cambridge Companion to Gothic
$23.99 $10.95
4. The Cambridge Companion to Edgar
$14.93 $3.52 list($21.95)
5. The Stephen King Universe
$21.00 $20.46
6. Our Vampires, Ourselves
$33.95 $26.90
7. A Companion to the Gothic (Blackwell
$19.00 $12.95
8. Dracula : The Connoisseur's Guide
$57.20 list($65.00)
9. Empire and the Gothic: The Politics
$24.95 $13.00
10. The Lost Work of Stephen King:
$49.01 list($33.20)
11. The Literature of Terror: A History
$17.95
12. The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A
$21.95
13. Shirley Jacksonªs American Gothic
$14.95
14. Asian Horror Encyclopedia: Asian
$15.95 $7.75
15. Nightmare on Main Street: Angels,
$17.50 $8.75
16. Mary Shelley: Frankenstein
$4.95 $2.99
17. Spark Notes Frankenstein
$22.95 $5.95
18. The Gothic Family Romance: Heterosexuality,
$20.00 $13.36
19. An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia
$45.00 $16.98
20. The Mummy in Fact, Fiction and

1. H. P. Lovecraft: Against The World, Against Life
by Michel Houellebecq
list price: $18.00
our price: $12.24
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Asin: 1932416188
Catlog: Book (2005-04-01)
Publisher: McSweeney's Books
Sales Rank: 480622
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2. Stephen King's Danse Macabre
by Stephen King
list price: $7.99
our price: $7.19
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Asin: 0425104338
Catlog: Book (1997-08-01)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 61557
Average Customer Review: 4.24 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

In the fall of 1978 (betweenThe Stand and The Dead Zone), Stephen King taught a course at the University of Maine on "Themes in Supernatural Literature." As he writes in the foreword to this book, he was nervous at the prospect of "spending a lot of time in front of a lot of people talking about a subject in which I had previously only felt my way instinctively, like a blind man." The course apparently went well, and as with most teaching experiences, it was as instructive, if not more so, to the teacher as it was to the students. Thanks to a suggestion from his former editor at Doubleday, King decided to write Danse Macabre as a personal record of the thoughts about horror that he developed and refined as a result of that course.

The outcome is an utterly charming book that reads as if King were sitting right there with you, shooting the breeze. He starts on October 4, 1957, when he was 10 years old, watching a Saturday matinee of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. Just as the saucers were mounting their attack on "Our Nation's Capital," the movie was suddenly turned off. The manager of the theater walked out onto the stage and announced, "The Russians have put a space satellite into orbit around the earth. They call it ...Spootnik."

That's how the whole book goes: one simple, yet surprisingly pertinent, anecdote or observation after another. King covers the gamut of horror as he'd experienced it at that point in 1978 (a period of about 30 years): folk tales, literature, radio, good movies, junk movies, and the"glass teat".It's colorful, funny, and nostalgic--and also strikingly intelligent. --Fiona Webster ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most lucid book about horror past and present
When I was in high school I did a presentation on horror movies and used this book as the sole point of reference. Besides being an example of what a lazy 17 year old I was, it also shows the quality of information.

Stephen King not only is a great horror writer but he's also a fan. His memory, insights and knowledge are second only to Joe Bob Briggs. Even silly fifties movie are given a new life under Stephen King's nostalgia tripping. The back of the book has a list of greatest horror movies in King's opinion. An invaluable list.

The only drawback is the fact that you start noticing the injokes in other books. Example is the scene in It where the main character has to recite "He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts". Read this book and you know that he's tributing Donovan's Brain.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Guide To Horror Fiction From a Single Author
I have read many books of criticism and opinion on the subject of horror fiction. However, no single author has been able to cover the field of modern horror better than Stephen King. In Danse Macabre King makes the field of horror accessible to the general reader. There are books which explain the Freudian overtones of Dracula or the anti-establishment message of Night of the Living Dead which is, for all practical purposes, useless. English and Cinema majors may find it useful, but the general reader has no time or concern for these trifles. King, while at times veering off topic, gives the reader a road map for the field of horror. He introduces and discusses writers which the general reader of fiction may never have heard of, like James Herbert and Harlan Ellison. And never does the book become boring. King's love for the genre shows in this work. It is like attending an Einstein lecture on Physics; it may get a bit complicated at times, but you know that old Al will bring an energy and enthusiasm to the subject which no one else could ever hope to copy.

Other Books Recommended: Stephen Jones and Kim Newman's Horror 100 Best Books (Unusual, Unorthodox, Unbelievable, The Single best book on horror by one than more author)

2-0 out of 5 stars Get to the point
Mr. King introduces several chapters in this book with apologies, along the lines of, "I hate to do this to you, but now I'm going to explain ..." or "I normally hate definitions of fantasy, but here's mine...." If you think it's boring and dull, why are you boring us with it?

There are some good nuggets of insight here, as you would expect from someone who's generally regarded as a talented writer of popular fiction. On the other hand, it's all pretty disorganized and rambling (as others have pointed out), with an odd and undue emphasis on fantasy/sci-fi movies and books.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best book on Horror EVER!
For any serious fan of horror, Stephen King's Danse Macabre is an invaluable book, right up there with Lovecraft's Supernatural Horror in Literature. To use a rough analogy, it is as if Hitchcock wrote a book on suspense (actually, Truffaut's interviews with him amount to just that). Some of the negative reviews I've read on this site claim that King is too digressive. Well, it is digressive - the paperback clocks in at just over 400 pages - but Stephen King is not an academic, and he does not write like one. For me, that made this scholarly work all the more readable and enjoyable. (I am a King fan, so my opinion is biased).

The stated goal of the book is cover Horror from 1950 to 1980. However, he cannot do this without turning to the horror "heavy-hitters" of literature - Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. According to King, these books define the three archetypes (he calls them "Tarot Cards") of horror - the Vampire, the Thing with No Name, and the Werewolf, respectively. (There is a fourth card for the Ghost or the Bad Place, but that can't be narrowed down to one book.)

He discusses movies, books, and television. What is refreshing is how critical King is - even about his own novels. He has bad things to say about a lot of popular works - he will annoy fans of The Exorcist, The Twilight Zone, and other popular books. But, as any lover of horror movies must admit, King opens up about his love of bad movies and even finds nice things to say about the movies, The Amityville Horror and The Prophecy. (I am also shocked about how many nice things he has to say about Stanley Kubrick and The Shining - a film he supposedly doesn't like.)

Fortunately, I had read most of the books and seen most of the movies that King discusses. He also provides invaluable appendices for further reading and viewing. What is of tremendous interest is King's analysis of his contemporary writers, who have been so gracious as to discuss their own works with him. Here we find the best commentary ANYWHERE on Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison, and Richard Matheson. King also tackles the questions of why we read horror and if it has a deleterious effect on society.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR ANY HORROR/FANTASY/SCI-FI GEEK!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Like chatting with Mr. King
I bought Danse Macabre when I was still in high school and read it so many times that it fell apart. This book is a sweeping peep into Stephen King's (circa the early 80s) head and the experience is very much like what you would expect to feel if you could've sat down on the couch with him and a couple of beers.

The book jumps back between the 50s and 80s all the way through. One minute you'll be reading about Dracula the next you'll read about young Steve's experiment with a dead cat. There is a lot of horror ground covered in this book, perhaps too much. King goes from a brilliant discussion of the 3 great granddaddies of horror: Dracula, Frankenstien, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to the best and worst of horror movies to horror on TV (Interestingly enough King didn't seem to grasp how great, Thriller, Outer Limits and Twilight Zone were) and then sort of splatters along with observations on modern horror novels, a few writers that King admired and throws in a couple of other oddities as well.

The book is very self indulgent. It appears to not have been edited and you have to remember that King was still a young man when he wrote it. If some of his views seem terribly shallow it's the youth talking and I find myself wishing that King would update the book. The big flaw of the book is King's really, really annoying Vietnam tangents. They are all over the book and go on for several paragraphs and don't have a thing to do with the book's stated subject.

Danse Macabre isn't perfect but about 75% of it is extremely entertaining. If you skip over the boring parts, the obsessive parts and don't mind the sloppy last chapter and if you really love the horror genre then it is book worth putting on your "keeper" list. ... Read more


3. The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
list price: $24.99
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Asin: 0521794668
Catlog: Book (2002-08-29)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 68364
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Book Description

Fourteen world-class experts on the Gothic provide thorough accounts of this haunting-to-horrifying genre from the 1760s to the end of the twentieth century. Essays explore the connections of Gothic fictions to political and industrial revolutions, the realistic novel, the theater, Romantic and post-Romantic poetry, nationalism and racism from Europe to America, colonized and post-colonial populations, the rise of film, the struggles between "high" and "popular" culture, and changing attitudes towards human identity, life and death, sanity and madness. The volume also includes a chronology and guides to further reading. ... Read more


4. The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
list price: $23.99
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Asin: 0521797276
Catlog: Book (2002-04-25)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 241834
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Book Description

This Companion consists of 14 essays by leading international scholars. They provide a series of new perspectives on one of the most enigmatic and controversial American writers. Specially tailored to the needs of undergraduates, the essays examine all of Poe's major writings, his poetry, short stores and criticism, and place his work in a variety of literary, cultural and political contexts. This volume will be of interest to scholars as well as students. It features a detailed chronology and a comprehensive guide to further reading. ... Read more


5. The Stephen King Universe
by Stan Wiater, Christopher Golden, Hank Wagner, Stanley Wiater
list price: $21.95
our price: $14.93
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Asin: 1580631606
Catlog: Book (2001-05)
Publisher: Renaissance Books
Sales Rank: 21804
Average Customer Review: 3.36 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"I am coming to understand that Roland's world actually contains all the others of my making" --Stephen KingWith those words, from The Dark Tower: IV Wizard and Glass, the world's most popular writer confirmed a suspicion long held by readers--that the myriad worlds and universes King has created are, in reality, one world, one universe.Here, for the first time ever is the guide to that universe, a thrilling road map and informative tour for new readers and diehard fans alike.The Stephen King Universe is the very first examination of all of King's fiction and the way in which its plots and characters, conflicts, and themes, intertwine.This definitive reference work examines his novels and short stories, as well as the motion pictures, miniseries, and teleplays that King has written.The authors spent three years discovering and tying together the threads that exist in King's fiction. Their insightful results will entertain and surprise readers new and old.Once you have read The Stephen King Universe, you will never read Stephen King the same way again ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Universe" helps settle an argument about "It."
Pennywise does live, after all.

I've had an occasional argument with people over my theory that King is working on a meganovel that will ultimately tie his previous works together.

As support, I called attention to a brief mention in "Dreamcatcher" of Pennywise the Clown, the central villain of that King classic, "It." It is waved off, as just one of the mentions King makes of characters from previous works.

Now don't get me wrong; ordinarily I'm all for turning the other cheek.

Except... I'm right.

"The Stephen King Universe" is not so much a companion piece to King's writings as it is an examination of the links between his fiction. "Universe" operates on the theory that King is working on a meganovel that will ultimately tie his previous works together, using the penultimate King tale, "The Dark Tower" series.

Wiater and company uncover connections between books that you'd never suspect existed (Cujo may pop up in "Needful Things," while a character in "Misery" may have known someone from "It" as a child, to name just two).

Everything (novel, short story, screen adaptation, e-book) before "Dreamcatcher" is examined in depth, while the histories of popular King towns like Derry, 'salem's Lot and Castle Rock are written out in a grand fashion. A character mention here, a throwaway line there - they take on more meaning in "Universe."

The authors of the book also compile nifty thumbnail sketches of key characters in the novels. From "It":

IT (aka MR. BOB GRAY, PENNYWISE THE CLOWN): "...In 1958, It is confronted and defeated by a group of small children calling themselves the Losers Club... In 1985, It is apparently killed by the Losers Club, now adults. It may still be alive, however."

The whole book is a must-have for King fans, and those interested in looking more closely at his works. The authors' obvious enthusiasm for the author shines through, and is contagious. It's the kind of in-depth examination typically reserved for that which is consider a literary classic. The only difference is that this is something everyone can enjoy.

And if you're still not convinced that the Ultimate Stephen King Novel is on the way, consider this quote from the Man himself about "Dark Tower" heroic gunslinger Roland, which appears on the back cover of "Universe":

"I am coming to understand that Roland's world actually contains all the others of my making."

4-0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Universe
In his dozens of books, Stephen King has created a world like none other. Every book and every story are linked together to create a unifying world like none other in the world of fiction. Now, in the book The Stephen King Universe, three talented authors have collected all of King's work and have tried to show the link that ties them to one another.

The book is great as a reference manual on King's novel and stories. Every book receives a brief synopsis with a description of the major characters as well as a film synopsis/analysis if it applies.

Unfortunately, the book does have a few errors (like saying the the Black house - the next Talisman book - is actually the next Dark Tower Novel) but the book is mostly complete in describing the ties and links between the novels and films. Anyone who wants to learn more about the amazing world King has created should get this book. I enjoyed reading it and I'll keep it close whenever I'm reading a King novel.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not what I had hoped for....
Although the book does mention a few connections that I had missed, I was immediately turned off by the large number of errors. The entries for Cujo, IT, Needful Things, and Salem's Lot all contained errors, including wrong names, dates, and plot lines. For a book that is supposed to tie everything together, the errors are confusing and misleading. At this point, with the Dark Tower series coming to an end, the book is obsolete. The newest book it mentions is Bag of Bones. I would look for an updated version, or another book entirely, if you want to have an outline of the Stephen King Universe.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed It!
Enjoyed it because it went down a different road. Found that certain things stimulated my mind and got me to think and research new material! Found some good stuff and some bad stuff.

What King did for me was open my mind to 'What if' situations and that lead me to read The Rogue Warrior, which was way out of my league, and then recently Tom Patire's Persona Protection Handbook which I must say was quite excellent in regards to safety.

If Steven King took some of the Tom Patire's real life stories and added his magic we would have some more good reading.

Overall I love King and his work and look forward to more!

Deb

5-0 out of 5 stars A Guide to King's Network of Stories
This is an enjoyable, comprehensive study of all of King's writings and how they intertwine, especially in connection with the Dark Tower. If you're a fan of the series, you should NOT miss this book, as it points out many interconnections and minor characters and names dropped here and there that you might not have noticed, depending on the order in which you've read King's large body of work. A must-have for D.T. fans. ... Read more


6. Our Vampires, Ourselves
by Nina Auerbach
list price: $21.00
our price: $21.00
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Asin: 0226032027
Catlog: Book (1997-04-07)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 446451
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

"My central idea: that vampirism springs not only from paranoia, xenophobia, or immortal longings, but from generosity and shared enthusiasm. This strange taste cannot be separated from the expansive impulses that make us human." Our Vampires, Ourselves is not your ordinary work of literary criticism, but rather an entertaining, thought-provoking tour of the history of vampires in Western civilization. The vampires and works discussed include Lord Ruthven, Varney, Carmilla, Dracula, Fritz Leiber's "The Girl," famous film Draculas, Fred Saberhagen's Dracula, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Saint-Germain, Anne Rice's Louis and Lestat, Stephen King's Barlow, films such as The Lost Boys and Near Dark, and countless books. As the New York Times writes, "Ms. Auerbach presents her arguments with wit and clarity ... Ms. Auerbach implicitly rejects the Freudian and Jungian interpretations of these figures as either psychosexual metaphors or archetypes, preferring to see them in sociopolitical terms. But such interpretations need not be mutually exclusive. There is, after all, more in vampire metaphors than meets any one mind's eye." ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars An interesting take on the familiar
Cogently argued, thoughtfully presented, entertainingly written. Since purchasing this book when it was first published, I've reread parts of it many times, just for the enjoyable and lively style of argument. Sure, there are many points I disagree with (but I could say the same for Neitzsche and Wittgenstein, too), but I always put the book down impressed by Auerbach's style and imagination. Others may claim that the book warrant only a single star in terms of a rating, for no other reason than their disagreement with the thesis. I say, whether you wind up agreeing or disagreeing--buying into everything Auerbach says or writing her off as wrongheaded--this book gives you plenty to chew on. If you disagree, ask yourself why you disagree; you may end up embracing the viewpoint of the third mind.

1-0 out of 5 stars Paranoia and Loathing
Auerbach got one thing right. Vampires are a reflection of the times. Nina as a literary critic has a wonderful sense of lower criticism, in fact, I say she's been bitten by the redaction bug. She longs for a day when the genre will be released from its patriarchal chains and be allowed to act freely as an expression of homosexual love. I personally don't care what your sexual preferences are, I do care that people shouldn't try to change the past, re-write it so to speak, and call it history. The past is static. The present is another story.

I have a question for the more feminist-minded among us. If we get rid of our patriarchal shackles and allow the female--especially the lesbian--vampire to do what she wills with her victims, how does that mitigate against the fact that it is still the female who is seduced (aren't ladies more than helpless masses of hormones?), and destroyed? Meet the new (female) despot, same as the old (male) despot. This is progress? This is something to be proud of? The closest thing to women being on equal terms with men in vampire lore today is Buffy.

Auerbach basically restricted her discussion of vampire lore to the western--read British and American--traditions. There are other traditions, especially Greek and Russian, who represent vampires in a more three dimensional perspective. These monsters are much more than adrenaline and hormones, and would better dignify the embattled in our society, male and female.

Now don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with adrenaline and hormones. But if we are reduced to them, then there isn't really that much to us. We might as well embrace ghosts as the accurate representation of who and what we are in society. ... Read more


7. A Companion to the Gothic (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture (Paper))
by David Punter
list price: $33.95
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Asin: 0631231994
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Blackwell Publishers
Sales Rank: 493067
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Book Description

The Gothic has become in recent years an enormously popular and respected field of study. Courses dealing wholly or partly with Gothic writing are now standard in English and cultural studies departments across the world. In response to this extraordinary growth and expansion, David Punter has compiled a Companion designed to become the standard reference work for scholars and students. As well as providing a series of stimulating insights into Gothic writing, its history and genealogy, the volume also offers comprehensive coverage of criticism of the Gothic and of the various theoretical approaches it has inspired and spawned.

The Companion consists of 25 substantial essays, arranged in five sections: Gothic Backgrounds; The "Original" Gothic; Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century Transmutations; Ideas about the Gothic; and the Continuing Debate. These are accompanied by a substantial introduction and a bibliography of primary and secondary materials.

Each essay is written by a leading scholar in the field. In addition to providing accounts of major authors and texts, the essays explore European and American dimensions of Gothic; Gothic painting; the British ghost story; horror fiction; psychoanalytic, historicist and feminist approaches to the Gothic; Gothic cinema; and issues of counterfeit, madness and magic realism in relation to Gothic materials. ... Read more


8. Dracula : The Connoisseur's Guide
by LEONARD WOLF
list price: $19.00
our price: $19.00
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Asin: 0553069071
Catlog: Book (1997-04-01)
Publisher: Broadway Books
Sales Rank: 445484
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This odd assortment of exploratory essays circles around Dracula's neighborhood by looking at the philosophy of blood, the wonders of the vampire bat, the cryptic life of Bram Stoker, Dracula's movie lineage, and seven other vampiric topics.Author Leonard Wolf conveys his enthusiasm for the Dracula myth and its many resonances without sounding like either a drooling fan-boy or a lifeless academic. Bringing in his personal experiences with English students in the late '60s (Wolf taught at San Francisco State University) Wolf is able to connect the Dracula myth to the meanings of modern lives in a way that is playful, free from presumption, readable, and rigorous. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars Guide a Good Read
A well-written, well-researched, enjoyable outing from the author of the annotated Dracula. Anyone with a more-than-casual interest in Dracula will be well-rewarded with a read of this book. (And if your interest in Vampiredom's most famous son comes from the movies, don't hesitate to read Stoker's "Dracula" itself ... once you get past the possibly unfamiliar epistolary style, there's a real corker of a story there that too few lately have read!)

Note: a 3 star ranking from me is actually pretty good; I reserve 4 stars for tremendously good works, and 5 only for the rare few that are or ought to be classic; unfortunately most books published are 2 or less.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific collection
It's curious to note, however, that the movie-spawned error of calling Dracula's key London residence "Carfax Abbey" and not "Carfax" extends even to Wolf's canny writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars TELLS A LOT ABOUT THE HISTORY OF DRACULA AND VAMPIRES
I have just recently bought this book (from Amazon) and have found it very interesting. Wolf explains vampire lore, the importance of blood, the vampire bat, and find out about the real Dracula, Vlad the Impaler. Dracula; The Connoisseur's Guide also includes the history of horror in ficton and the precursors of Bram Stoker in vampire ficton. A brief biography of Bram Stoker is in this book, followed by another chapter with a over 30-page "summary" of the original Dracula story. The next part Wolf discusses the vampires tales of 1898-to the present. Leonard then has another chapter in his book about all the Dracula films, from Nosferatu, to Bram Stoker's Dracula.

This book is a wonderful addition to all the books on Dracula and vampires.

In addition to all the great writing, there are loads of pictures, including stunning illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. Also there are maps, film stills, photographs, and drawings.

This is a great book for vampire and Dracula fans everywhere. ... Read more


9. Empire and the Gothic: The Politics of Genre
list price: $65.00
our price: $57.20
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Asin: 0333984056
Catlog: Book (2003-02-22)
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Sales Rank: 995047
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Book Description

This innovative volume considers the relationship between the Gothic and theories of Post-Colonialism. Contributors explore how writers such as Salman Rushdie, Arunhati Roy, and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala use the Gothic for postcolonial ends. Post-Colonial theory is applied to earlier Gothic narratives in order to re-examine the ostensibly colonialist writings of William Beckford, Charlotte Dacre, H. Rider Haggard, and Bram Stoker.
... Read more

10. The Lost Work of Stephen King: A Guide to Unpublished Manuscripts, Story Fragments, Alternative Versions and Oddities
by Stephen J. Spignesi
list price: $24.95
our price: $24.95
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Asin: 1559724692
Catlog: Book (1998-11-01)
Publisher: Birch Lane Press
Sales Rank: 229518
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A useful book about the working method of the Maestro
This book does not contain any complete work by Stephen King, but it explores many texts or other works that are little known and that are at times difficult to find. It sums up the texts, works, stories, etc, gives the starting line and at times the punch line, analyzes these works and evaluates the chances one may have to get them. Some of these works are nowadays more readily available than said in the book. It is the case of « L.T.'s Theory of Pets » that has been published in an audio cassette version as read by Stephen King himself in London in 1998 (Stephen King Live !, 1999) or of « Lunch at the Gotham Café » read by the author and published in the form of a CD audiobook (Blood and Smoke, 2000). This book gives some insight on how Stephen King works by exemplifying working or alternative versions of some books we know, and by also covering some rare pieces that show how adventurous and compulsive a writer he may be. I particularly appreciate the column he has in The Maine Campus from february 1969 to may 1970. A must, in other words, for the students of Stephen King's works, the Stephen King literate and the Stephen King lovers. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Paris Universities II and IX.

3-0 out of 5 stars Well, it's for fans, innit
SHORT: Fans only, I'd say. For them it may be essential, although the writing style is probably offputting for some. LONG: I found this book quite entertaining due to its contents. (Remember that the "complete" SK encyclopedia by the same author a couple of years back was largely confined to fiction.) Spignesi traces many items in the King universe that are obscure and difficult (impossible in some cases) to obtain. If you want to read about rare newspaper appearances, juvenilia, crosswords, and the like (i.e., if you're a die-hard King fanatic like me), you'll probably want to buy this book - although Tyson Blue covered a fair amount of the rare stuff until 1989 in his UNSEEN KING (starmont). I have to say, though, that I find Spignesi's style of writing, like that of Blue earlier, a little off-putting. It is clear that he is enthusiastic about King and his work, ephemeral as some of the pieces discussed in this book may sometimes be. But there is a line, I think, between unobtrusive and still informative prose (like that of Winter and Collings, who write a carefully measured prose but are still fun to read) and a style that may at best be described as chatty and informal, at worst as annoying fannish hyperbole. The more's the pity since this book could have been so much more - if you're looking for critical discussions that go beyond the superficial, I guess you better stick with the many works of Collings. With a subject matter like this it's inevitable that some customers may be disappointed not to actually get to read some of these "oddities," but with the help of the internet it is possible to collect rare King texts, at least, on a beer budget. And then there is, of course, the BOMC collection SECRET WINDOWS, where you might start to gather a couple of rare pieces. All in all, I'd rank it 3 out of 5.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kingly Treat
A very interesting book. I am rereading now actually ... Read more


11. The Literature of Terror: A History of Gothic Fictions from 1765 to the Present Day : The Gothis Tradition (Literature of Terror)
by David Punter
list price: $33.20
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Asin: 0582237149
Catlog: Book (1996-01-01)
Publisher: Longman Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 878407
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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This two-volume set (the other half isVolume 2: The Modern Gothic) by David Punter is more than simply a history of the gothic form in American and British literature. It's an ambitious attempt to redefine the word gothic so that it encompasses most of fantastic fiction and film for the past 200 years under a unifying theme: a preoccupation with fear. This is, of course, an extremely broad definition, so don't be surprised if you find yourself taking the theoretical sections of the book with a grain of salt. Also, since the book was first written in the late 1970s, much of the discussion of language and symbol relies on rather outdated Marxist and Freudian theories. Punter apologizes for the latter in the preface to the second edition, saying that rather than doing a massive revision, he decided to "leave it largely as an 'unrestored' period piece, with its own characteristic style, silhouette, and mood"--while adding additional material on the contemporary gothic.

Those caveats aside, however, The Literature of Terror is mostly successful as a comprehensive study. And it's an enormously useful reference for anyone with a more than passing interest in horror literature. Plus, it benefits from being the work of a single author: Punter is an extremely well-read scholar who perceives fascinating connections between a wide variety of books and films, and he explains his ideas lucidly enough that you can judge for yourself how far you agree with them.

Some of the high points are Punter's overview of what the word gothic means in other fields (such as architecture); his summaries of the roles of graveyard poetry, the sentimental novel, and the theory of the sublime in the development of the gothic concept; and his inclusion (as gothic and even horror writers) of such notables as Isak Dinesen, William S. Burroughs, Thomas Pynchon, J.G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Thomas Hawkes, and Robert Coover. If that's not enough to tempt you, the footnotes and bibliography alone offer ample yet well-chosen pointers to authors whose entertaining fiction you may not have discovered yet.

Best of all, The Literature of Terror is written in English--that is, not loaded down with annoying words such as transgressive and trope that mar so much of postmodern criticism. You can browse for information about specific authors or dip into it at your leisure without losing the thread. And for an academic work, it's darn fun to read. (Be sure to get both Volume 1 and Volume 2.) --Fiona Webster ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars What criticism ought to be
David Punter's historical approach to Gothic literature reads like the finest page-turner of the genre he studies. For fans of horror and Gothic, this book will show them exactly how and why it is that they keep coming back to books like Frankenstein and Dracula. In addition, it might introduce them to new writers they've not yet read. An excellent work of criticism. ... Read more


12. The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror (Call of Cthulhu Fiction)
by Danel Harms
list price: $17.95
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Asin: 1568821190
Catlog: Book (1998-04-01)
Publisher: Chaosium, Inc.
Sales Rank: 582900
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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You just found out that you've inherited a copy of Reverend Winter-Hall's translation of the Sussex Manuscript. (What is it? Is it dangerous?) At night in your dreams you hear people chanting, "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn," over and over again. (What does it mean?) You desperately need to know what the Pnakotic Pentagon looks like. And where Olaus Wormius was born. And how to find the Laniqua Lua'huan. Not to mention the Twin Obscenities, the Wailing Writher, and the Tikkoun Elixir.

Who you gonna call? Encyclopedia Cthulhiana. Or rather, to give its proper and full title, Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, Being an Investigation into the Myth-Patterns of the Xothic and Commorium Legend-Cycles with Notes on the Alhazredic Demonology, or, A Compendium of Lore Relating to Those Beings Who Once Ruled the Universe and Those Who Have Revered and Renounced Them, As Expressed Through the Mythology of All Cultures and Explained in the Works of H.P. Lovecraft and Others in a Manner Thought to Be Fictional by the Uninitiated and Rational.

This 400-page second edition by Daniel Harms is the ultimate reference to the names and vital stats on characters, deities, monsters, locations, sigils, and infernal tomes that pertain to what is more casually known as the Cthulhu Mythos. Harms lays it all out in a tone of absolute seriousness, whether he's writing about the Dimensional Shamblers, the Empty Triumph of the Flying Polyps, or Bugg-Shash--"an inky blackness covered with many eyes and mouths which emit a chittering sound." Contains a foreword with a brief history of the Mythos, notes on the second edition (about 60 percent larger than the first), suggestions for further reading, brief notes on its use in the Call of Cthulhu game, A to Z entries, four appendices (three on the Necronomicon, plus a time line of the Mythos), and a bibliography. --Fiona Webster ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Guide to Lovecraftian Horror
First published in 1998, The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, written by The Necronomicon Files co-author Daniel Harms, is now in its second and expanded edition. It's a meaty 425 page volume, part of Chaosium's collection of Cthulhu Mythos fiction, and presents itself unapologetically as an encyclopedia of the Cthulhu Mythos, including not only the canon stories and poetry, but also embracing games, essays, comic books, movies, television shows, and occult books. With a note on 'How to Use this Book in Call of Cthulhu', the author sets a tone that is in keeping with the self-effacing humour that one can only find in a labour of love.

The majority of the text is an A-Z encyclopedia of the major entities, protagonists, and books in the Cthulhu Mythos with a merciful pronunciation guide. Like any good encyclopedist, Mr. Harms cautions that this material, as carefully written as it is, doesn't substitute actually reading and knowing firsthand the source material, which is well-referenced at the end of each entry. Each entry is not only a description, but also endeavours to harmonize conflicting sources. For example, the entry for the 'Elder Sign' includes a discussion on its application and significance in the Mythos, the controversies around its origin and use, a brief discussion of H.P. Lovecraft's original branch symbol and Derleth's pentagram, and a reference to the 'Star Stones of Mnar' found elsewhere in the book.

The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana has a significant Appendix, which in my already fragile mind greatly expands upon usual notion of an Appendix as supplemental to the rest of the text. While supplemental, this material is no less essential in its comprehension of the vast scope of the Cthulhu Mythos. The Appendix is divided into five parts, which is devoted largely to Mythos' most significant artifact, the Necronomicon. Three-fifths of the Appendix relate to its history, location, and contents. In the Appendix, you will also find Shannon Appel's very useful 'Timeline of the Cthulhu Mythos', which presents the reader with a staggering list of the Mythos' most significant events starting with the arrival of Cthuga when the Earth was newly-formed, to the 'Fall of Man' after the events recounted in Clark Ashton Smith's 'Zothique'.

Without hyperbole I conclude that The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana belongs in the library of every 'Call of Cthulhu' gamer and Lovecraft fan. It is an especially readable pleasure when one randomly flips through its pages. It is simply one of those books that you will find yourself reaching for again and again and again. I could easily re-envision this book in a future edition as a coffee table volume with additional illustrations. I am also pleased to report very few typographical errors.

The author's 'Suggestions for Further Reading' is a nudge to the reader to do some of their own research. Though an encyclopedia could have easily encompassed a multi-volume series suitable only for Lovecraftian scholars, the author seems to realize that the limits of a useful encyclopedia are best expressed and guided by practicality, accuracy, and concision.

5-0 out of 5 stars Suffers from delusions of Carterdom...
I am rating this book so highly because of its exhaustive nature and usefulness as a resource. There were many terms that I had been confused about and was glad to find a reference for. The MOST useful aspect, though, was to discover which stories included settings or characters that I wanted to read more about (the Severn Valley comes to mind). The Cthulhiana has been excellent in that respect, as I now know which authors and stories to pursue further. My biggest problem with this book is the ridiculous mythologization of Lovecraft's deities (I think this is primarily due to Lin Carter). There's a an awful lot of "and so great Cthulhu mated with Asdfgh to produce the hideous offspring Qwer'ty-Zxc'vb, who did reside under Mt. Nyctalopolis until 1953..." The combination of endless run-on names ("I'd like to buy a vowel"...) and unnecessary family relations, like some sort of Jerry Springer show from the Xothian system, induces humor rather than horror in me. Perhaps Chaosium would print an expurgated version, without Carter's mythology crap (it seems there's an expurgated version of every OTHER text floating around) ...

5-0 out of 5 stars The best single guide to the Cthulhu Mythos
Even though I've been reading Lovecraft, and the later contributors to the Mythos, for over a quarter of a century, there were still fine points that I could never quite get straight. This is understandable seeing how you often have to piece the fabric of the whole out of off-hand remarks and vague hints and references. In a way that does contribute to the mystery of the corpus, but it can be dissatisfying, if not maddening at times. That is why this excellently written and designed reference is truly a treasure to the serious reader.
Finally, I know the difference between the Elder Gods, the Great Old Ones, The Outer Gods, and the Elder Things. You finally get the associations in the pantheon spelled out. You know how Cthulhu, Tsathuggua, Hastur, and Ithaqua (the Great Old Ones) differ from Azathuth, Nyarlathotep, Shuh-Niggurath, and Yog-Sothoth (the Outer Gods.) And of course you learn never to associate Nodens, Kthanid, and Yag-Thaddag (the Elder Gods) with any of these.
Come to think of it I probably shouldn't have spoken these names aloud while I was typing. What is that noise in the

5-0 out of 5 stars THE Handbook for Lovecraftians
I have been recommending this book to people I know since I first encountered the first edition. This second edition is expanded and revised, and is even more helpful to Call of Cthulhu gamers, keepers, and especially writers of Mythos fiction. I've been using it as source material for my own odd little tales since I began writing them. And while it is true that the author has been known to frequent some of the same newsgroups that I do, he did not pay me to say these things. The book is extensively indexed and cross-referenced, with a very helpful timeline of the Cthulhu Mythos toward the back. It is clearly written, has doses of the author's dry sense of humor, especially in his choice of a quote for the preface page, is quite attractively packaged, and will look very nice on your bookshelf next to the many volumes of HP Lovecraft that you should have if you're reading this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Vital Resource For All Investigators
Having stumbled upon a copy of this book entirely by accident, I have since found Harm's work to be indispensible in my search for dread Cthulhu lore. With a simple A-Z format, the complier has recorded many useful references that are not confined to the Lovecraft canon of works (which are, of course, thinly veiled as fiction). The works of others with similar foresight and understanding are also used as sources. If Arkham University were ever to offer a paper in Cthulhu Investigation 101, this would certainly be on the required reading list. ... Read more


13. Shirley Jacksonªs American Gothic
by Darryl Hattenhauer
list price: $21.95
our price: $21.95
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Asin: 0791456080
Catlog: Book (2003-01-01)
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Sales Rank: 490703
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Book Description

Argues that Jackson anticipated the transition from modernism to postmodernism and should be ranked among the most significant writers of her time. ... Read more


14. Asian Horror Encyclopedia: Asian Horror Culture in Literature, Manga, and Folklore
by Laurence Bush
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 0595201814
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: Writers Club Press
Sales Rank: 377199
Average Customer Review: 2.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Asian Horror Encyclopedia surveys the horror culture in Asian literature, comics, art and film

. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

1-0 out of 5 stars The Horror
The author admits that "a large part of this book is the product of internet research." He continues by noting that the book "is by no means complete or entirely accurate, as the internet web pages and my skills as a translator are of questionable reliability" (XV). This indeed is an accurate statement, and should serve as a warning not to trust the contents. Not only are there two to three typos per page, but there are also substantial errors in many of the entries (too many to mention here). The author claims that his book is "intended to be a guide for further research," but one wonders about the usefulness of a research guide which is not only inaccurate and badly (if at all) edited, but fails to provide references (even to questionable websites).

3-0 out of 5 stars Reads Like A Fanzine
Occasionally useful as a checklist of obscure English-language sources, but often let down by amateurish slips, the Asian Horror Encyclopedia lacks both an editor prepared to stay the author's outbreaks of fanboy gush and unsupported speculation, as well as a proof-reader who could have corrected the many, many errors. Without an index, it is less obvious that many words are spelt differently each time they occur; though this is a book for English speakers, its usefulness to someone who cannot check the primary sources is severely limited. Seemingly scooping up any information to hand without much sense of its quality, Bush's work reads more like a series of notes than a book in its own right. Researchers in Asian literature may stumble across occasional crumbs of interesting information, but will need to find help elsewhere in digesting them.

4-0 out of 5 stars Unique Look at Asian Horror Literature
The Asian Horror Encyclopedia contains a lot of unique material available for the first time in English. It collects literary and folkloric information to give a complete look at the roots and directions of Asian horror. From Tang Dynasty ghost stories to modern Japanese horror bestsellers, it covers the broad range of this little known subject. It has an article on H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos in Japan as well as coverage of many Asian mythos writers. It mentions horror films only if they have a literary or comic-book connection. It is of interest to manga and anime fans as well as those interested in folklore, vampires, werewolves, yokaigaku, Chinese metaphysics or international horror culture in general. ... Read more


15. Nightmare on Main Street: Angels, Sadomasochism, and the Culture of Gothic
by Mark Edmundson
list price: $15.95
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Asin: 0674624637
Catlog: Book (1999-11-01)
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Sales Rank: 251100
Average Customer Review: 2.56 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Once we've terrified ourselves reading Anne Rice or Stephen King, watching Halloween or following the O. J. Simpson trial, we can rely on the comfort of our inner child or Robert Bly's bongos, an angel, or even a crystal. In a brilliant assessment of American culture on the eve of the millennium, Mark Edmundson asks why we're determined to be haunted, courting the Gothic at every turn-and, at the same time, committed to escape through any new scheme for ready-made transcendence. ... Read more

Reviews (9)

1-0 out of 5 stars See the movies, don't read the book
I only made it up to p. 45 for a paper I was writing on "Carrie." Along with a pompous tone, I didn't find this added anything concrete to what I know about horror flicks. The author might have found the Main Street and nightmare metaphors personally powerful for some reason, but they were idiosyncratic and I didn't find them in any of my other horror movie secondary sources. Not interested in having a conversation with myself, I moved on. Also, I'm put off by the author's need to see violence, sex, and greed in almost every detail of these films. Even Carrie and other horror movies have their moments of reflection and thoughtfulness that the author was too quick to suppress.

4-0 out of 5 stars Scarfication Is Powerful!
Edmundson has got hold of a powerful idea here: that strategies and characters of Gothic literature have burst out of the realm of fiction and infiltrated our public life. While he sometimes pushes his broadly defined notion of the Gothic too far (it sometimes it seems as if everything belongs to the realm of the Gothic depending on his say so), for the most part he does stick to his original definition of a hero/villain, haunted structures, seduced and screaming heroines and the occasional heroic rescuer.

He suggests, quite believably, that the powerful Gothic themes, have been used by Marx (the capitalist as vampire), and by Freud (humanity haunted by the past, in the grip of infantile memory which dooms us to behavior we can never fully escape except with the help of modernist magicians like Freud). Moving from the talk show (where families reenact Gothic scripts wherein hero/villains describe their inexplicably destructive behavior without understanding or regret as their families hurl abuse at them), to movies (pick just about anything including Disney films), Edmundson strikes at the root of the malevolent vine of the Gothic, a vine which snakes through our political life - Gothic monsters such as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, through our social life - our collective perception that we are in danger even in the most benign circumstances.

He does see hope for using the Gothic the way it was intended: to throw off the dead hand of the past, originally the aristocratic, then the plutocratic, or therapeutic, now bureaucratic hand of power and discipline. His writings on Freud are particularly incisive on the therapeutic hand. Here's a quote: "Freud, in his most resolutely Gothic moods, believed that we never forget anything, so that every past moment is stored somewhere in the psyche... He also thought, at least at times, that *any* negative event that befalls us -- no matter how apparently contingent -- is in some measure the result of our guilty need for punishment, our wish to self-destruct. Edmundson also notes that Foucualt and Derrida and other "new" critics favor the Gothic as well. And if you think of Foucault's evocative prose style, and Derrida's "terrorism," Edmundson has a point, a minor point, but a point nonetheless.

The Cold War Gothic has now been replaced by the Terrorist Gothic, the apocalyptic version of Gothicism. George W. Bush whips up the external apocalyptic Gothic, while at the same time we're being terrorized internally by the second variety of the Gothic - the "terror" gothic - in this case, the recession terror gothic. The Gothic can be a powerful tool for critiquing the status quo. The problem is, it has become the status quo, and, unlike "healthy" Gothic horror, it never opens out into new territory now. Instead, we're all doomed, doomed, doomed!. Edmundson notes a few exceptions: the first Nightmare on Elm Street by Wes Craven for one. I heartily agree on that score!

1-0 out of 5 stars Just Plain Wrong.
I admit that I didn't do more than skim this book. As a horror fan I couldn't get past the authors' factual error in stating that the early 1990's was a pinnacle of horror. WRONG! In terms of the number of horror films released the height would be the mid-1980's. In terms of box office returns it would be the mid-1970's (The Exorcist, Jaws, The Omen, Carrie, Halloween). We are now (2002) at a much higher peak for horror than the period that the Professor calls the pinnacle; the early 1990's was actually a nadir.

1-0 out of 5 stars Divine prophesy falls flat
The first exasperating aspect of this book is its overambitiousness. Through some divine insight, it purports to explain ALL of American culture (almost) through the trope of the gothic. Forrest Gump, Tonya Harding, Walt Whitman, Wordsworth. They're all in there. Moreover, it uses broad brush strokes that hide more than they reveal. Its second offensive characteristic is a tone that's self-righteous. It stands far above the foibles of all these pathetically mortal characters.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wide Ranging Essay on all Things Gothic
Mark Edmundson has created a book (really a series of intertangled essays) on angels, sadomasochism and the culture of gothic (as goes its sub-title). Nightmare on Main Street is a fascinating look at a dark, disturbing, interesting subject. The joy in this book, and sometimes its frustration, is the wide range from two centuries old gothic novels to Forrest Gump, Oprah and Iron John/Women Who Run With Wolves. The connections are not always clear but the writing will carry the reader along this weird academic roller coaster ride as they nod along in agreement (for me particulary the Forrest Gump section) or they shake their head in exasperation or frustration. Either way it will get the reader thinking of everything around them in terms of gothic or angel (and these words are very loosely defined in order to create a net big enough to catch all of Edmundson's concepts). This book was an intelligent read. ... Read more


16. Mary Shelley: Frankenstein
by Berthold Schoene-Harwood, Richard Beynon
list price: $17.50
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Asin: 0231121938
Catlog: Book (2000-11-15)
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Sales Rank: 921188
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Book Description

Mary Shelley´s first novel has established itself as one of modernity´s most compelling and ominous myths. Frankenstein poignantly captures the spirit of the early 1800s as an age of transition tragically divided between scientific progress and religious conservatism, revolutionary reform and conformist reaction. This Guide encapsulates the most important critical reactions to a novel that straddles the realms of both "high" literature and popular culture. The selections shed light on Frankenstein´s historical and socio-political relevance, its innovative representations of science, gender, and identity, as well as its problematic cultural location between academic critique and creative production. Ranging from the first reviews in 1818 to postmodern readings of the mid-1990s, the Guide illuminates one of British literature´s most spectacular novels. ... Read more


17. Spark Notes Frankenstein
by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Mary Shelley
list price: $4.95
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Asin: 1586633570
Catlog: Book (2002-01-10)
Publisher: Spark Notes
Sales Rank: 501355
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Book Description

Get your "A" in gear!

They're today's most popular study guides-with everything you need to succeed in school. Written by Harvard students for students, since its inception SparkNotes™ has developed a loyal community of dedicated users and become a major education brand. Consumer demand has been so strong that the guides have expanded to over 150 titles.SparkNotes'™ motto is Smarter, Better, Faster because:

· They feature the most current ideas and themes, written by experts.
· They're easier to understand, because the same people who use them have also written them.
· The clear writing style and edited content enables students to read through the material quickly, saving valuable time.

And with everything covered--context; plot overview; character lists; themes, motifs, and symbols; summary and analysis, key facts; study questions and essay topics; and reviews and resources--you don't have to go anywhere else!



... Read more

18. The Gothic Family Romance: Heterosexuality, Child Sacrifice, and the Anglo-Irish Colonial Order (Post-Contemporary Interventions)
by Margot Gayle Backus
list price: $22.95
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Asin: 0822324148
Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
Publisher: Duke University Press
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Tales of child sacrifice, demon lovers, incestual relations, and returns from the dead are part of English and Irish gothic literature. Such recurring tropes are examined in this pioneering study by Margot Gayle Backus to show how Anglo-Irish gothic works written from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries reflect the destructive effects of imperialism on the children and later descendents of Protestant English settlers in Ireland.

Backus uses contemporary theory, including that of Michel Foucault and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, to analyze texts by authors ranging from Richardson, Swift, Burke, Edgeworth, Stoker, and Wilde to contemporary Irish novelists and playwrights.By charting the changing relations between the family and the British state, she shows how these authors dramatized a legacy of violence within the family cell and discusses how disturbing themes of child sacrifice and colonial repression are portrayed through irony, satire, “paranoid” fantasy, and gothic romance. In a reconceptualization of the Freudian family romance, Backus argues that the figures of the Anglo-Irish gothic embody the particular residue of childhood experiences within a settler colonial society in which biological reproduction represented an economic and political imperative.

Backus’s bold positioning of the nuclear family at the center of post-Enlightenment class and colonial power relations in England and Ireland will challenge and provoke scholars in the fields of Irish literature and British and postcolonial studies. The book will also interest students and scholars of women’s studies, and it has important implications for understanding contemporary conflicts in Ireland. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Child Sacrifice and the Anglo-Irish Gothic
In a well-known scene of Gothic horror, Bram Stoker's Dracula "throws a moving, whimpering bag at the feet of his three wives." He offers it for their consumption in exchange for the man they have surrounded, the man he desires, Jonathan Harker. In the bag, of course, is a struggling child.

In this breathtaking study Margot Backus unties the strings binding that bag and makes visible the suffering and fear in that child's face when it realizes its fate. In the same Duke University Press series as Fredric Jameson's Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991) and David Lloyd's Anomalous States: Irish Writing and the Post-colonial Moment (1993), this book matches the standard of complexity of its predecessors. It not only presents the first substantive materialist reading of the Gothic, providing a refreshing corrective to the long familiar, almost singularly psychoanalytic approaches that dominate organizations like the International Gothic Association. It also insists on the inseparability of materialist critique, psychoanalytic approaches, and anti-colonialist critical models. All three are Backus's starting points. And broadening her staging ground still further, a critique of heteronormativity is rigorously incorporated into the analyses throughout.

This makes for an ambitious project. But it is a project that largely keeps its promises through some of the most complex, occluded, and liminal terrain in Irish Cultural Studies. For this reason alone, it deserved the ACIS Durkan Prize for best first book in any field, which it has won this year.

At the heart of Backus's analysis is the problem of child sacrifice within the Anglo-Irish colonial order. Backus explains: "A relatively unmentioned fact of colonial and postcolonial politics is that colonial rule, particularly where colonialism has taken the form of mass settlement, requires the production of children" (2). Furthermore, to keep the system going, to legitimate and perpetuate settler rule, this class sacrifices its children.

For the violent colonial order into which settler children are born predates them, remains a priori to their consent, and will repeatedly interpellate them regardless of their assent or refusal. Constricting, turned inwards upon itself, the settler family cell becomes a chamber of horrors re-inflicting the violence of its traumatic origins and present entrenchment upon its children. Isolated and embattled, the settler class becomes autophagous and pedophagous, i.e., self and child-consuming (two key terms for Backus). The appropriation of children's sexuality through incest, for example, becomes one mode of pedophagy. Indeed incest, adult/child rape, and a range of violations echo throughout this class's domestic history. Crucially, however, it is a history that has been vigilantly silenced. But, as this book teaches us, it is a silence that can become audible if one knows where to listen. ... Read more


19. An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia
by S. T. Joshi, David E. Schultz
list price: $20.00
our price: $20.00
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Asin: 097487891X
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Hippocampus
Sales Rank: 142394
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) is commonly regarded as the leading author of supernatural fiction in the 20th century. He has a tremendous popular following as well as a considerable and growing academic reputation as a writer of substance and significance. This exhaustive guide reveals many aspects of Lovecraft's life and work, codifying the detailed research conducted by many scholars over the past three decades. The volume draws upon rare documents, including thousands of unpublished letters, in presenting plot synopses, descriptions of characters, biographies of colleagues and family members, and entries on various topics and esoteric lore related to his works. Many of the entries include bibliographies, and the volume concludes with a list of works for further reading. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Especially for Lovecraft enthusiasts
Collaborative compiled by Lovecraftian experts S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia is an exhaustive reference filled with an impressive wealth of biographical and literary lore about one of the best-known writers of supernatural horror in the 20th century. Filled cover to cover with bibliographical information, the encyclopedia lists entries in A to Z format of people Lovecraft knew, characters in his books, and much more. An extensive, scholarly reference especially for Lovecraft enthusiasts, An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia is an essential, core, indispensable reference work for students of Lovecraft's life and work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Painstaking but idiosyncratic reference work
For scholarly-minded Lovecraft readers who can manage the hefty price (this volume is put out by a publisher specializing in reference books for libraries, such books usually being very expensive because of low print runs and then storing these titles on inventory for many years rather than remaindering them), this is a "must-have" reference and research tool. Joshi and Schultz are, respectively, THE leading figure and one of the leading figures in Lovecraftian scholarship, and they've assembled something that is most helpful, that merits high praise for accuracy and assiduousness.

That said, the priorities of AN H.P. LOVECRAFT ENCYCLOPEDIA are somewhat perverse and leave something to be desired.

Astoundingly, there's no discussion whatsoever of Lovecraft's philosophical beliefs, a matter that coauthor Joshi has elsewhere written, and nearly all contemporary Lovecraftian scholars agree, is essential to an understanding of Lovecraft's works and life. Why not? In the preface, Joshi and Schultz write: "No separate entry on Lovecraft's philosophical thought is included here, as the topic is too complex for succinct discussion." (p. xi.) How "succinct" are we talking here, one wonders? General information encyclopedias manage to summarize the "thought" of the great original figures Western philosophy in articles ranging from a few sentences to a few pages. Surely something calling itself AN H.P. LOVECRAFT ENCYCLOPEDIA could muster a few paragraphs or a few pages about the nature of the "philosophical thought" of Lovecraft himself. (By such reasoning, there shouldn't even be such a thing as general information encyclopedias, since the sum of human knowledge is assuredly "too complex" to fit into a work of 30-odd volumes.)

This unwillingness here to do the obvious may be the flipside of a trait of the authors: a difficulty with being succinct when the situation calls for it (which is what encyclopedias are all about in the first place). A huge portion, if not most, of the book is occupied by astonishingly long synopses of Lovecraft's fictional works.

There is, of course, good reason to include synopses of Lovecraft's writings in an encyclopedia devoted to him: to help the scholarly-minded reader sort out his various writings, and to jog the reader's memory as to what transpires in the fictional works. But Joshi and Schultz detail so much that it's as if they're addressing those who've never read the texts and never plan to. Succinctness seems to be a hard pill indeed for the authors to swallow.

So what's the harm in long synopses? First, if the reader's goal is just to have his memory jogged, the amount of reading entailed is so great that a synopsis may be little more help than simply skimming through the text itself. Second, publishers impose page limits on a book like this, and so space used inappropriately is space subtracted from other things.

Already discussed has been how this work incongruously omits any discussion of philosophy. But also omitted are entries for the various supernatural (or, often really, alien) beings in Lovecraft's fiction, because, argue the authors, they "do not figure as 'characters' in any meaningful sense in the tales", despite the fact that fictional persons and places in Lovecraft's works receive entries. There seems to be some unexplained double-standard at work here.

I have a suspicion as to why this double-standard is there. The authors are justly contemptuous of the August Derleth-inspired "Cthulhu Mythos" bunk that so lamentably remains in circulation, and so may be revolted that any highlighting of the likes of Cthulhu, the Old Ones, etc. could be taken as buttressing the spurious notion that there's a Derlethian pantheon of "gods" on which Lovecraft and his colleagues had collaborated.

If that's Joshi's and Schultz's underlying motivation for treating these entities differently from other proper names, then they're to be faulted for letting the "Mythos" help define Lovecraftian studies. Moreover, scholarly-minded Lovecraftians should be able to use a Lovecraft encyclopedia as part of their arsenal to debunk misconceptions, and so including entries on Lovecraft's supernatural/alien entities that set the record straight as to what they're each about may be the most important components of that arsenal.

5-0 out of 5 stars Scholarly and excellent
Both this book, AN H.P. LOVECRAFT ENCYCLOPEDIA and its companion volume issued at the same time by Greenwood, THE COMPLETE H.P. LOVECRAFT FILMOGRAPHY are highly recommended. Both books are scholarly, authoritative and well written. These two excellent works encompass the highest level of scholarship about Lovecraft and should be read by every fan and student of Lovecraft. Bravo to Greenwood for these two volumes. ... Read more


20. The Mummy in Fact, Fiction and Film
by Susan D. Cowie, Tom Johnson, George Hart
list price: $45.00
our price: $45.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786410833
Catlog: Book (2001-12-04)
Publisher: McFarland & Company
Sales Rank: 1022804
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Book Description

In 1922, when Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen, much of what was then known about mummies came from the writing of Greek historian Herodotus and from the paintings on the walls of Egyptian tombs. Even before 1922, the mummy had been the subject of fiction, with such writers as Bram Stoker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle tackling the subject, and early films dating back to 1901. In this work, the authors present the religious, social and scientific aspects of mummies as well as an in-depth discussion of facts about them (largely Egyptian, but including other kinds of mummies). Then, how mummies are portrayed in fiction and in the movies is discussed. Stories and films in which the mummy is a focal character are listed. ... Read more


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