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The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural

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For the first time ever, in a single volume, a comprehensive guide to horror and the supernatural in all the arts... From the subtle shivers of the classic ghost story to Inner Sanctum's creaking door, from James Whale's Frankenstein to George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, from Hector Berlioz to Bernard Herrmann, this remarkable book celebrates the flourishing of terro For the first time ever, in a single volume, a comprehensive guide to horror and the supernatural in all the arts... From the subtle shivers of the classic ghost story to Inner Sanctum's creaking door, from James Whale's Frankenstein to George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, from Hector Berlioz to Bernard Herrmann, this remarkable book celebrates the flourishing of terror in all its forms. Over fifty authorities in the field- including critics, novelists, scholars, and literary journalists- have been brought together to chronicle and comment on the endless fascination of fear, speaking in a variety of voices to the general reader, the horror enthusiast, and the serious student. Here- and only here- the reader will find Jacques Barzun on the art and the appeal of the ghostly and ghastly, Ramsey Campbell on the pleasures of bad movies, E.F. Bleiler on devils and demons, Colin Wilson on Poltergeists, John Crowley on Shakespeare's ghosts, Ron Goulart on horror comics, T.E.D. Klein on the supernatural, and Douglas E. Winter on mad doctors and the contemporary scene. With more the fifty essays and six hundred entries covering authors, composers, visual artists, directors, actors, and a generous selection of movies, The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural is a unique reference volume.


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For the first time ever, in a single volume, a comprehensive guide to horror and the supernatural in all the arts... From the subtle shivers of the classic ghost story to Inner Sanctum's creaking door, from James Whale's Frankenstein to George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, from Hector Berlioz to Bernard Herrmann, this remarkable book celebrates the flourishing of terro For the first time ever, in a single volume, a comprehensive guide to horror and the supernatural in all the arts... From the subtle shivers of the classic ghost story to Inner Sanctum's creaking door, from James Whale's Frankenstein to George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, from Hector Berlioz to Bernard Herrmann, this remarkable book celebrates the flourishing of terror in all its forms. Over fifty authorities in the field- including critics, novelists, scholars, and literary journalists- have been brought together to chronicle and comment on the endless fascination of fear, speaking in a variety of voices to the general reader, the horror enthusiast, and the serious student. Here- and only here- the reader will find Jacques Barzun on the art and the appeal of the ghostly and ghastly, Ramsey Campbell on the pleasures of bad movies, E.F. Bleiler on devils and demons, Colin Wilson on Poltergeists, John Crowley on Shakespeare's ghosts, Ron Goulart on horror comics, T.E.D. Klein on the supernatural, and Douglas E. Winter on mad doctors and the contemporary scene. With more the fifty essays and six hundred entries covering authors, composers, visual artists, directors, actors, and a generous selection of movies, The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural is a unique reference volume.

30 review for The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    I think I first encountered this book through Paul Hasbrouck, who loaned me his copy. Realizing how useful it was, I soon after ordered myself a copy through Bookfinder.com. This is a reference book and, yes, for my recent 're-read' I read it straight through, letter by letter, from beginning to end. This is an incredibly useful resource for a number of reasons, and a slightly flawed book for some of the same reasons. Essentially, for good or ill, the intention was to create a literal encyclopedi I think I first encountered this book through Paul Hasbrouck, who loaned me his copy. Realizing how useful it was, I soon after ordered myself a copy through Bookfinder.com. This is a reference book and, yes, for my recent 're-read' I read it straight through, letter by letter, from beginning to end. This is an incredibly useful resource for a number of reasons, and a slightly flawed book for some of the same reasons. Essentially, for good or ill, the intention was to create a literal encyclopedia on the themes of 'Horror and the Supernatural'. On the positive side, that means that the book has in-depth, informative and critical overviews of quite a number of fiction authors - concise, detailed and with a contextual sense of history (specifically, and rarely, the book regards the short fiction format as equal to the novel AND provides, occasionally, pocket summaries of various short stories that are mentioned). For the really important figures, the really big names (like, say, Poe) the essay generally finds an interesting angle for discussion. Equally as effective are short, smart essays/overviews on a variety of related topics: in particular, the essays on "The Sublime," "Gothic Romance," "Romanticism," and "Grand Guignol," among others are very informative and well done - compact little examinations of a topic that can impart important and useful perspectives. The approach also means that book includes entries that are only tangentially interesting. I mean, the idea of including Horror-related "music" (as one of the Arts) is intriguing, but one shouldn't expect black metal (the book was published in 1986) or even Alice Cooper, but instead a highly detailed essay on Opera, and entries for Mussorgsky, Berlioz and many representative of modern, avant-classical (electronic, tape) musical practices. The flaws in the book, while minor, also flow from this too-wide approach. While it may have been more useful to limit the coverage of horror cinema to (perhaps) a series of decade-specific essays, instead we get a random assortment of title entries, actor entries, and then some sub-essays. The timing of the book - mid 80s - also means that Stephen King is only just on the edge of being acknowledged as the pop-culture juggernaut that he is (he hasn't completely "shaken himself out of the pack" of contenders, in other words) and so, while his entry IS refreshingly critical on certain points, it feels like an incomplete mistake of timing. As the entries/essays are written by a wide assortment of people, occasional essays are bum-notes ("Violence" being a particularly good example). But all these are minor quibbles. A great reference work, and a useful addition to any genre fan's bookshelf - it gets right far more than it gets wrong.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This one weighty tome. Not necessarily because of its size (though it was a challenge to try and read this in bed, although two cats who declared they were jealous of the attention it was getting didnt help either) but also the subject matter itself. This is not some lightweight exploitive book but rather a well researched considerately written attempt at trying to cover off the genre of horror and the supernatural in everything from literature to architecture. There is a surprising number of hi This one weighty tome. Not necessarily because of its size (though it was a challenge to try and read this in bed, although two cats who declared they were jealous of the attention it was getting didnt help either) but also the subject matter itself. This is not some lightweight exploitive book but rather a well researched considerately written attempt at trying to cover off the genre of horror and the supernatural in everything from literature to architecture. There is a surprising number of historic entries which I knew nothing of and found fascinating to see such a vivid and rich history there is. Ok being published in 1986 did mean that there has been a lot happening since which is not covered - the fact that Clive Barker is entered under New authors sorts of sets the scene, however is is surprising how many authors I do recognise and who have been active for a very long time. Therefore I would say that this is a book to start things off with, it is not definitive - as if any literary encyclopaedia ever could be, and that is not even taking in to consideration the publishing date, but it is a fascinating window in to a genre that unfortunately can be dismissed and even derided because it is all to easy to concentrate on the extreme or the poorly written offerings. This book goes a long way to show the maturity and heritage of the horror and the supernatural story .

  3. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    Essential. Actually, you don't read something like this, you just dip into it from time to time and let it take you where it will. All in all, the individual entries by such writers (and students of the genre) as T.E.D. Klein, Kim Newman, Michael Dirda, Ramsey Campbell, Douglas Winter, and others, are informative and superb. Essential. Actually, you don't read something like this, you just dip into it from time to time and let it take you where it will. All in all, the individual entries by such writers (and students of the genre) as T.E.D. Klein, Kim Newman, Michael Dirda, Ramsey Campbell, Douglas Winter, and others, are informative and superb.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    1st Read: May 30, 1996 - September 15, 1996 I don't remember if I had read all of this or not. At this point in my life I was into vampires huge! I took notes from it, as it was very informative and appeared to be well written; judging by my notes that I'd just re-read in my binder of vampire information. It is a great book full of forgotten characters in history and folk-lore. It also covers everything from the world of media and pop culture: books, TV, film, magazines, comics, etc. From what 1st Read: May 30, 1996 - September 15, 1996 I don't remember if I had read all of this or not. At this point in my life I was into vampires huge! I took notes from it, as it was very informative and appeared to be well written; judging by my notes that I'd just re-read in my binder of vampire information. It is a great book full of forgotten characters in history and folk-lore. It also covers everything from the world of media and pop culture: books, TV, film, magazines, comics, etc. From what I can tell, it is now out of print and is relatively easy to find on some sites with reasonable prices. It would be awesome to have a copy of this book for reference.

  5. 4 out of 5

    John McKenna, Author of Poetry Book: Sessions

    Jack's work here is a gift - I first purchased and read back in the late 80's - when research was a far different excercise - this compendium was then and remains to this day a welcomed, prized and frightful delight - a treasure indeed. Jack's work here is a gift - I first purchased and read back in the late 80's - when research was a far different excercise - this compendium was then and remains to this day a welcomed, prized and frightful delight - a treasure indeed.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ben Lovegrove

    It's a pity this is out of print. Understandably so because it is out of date, but it's actually a classic work on the genre and still the best reference guide covering many artists and writers from the modern day to the Brontes. It's a pity this is out of print. Understandably so because it is out of date, but it's actually a classic work on the genre and still the best reference guide covering many artists and writers from the modern day to the Brontes.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts... http://www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Borja Martin de Zavala

  9. 5 out of 5

    Simon

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Bellor

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ratko R.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tom English

  13. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Sheppard

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ming Li Teh

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mark Hood

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rick Shepard

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  18. 4 out of 5

    C

  19. 4 out of 5

    Redjellydonut

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mike Talley Jr

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adalante

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Walker

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeff McIntosh

  25. 5 out of 5

    Miss Maya

  26. 4 out of 5

    David Pollison

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Roden

  28. 4 out of 5

    John

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ali

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