Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Horror: Miscellany by Jovanka Vuckovic


From Frankenstein and Dracula, to Night of the Living Dead and The Omen, this grisly grimoire conjures up ghouls, demons and all manner of things that go bump in the night. Crammed with endless facts, trivia and stories about every aspect of horror—from 1950s EC Comics and TV series The Twilight Zone; to the music of Black Sabbath and Japanese horror films—this little gem of spookiness is guaranteed to keep readers up all night.

Intriguing insights into the lives of classic horror writers like H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Clive Barker, and Stephen King are complemented by fascinating behind-the-scenes peeks into the productions of Psycho, The Thing, and Halloween.

Vuckovic’s many authoritative lists include: The Top thirteen Vampire Films; thirteen Scariest Horror Video Games; and The twenty-five Best Horror Movie Taglines: “The good news is your date is here! The bad news is... He’s dead!” revealing the humour in the horror.

Review by Rose Thornton:

This small book is a virtual encyclopedia of the who, what, when, where, and how of horror to the thorough extent that it is uncanny. Vuckovic’s Horror: Miscellany is an informative and interesting overview of the evolution of the horror genre throughout its media history.

“Horror has an ancient history that is difficult to map but it appears throughout the historical record in creation myths and classical mythologies, which are festooned with monsters, demons, and otherworldly creatures. The Bible, could easily be labeled as horror, as it is populated by fallen angels, demonic possession, ghosts, zombies, and even a terrifying apocalypse!” The truth this author lends for insight into horror as an internal part of human nature, as exampled in the preceding quote, makes his book so much more than just the facts and figures of the horror genre.

H.P. Lovecraft quote in Horror: Miscellany: “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity; and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” Lovecraft, an American author influential for his work in horror fiction, reveals the essence of Vuckovic’s drive to fully convey why horror is an important element of the human psyche.

I am not particularly fond of the horror genre myself, but I did find this book to be intriguing for its underlying themes and revelations. Any book that incites me to action, in whatever form, has achieved a bond with me as a reader. I took Vuckovic’s advice on the best versions of certain horror films and ordered used DVD copies to watch, not for the horror but rather to pick up on the other themes included and to note the special effects, etc. used.

I will recommend this book highly, albeit with caution. It is not for everyone, but anyone with an interest in film history, the evolution of horror in media, or the dark side of human nature will find this book a good read.

Thanks for visiting, Rose, Julie, Donna, & Rochelle

Length: 96 Pages

Print Price: $9.20

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