Dreadful Pleasures: Anatomy of Modern Horror by James B. Twitchell
Dreadful Pleasures takes a lively look at the stories that make our hair stand on end. James Twitchell examines the appeal of horror through the centuries--its persistence in our culture, its manifestations in art, literature, and cinema, and our need for the frisson it provides. From the cave paintings at Lascaux to the "slasher" movies of today, Twitchell traces our fascination with horror stories and explores why certain myths and images--vampires and transformational monsters like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde--have had special resonance in our culture, and why others have faded. Whether discussing the engravings of William Hogarth or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Twitchell is consistently insightful and entertaining. Film buffs and scholars, literary critics and Gothic novel devotees will all welcome this study of the horror genre and the immense appeal it has had throughout the centuries.