Monday, February 6, 2012
Constant Reading Project: Danse Macabre
Released: April 20, 1981
Screen adaptations: none
Connections to other works: Well, really, it's related to all of them, in a way.
Danse Macabre is King's first non-fiction book. The tome covers horror from 1950-1980 in film, TV and books.
I listen to a lot of audiobooks and I prefer books read by the author. Stephen King's voice is in my head. I hear his voice more when I read his non-fiction work. It's like he's speaking to me. Early in the book he says that much of the genesis of it occurred while he was teaching at the University of Maine. I don't feel like I'm being lectured, rather it's more like a workshop class.
I think this book sold better than it would have if someone else had written it. When I first read it (when I was in seventh grade and really starting to invest in language as a serious subject), I didn't know what it was about. It had King's name on it, so I checked it out from the library. I learned from it, tried to memorize the list of mandatory literature and film at the back, and went out into the world.
There's a 30th anniversary edition available, with a great essay that first appeared in two parts in "Fangoria" magazine. I, however, will be reading a 423-page purple paperback from Berkeley that was released in 1983. Nothing special about the edition, but it is fun to see the $4.95 cover price.