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The Suburban Gothic in American Popular Culture
An examination of the way American suburbia has been depicted in Gothic and horror films, television and literature from 1948 to the present day, in which Bernice Murphy demonstrates that Gothic depictions of suburbia provide an intriguing glimpse into the way modern American society views itself.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 15th 2009 by Palgrave Macmillan
(first published August 21st 2009)
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This is a really smartly done, well researched take on both literary and film depictions of the suburban gothic. Murphy grounds her research in the changes at mid-twentieth century that precipitated the suburbs, a new version of consumerism, new sorts of gender malaise, and a new understanding of what horror is. This is a fantastic read for anyone interested in place/space, the gothic genre and its offshoots (horror and sf specifically), environmental issues in American cityscapes/suburbanscapes ...more
I did skip a couple of chapters (concerning a novel I haven't read yet and, later, TV shows I don't care about), but that didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of this book's focus on the relationship between the 'burbs and the darker side of pop culture. Exploring the crossroads of sociology and entertainment is an easy sell for me anyway, but Ms. Murphy does a fine job of covering all of the different expressions of suburban horror - quiet alien invasions, serial killers, haunted tract home ...more