Aaron's Reviews > Danse Macabre

Danse Macabre by Stephen King
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Jul 27, 10

Read from July 26 to 27, 2010

Okay. It's difficult to really review a book about the state of horror as a genre when that book was first written back in 1981. With that said, my real issues with the book are not really the book's outdatedness. My big issue is that the book doesn't really seem to make a point and support it. It's more like getting high with one of your favorite writers and then just sitting and listening to him talk.

Some things that crossed my mind as I read this book:

1) It's actually kind of cool to hear Stephen King reference books he's already written as ideas he hasn't published yet. (Example: pg 133, "...in the process of researching a forthcoming novel about a father who tries to bring his son back from the dead..." Pet Semetary, anyone?)

2) I am curious as to what this writer would have to say about the state of horror television now. Since this book's original publishing, there have been numerous forays into horror on the old boob tube. I wonder if Stephen King would feel the same way about, say, Supernatural as he does about The Twilight Zone.

3) Why does Stephen King hate John Saul so much? It's been a while since I've read Saul (probably almost twenty years) but I don't recall him being much better or worse than anything else being published at the time.

4) I would love to hear Mr. King's ponderings on Clive Barker. Or Dan Simmons. These two novelists, two of my favorite writers of the past twenty years, are exceptional writers of horror. I would love to see Stephen wax on these two writers with the sort of treatise he gives to Harlan Ellison or Ray Bradbury in Danse Macabre.

5) I really need to read some Harlan Ellison.

6) And The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddon.

7) And pretty much everything that Ray Bradbury ever wrote. In this case, I would be rereading, but I love Bradbury and had kind of forgotten that until King went on and on ad infinitum.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read. King makes some good points. He makes some fine recommendations. His theory on Dionysian versus Apollonian themes is actually quite interesting. Ultimately, though, it doesn't amount to much. It's a discussion that wears on too long.
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Reading Progress

07/26/2010 page 295
63.58% "Ramble ramble, Mr. King!"
07/27/2010 page 384
82.76% "Yes, Uncle Stevie, I think I will read some Harlan Ellison."

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Edwards Exactly what I thought when I read it a while back. Nice review. (You may have already read it, but his "On Writing" is far superior and worth a look).


Christine I'm struggling to get through Danse Macabre. I have it on audio, so I listen to a few hours when I'm between books, but haven't been able to do longer stretches yet. Yeah, sitting around listening to him talk while high pretty much sums it up. =)
4. For Dan Simmons, SK named Drood one of the best of 2009, calling it "a beautifully realized historical novel...a modern tale that chronicles the descent of a great mind into dope-fueled madness. For Carrion Comfort (which I haven't read yet), SK "one of the three greatest horror novels of the 20th century. Simple as that.”
For Clive Barker, SK called him "the future of horror" - can't get much better than that.


Aaron You MUST read Carrion Comfort. I don't know if I would rate it as highly as Mr. King does, but it's certainly one of Dan Simmons' best. You can't go wrong with Dan Simmons.


Christine Aaron wrote: "You MUST read Carrion Comfort. I don't know if I would rate it as highly as Mr. King does, but it's certainly one of Dan Simmons' best. You can't go wrong with Dan Simmons."

Will do!


Bobby Bermea "It's more like getting high with one of your favorite writers and then just sitting and listening to him talk." I think that was the point of the book.


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