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The Book of Lists: Horror: An All-New Collection Featuring Stephen King, Eli Roth, Ray Bradbury, and More, with an Introduction by Gahan Wilson: An ... Hair-raising Blood-curdling Fun and Facts Paperback – 15 Oct 2008
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Top customer reviews
The emphasis is very much on modern horror cinema, anything earlier is
hardly mentioned if at all. Good if all you want to use it as a way of finding movie titles you may have otherwise missed but interesting trivia
or personal details of 'classic' horror films is very scant.
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SECTIONS OF THE BOOK:
1. Movies ("Fear on the Silver Screen): This section, taking up just over half of the book, is filled with lists created by various people associated with the horror genre. Among other lists, there are the horror films that most influenced Ray Bradbury's youth; the five common tactical errors made in horror films (e.g., confirm your kills); ten movie fates worse than death; and the top ten horror movie surgical blunders. Some of the lists are weak, others are interesting, and no doubt you will find your own movies that fit in a list (for example, I would include one character's fate in the movie Wolf Creek to fit into the "worse than death" list). The real strength of this section is that it can give you a number of ideas for new movies to see.
2. Books ("The Literature of Dread"): This section takes up another quarter of the book and many of the same comments apply as with the movies. Of course, for every horror movie (using the very loose definition of horror in this book), there are probably a dozen books, so there is even a greater chance that the lists will neglect some novel or story. When we get a list of five horror novels set in Venice, you can tell that this section may be stretched a little further than needed.
3. Music ("A Little Nightmare Music"): This section is brief and appropriately so. And there's no reference to Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London.
4. Miscellaneous ("A Miscellany of Terrors"): This grab bag is the largest of the minor (last three) sections. Comic books, TV horror hosts (such as Vampira) and even drinks are here (Zombie or Bloody Mary, anyone?).
5. Fan Submitted Lists ("Shrieks from the Gallery"): This section has lists from non-pros, but even the ones from kids sometimes surpass the ones elsewhere in the book. The nicest list here includes a bunch of old pulp covers; they're fun to look at, even if the pictures are a bit small.
Overall, this is the literary equivalent of a bag of potato chips. Even if not every list is spectacular, you can't stop with just one. There may not be a lot of nutritional value, but even a guilty pleasure is a pleasure nonetheless.
This book tends to favor horror movies in the number of lists, even though there are different sections, one on movies one on literature, etcetera. So there are only so many of these that you can read about my "Top 10 favorite Horror Movies" for example. I really doubt anyone read every single list in this book, as it would be very repetitive but I did go through every page and end up reading at least half of the lists (the ones that interested me).
Anyway this book is bathroom material; pick it up to read a few lists, put it back down, and you're happy. Do I think this is an essential book? No. Was I entertained? Yes, but not overly so. I had some fun with the book, but I didn't find this to be a great read.
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