Tag: New

Stephen King – Danse Macabre | Review

Title: Danse Macabre

Author: Stephen King

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 480

Rating: 4/5

I wasn’t expecting to like this book as much as I did, mainly because it’s non-fiction and obviously King has a reputation as the master of horror. Still, it’s a non-fiction book about horror with a little bit of memoir and autobiography thrown in, and that makes it a pretty fascinating book if you’re a fan of either horror or Stephen King.

At the same time, it’s definitely dated in a lot of places. For example, he mentions an exciting new punk band called The Ramones and makes a reference to a book he’s writing where a parent loses a child, and I’m pretty sure he was talking about Pet Sematary. Kind of weird really, because the Ramones later recorded a song of the same name.

He also talked about how Kubrick did a good job of the movie of The Shining, and that was weird to me because King famously doesn’t like it. Perhaps he changed his mind later on. He also talked about how there aren’t enough works about haunted cars, which he later changed with Christine (still need to read it) and From a Buick 8 (actually terrible).

The fact that it’s a non-fiction book means that by its very nature, it has something of a different tone to King’s other stuff, although you can definitely tell that he’s the one who wrote it. Perhaps it’s also that he was a little younger and therefore closer to the start of his career. Whatever the case, he comes across as almost irreverent at times, though not in a bad way.

He always treats the works that he covers with the greatest of respect even when he doesn’t necessarily enjoy the work in question. He acknowledges that something can be hugely influential and important to a specific genre of film and literature, even if he doesn’t like the work itself. It’s a bit like how you can enjoy rock music without being a fan of The Beatles.

I don’t think that this book necessarily has a widespread appeal, but if you’re either a Stephen King fan or a fan of classic horror – and let’s be honest, if you’re one then you’re probably the other – then this will be right up your street. If nothing else, you’ll find yourself walking away with a whole bunch of recommendations to check out. I know I have.

Of course, some of the stuff that he covers here is pretty niche, to the point at which you’d probably struggle to track some of it down. Other is much more well-known, from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to The Exorcist and even King’s own books. He also writes in a way that doesn’t ruin things that you haven’t yet experienced, which I was worried about. Good stuff!

Learn more about Danse Macabre.

 


Emma Rosen – Milk | Review

Title: Milk

Author: Emma Rosen

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count: 326

Rating: 3.75/5

I was sent a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a copy of one of mine, but while I think it’s important to include a disclaimer here, it doesn’t affect my opinion of the book. In fact, I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy it purely because of the subject matter. It’s basically a mixture between a memoir and a how-to guide for breastfeeding, but there are a few things to it that I think make it accessible to a more general readership than new and expectant mums.

For a start, there’s the research that Rosen carried out, and indeed at the end of the book there’s a comprehensive list of all of the sources that were used if you want to read more. This is coupled with Rosen’s own reminiscences, so you get just the right mixture of anecdotal versus scientific evidence. For me, that’s something that I actively try to seek out in the books that I read, and I think that Rosen did a cracking job of things.

The only thing that I can really complain about here is the fact that it felt a little bit top heavy, in that the first half of the book dealt with her first child, then the following third dealt with her second and the final sixth of it covered her third and final child. But I suppose  that can’t be helped because of the nature of the book – by the time that she had her third child, there was less for her to learn, although there were still a few bits here and there that she still had to discover.

All in all, I’m sure that this book isn’t for everyone, but then I thought it wouldn’t be for me and I was pleasantly surprised. Good stuff!

Click here to buy Milk.