Tag: Tone

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.

 


Lucy Jones – Foxes Unearthed | Review

Title: Foxes Unearthed

Author: Lucy Jones

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 312

Rating: 5*/5

 

Lucy Jones - Foxes Unearthed

Lucy Jones – Foxes Unearthed

 

Disclaimer: While I aim to be unbiased, I received a copy of this for free to review.

First off, let me start by saying that this is a beautiful book. Photos of the cover don’t do it justice, because it feels slightly three-dimensional and is printed on the perfect paper. The interior layout is well-done too, and each of the different chapters are separated by gorgeous illustrations that just make it that little tiny bit nicer.

As for the book itself, it’s a stunning piece of non-fiction that investigates the British public’s perception of foxes, one of the most controversial animals in the country. From fox hunting – and the people who try to sabotage them – to Roald Dahl’s depiction of Fantastic Mr. Fox to the foxes we see in the media, the ruthless scavengers who maul babies and stuff.

Jones covers both sides of the fox debate – although there are really three sides: the hunters, the farmers and the public – and while the book has a tone that shows that the author is on the side of the foxes, I think it does a pretty decent job of remaining relatively impartial. I think it’s a good summarisation of the public debate about foxes as a whole.

Overall, I couldn’t exactly recommend this to a typical reader, but if you like to read non-fiction, love foxes and/or want to reconnect with mother nature, there aren’t many better books on the market. For my part, I loved it – I gave it a 5/5. But I love foxes, and I think they’re beautiful. There’s a fox that occasionally pops out to say hello outside my house, when I’m smoking a cigarette at one in the morning. I don’t feed it – I just look at it and watch it.

 

A Fox

A Fox

 

Click here to buy Foxes Unearthed.