Horror has been one of the most spectacular and controversial genres in both cinema and fiction - its wild excesses relished by some, vilified by many others. Often defiantly marginal, it nevertheless inhabits the very fabric of everyday life, providing us with ways of imagining and classifying our world; what is evil and what is good; what is monstrous and what is 'normal'; what can be seen and what should remain hidden.
The Horror Reader brings together 29 key articles to examine the enduring resonance of horror across culture. Spanning the history of horror in literature and film and discussing texts from Britain, the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Hong Kong, it explores a diversity of horror forms from classic gothic literature like Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, to contemporary serial killers, horror film fanzines and low-budget movies such as The Leech Woman and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Themes addressed include:
* the fantastic * horror and psychoanalysis * monstrosities * different Frankensteins * vampires * queer horror * American gothic * splatter and slasher films * race and ethnicity * lowbrow and low-budget horror * new regional horror.
The Reader opens with an introduction to 'the field of horror' by Ken Gelder, and each thematic section includes an introductory preface. There is also a comprehensive bibliography of horror literature.
Ken Gelder is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Reading the Vampire (Routledge 1994) and co-editor of The Subcultures Reader (Routledge 1996)
'Gelder is to be congratulated on this selection. If you teach horror then I recommend this, the academic weight here, carefully used, could help students see beyond the gore.' - In The Picture
'Will do much to introduce the uninitiated to the cultural fascination of horror while giving the aficionados plenty to keep them ticking over.' - Intensities