Clive Barker's A-Z of Horror

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BBC, 1997 - Horror - 256 pages
This is an exploration of the tradition of horror, from its earliest origins - as far back as the biblical victim Job - to the monsters, slashers, satanic children and serial killers who represent our anxieties today. Each letter of the alphabet is used as a starting point for an aspect, element or ingredient of horror. It may be a scene in a film, such as the shower scene in Psycho, or a character such as Freddie in Nightmare on Elm Street. Or it may be idea such as evil, violence or darkness, which is explored to reveal hidden meanings. Other themes examined include the psychological impact of horror, the role of women as heroines and victims, and the incarnation of the film monster.

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User Review  - DanaJean - LibraryThing

I thought this was an interesting look at horror through snippets of information about writers, artists, directors, actors, movies, television and more. Lots of trivia and reference material from people who make horror their business. Read full review


O Paramount courtesy Kobal bl Laurel 190 ParamountUnited International
tl Universal City Studios 143 Entertainment New World PicturesBritish Film Institute
ManPenguin Books 146 Mary Evans Century ProductionsColumbia Pictures b courtesy Michael Joseph 193 tr

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About the author (1997)

Critics of the horror story have frequently called Clive Barker the "British Stephen King". Born in Liverpool in 1952, Barker attended the University of Liverpool but moved to London in 1977, where he worked as a commercial artist and became involved with the avant-garde theatrical community. Primarily a playwright during this period, he also produced short fiction that he would eventually publish as part of his six-volume collection titled Books of Blood (1984-85). More than any other author of contemporary horror fiction, Barker has had a major impact on the direction of the genre. He has introduced strong elements of sex and graphic violence into his fiction, but these elements are employed with an artistic objective. Barker underscores his work with complex subtextual metaphors and artistic allusions. Preoccupied with the craft of writing and with its effect on the reader, Barker is an innovator of formula and genre, often parodying the former in order to change the philosophical contour of the latter. Barker has achieved commercial success not only with his short fiction but also with his novels, which tend to be epic in scope and to blend elements of horror with those of high fantasy. Barker is one of the more influential voices in horror cinema, having written and directed a number of films. His printed works include The Candle in the Cloud, Absolute Midnight, The Scarlet Gospels, and Black is the Devil's Rainbow: Tales of a Journeyman. His films include Dread, Tortured Souls: Animae Damanatae, and Hellraiser.

Stephen Jones is one of Britain's most acclaimed anthologists of dark fantasy and horror. He lives in London, England.

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