Shock Value: how a few eccentric outsiders gave us nightmares, conquered Hollywood and invented modern horror is a must-read for horror fans, especially those of us of a "certain age," say, RAPIDLY closing in on forty. Jason Zinoman has done a great job telling the stories behind horror directors like Wes Craven, George Romero, Tobe Hooper and others. I didn't know much about Dan O'Bannon at all until I listened to this book, I didn't know how he was and I feel very bad about that, because he was a true pioneer as well. He wrote the screenplay for Alien, Total Recall and others. I listened to this book before my trip to Minnesota and finished it during and I was so glad to have stumbled up on it at the library.
I still can't stand that sick freak Roman Polanski so all of the talk of his genius went in one ear and out the other. The guy is a child molester, plain and simple and anything that he has done will never, ever, make up for that. Complete loser.
But okay...now that my blood pressure is up...back to the book. Zinoman talks about how the "new" horror came to be, how writers and directors like the ones I mentioned above and others like John Carpenter took what Hitchcock and Hammer films and others had done and made something totally new out of it with their films. Great, quick book and a must for horror fans and even those who just like a good nonfiction book about pop culture.
What's Going On Here?
There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.