Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart

Availability: Ready to download

Noel Carroll, film scholar and philosopher, offers the first serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a "transmedia" phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten works, as well as of th Noel Carroll, film scholar and philosopher, offers the first serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a "transmedia" phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten works, as well as of the horror masterpieces. Working from a philosophical perspective, he tries to account for how people can find pleasure in having their wits scared out of them. What, after all, are those "paradoxes of the heart" that make us want to be horrified?


Compare
Ads Banner

Noel Carroll, film scholar and philosopher, offers the first serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a "transmedia" phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten works, as well as of th Noel Carroll, film scholar and philosopher, offers the first serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a "transmedia" phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten works, as well as of the horror masterpieces. Working from a philosophical perspective, he tries to account for how people can find pleasure in having their wits scared out of them. What, after all, are those "paradoxes of the heart" that make us want to be horrified?

30 review for The Philosophy of Horror: Or, Paradoxes of the Heart

  1. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    Although this is a useful approach to the horror genre, addressing significant questions - what is horror? why do we have such strong emotional responses to things we know to be false? why would we want to have such responses? - and proposing interesting responses to these questions, the book could be cut by at least half if the author removed all repetitions of his points. That is to say, Carroll's arguments could be made just as clearly, thoroughly, and convincingly in less than half the time and Although this is a useful approach to the horror genre, addressing significant questions - what is horror? why do we have such strong emotional responses to things we know to be false? why would we want to have such responses? - and proposing interesting responses to these questions, the book could be cut by at least half if the author removed all repetitions of his points. That is to say, Carroll's arguments could be made just as clearly, thoroughly, and convincingly in less than half the time and space. To conclude, I wish Carroll's editor had been ruthless in ordering Carroll to eliminate the repetitions and rephrasings and revisitings; I'm glad I read it, but it shouldn't have taken so long.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steve Wiggins

    Sometimes the title of a book can be daunting. I had been meaning to sit down and read Noël Carroll’s The Philosophy of Horror for some time, despite the fear of philosophizing a favorite topic. As I mention in my blog post about it ( Sects and Violence in the Ancient World) it is clear that Carroll is a fan of the genre. As soon as you start reading—and the first 20 pages or so are riveting—that becomes clear. The book, as it was meant to do, quickly becomes a bit technical. Despite this, there are many po Sometimes the title of a book can be daunting. I had been meaning to sit down and read Noël Carroll’s The Philosophy of Horror for some time, despite the fear of philosophizing a favorite topic. As I mention in my blog post about it ( Sects and Violence in the Ancient World) it is clear that Carroll is a fan of the genre. As soon as you start reading—and the first 20 pages or so are riveting—that becomes clear. The book, as it was meant to do, quickly becomes a bit technical. Despite this, there are many points where the insights are truly stunning. For those who wonder about others who read or watch horror, I should point out that Carroll takes the subtitle, or Paradoxes of the Heart seriously. He asks why anyone would want to expose her or himself to material that is disturbing like this. While his answers aren’t easily summarized—the arguments are intricately built—he suggests curiosity overcomes disgust and horror gets that balance right. This is one of the paradoxes the book addresses. Horror fans are not, by and large, misanthropic. They are simply drawn by a genre that isn’t far from science fiction, but is more often shunned. The other added bonus, for those who read academic material, is that Carroll tries to narrow down what makes people afraid, and suggests that this might help those who are trying to write horror. His suggestions are quite good and I found myself reading this part with notebook in hand. This paradoxical book, it seems to me, reflects the high point of Routledge’s publishing under the able direction of William Germano. Challenging, yet relevant, quirky and erudite, this book is well worth brushing off your philosophical chops to get to what is a very human fascination. Carroll even names a new emotion art-horror, which might help to explain why we do this to ourselves.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ethan

    This is a thorough, academic treatment of the major philosophical issues surrounding the horror genre. It focuses on two "paradoxes of the heart": the paradox of fiction (why are people scared of things they know don't exist?) and the paradox of horror (why does anyone like horror at all, since being scared is usually a bad thing?). Carroll's academic style is probably going to appeal mostly to academic philosophers, who will find it intellectually thorough, as opposed to general read This is a thorough, academic treatment of the major philosophical issues surrounding the horror genre. It focuses on two "paradoxes of the heart": the paradox of fiction (why are people scared of things they know don't exist?) and the paradox of horror (why does anyone like horror at all, since being scared is usually a bad thing?). Carroll's academic style is probably going to appeal mostly to academic philosophers, who will find it intellectually thorough, as opposed to general readers, who might find it pedantic and long-winded. Your mileage may vary. As an academic philosopher myself I appreciate Carroll's style, but as a horror fan I was excited to read a serious academic treatment of a genre that's often unfairly maligned as anti-intellectual or even immoral. In fact, this book has become something of a classic in the still small area of philosophy of horror, so it's a useful touchstone for further research. I will add that even for an academic monograph, Carroll can be a bit repetitive. Carroll refers to a wide variety of examples throughout, from well-known authors like Shelley, Lovecraft, Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Shirley Jackson to lesser known authors like Colin Wilson, from popular blockbuster films to obscure art house offerings. I added a lot to my to-read and to-watch lists. The first chapter attempts a definition of horror as a genre, a genre that is aimed at giving rise to the emotion of "art-horror" as Carroll calls it. He also spends some time characterizing the concept of a monster, which he takes to be central to most horror. The third chapter is an elaborate taxonomy of horror plot structures, which includes a large number of examples to make Carroll's case. The most interesting chapters to me were two and four: those that deal with the paradox of fiction and the paradox of horror respectively. Concerning the paradox of fiction, Carroll argues against several competing theories (such as the theory that horror actually gives rise to pseudo-fear) in favor of his own idea that the emotion of art-horror is a genuine emotion but it is produced by the idea of a monster (or other object of horror). I like this idea (ha.), since it explains why some horror fans such as myself find horror fiction scarier than horror movies: my imagination goes places scarier than any film can capture. Chapter four touches on what I think of as the most intriguing philosophical questions about horror: Why do fans of the genre like to be scared? Why does anyone like this stuff in the first place? Carroll considers and rejects a few other theories such as Lovecraft's theory of supernatural horror as a quasi-religious experience or various psychoanalytic explanations. His own theory is subtle and more complex than I can adequately reproduce here, but the basic idea is that, due to the category-blending, reality-transcending nature of monsters and other horror tropes as well as the investigation and discovery structures of many horror plots, horror excites the imagination and curiosity of its audience, an experience that is heightened by the emotion of art-horror. Carroll ends with an interesting discussion of horror and ideology (that is, is horror fundamentally politically and socially conservative as some have argued?) I greatly admire Carroll's book, but, as with any philosophy book, I'm not entirely sure I agree with everything. In particular, his treatment of monsters doesn't seem to capture horror stories where we're supposed to identify with the monster in some ways, as in everything from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein to Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water. His resolution of the paradox of horror seems to fit a lot of other genres like science fiction and fantasy, minus of course the necessary ingredient of the emotion of horror. To the extent that I agree with Carroll about horror, I also agree that he explains a lot about why science fiction, fantasy, and horror are my favorite genres: it's all about exercising the imagination and confronting the unknown for me. It seems that Carroll might have leaned more on the role of art-horror in chapter four. Or maybe it just shows that demarcating strict borders between genres is difficult, if not impossible (case in point: Stephen King's Dark Tower series, which is equal parts horror, fantasy, science fiction, Western, and random weirdness). For me, Carroll's book raises further questions: Is it possible to define horror or to solve the paradoxes of fiction and horror in ways that fully capture every aspect of the genre? Is there a single framework that explains everything about the genre? Would it be a useful discovery if the answers to the previous questions were "no"? Whether one agrees with Carroll's conclusions or not, that he so seriously and so thoroughly engages with the deep philosophical issues surrounding horror as a genre makes it well worth the effort. I recommend it not just to academic philosophers but to anyone with the patience and curiosity to follow Carroll's own discovery plot to its end. (See my blog review: http://examinedworlds.blogspot.com/20...)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Russia_with_love

    Nie wierzę, że to piszę ale gdyby nie magisterka, to chyba bym na tę książkę nie trafiła. A to byłaby niepowetowana strata. Dla miłośników gatunku (albo czytelników takich jak ja - od przypadku do przypadku - też polecam) pozycja obowiązkowa!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Fredösphere

    No rating because I could not finish it before its library due date. Compared to the other academic writings I've picked up lately, the writing is clear and jargon-free. Still, for some reason--a misguided pursuit of rigor, perhaps?--each point is belabored beyond my patience. I did feel I learned some things, however, which is more than I can say about Fred Botting's writings, or Freud's essay on the uncanny (i.e., to the man with an Oedipal theory, every problem looks like a penis). No rating because I could not finish it before its library due date. Compared to the other academic writings I've picked up lately, the writing is clear and jargon-free. Still, for some reason--a misguided pursuit of rigor, perhaps?--each point is belabored beyond my patience. I did feel I learned some things, however, which is more than I can say about Fred Botting's writings, or Freud's essay on the uncanny (i.e., to the man with an Oedipal theory, every problem looks like a penis). Four chapters are intended to define horror, explain our emotional reaction to it ("art horror"), describe typical horror plots, and try to understand the "paradox of horror" (that is, why would anyone want to be scared by a story?). The first chapter spends a lot of time developing the idea that a monster causes horror when it is both threatening and impure. This is convincing. I would have included a description of twin instincts which are pre-rational: revulsion over rotting things and the uncanny valley response to corpses. These are important survival instincts and cause pre-rational reactions (because who has time to be rational when life is on the line?) and they go a long way to explain why we are horrified at fictional horror. The second chapter considers ways to deal with 3 contradictory premises:1. We are genuinely moved by fictions 2. We know that that which is portrayed in fictions in not actual 3. We are only genuinely moved by what we believe is actualThe illusion theory denies #1; the pretense theory denies #2. Too much time was spent refuting these implausible theories. The clear answer (imho) is to deny #3. A more illuminating direction, I think, would lie in expanding our understanding of the brain's hard-wired reactions of sympathy while watching other people perform actions, or the role storytelling and play have in learning. I enjoyed the 3rd chapter a lot, but it was there I ran out of time. Perhaps my provisional rating would have risen from 3 stars to 4 if I had finished.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jose Lomo Marín

    Vaya por delante que no suelo leer libros de filosofía, y este lo es, y de los duros. Entré en el libro con mucho interés por la materia, y debo admitir que entre sus páginas hay muchas teorías y análisis interesantes alrededor de por qué algunas personas nos sentimos tan apegadas al género de terror. Pero las argumentaciones están repletas de digresiones que me produjeron la sensación de estar dando vueltas, una y otra vez, a lo mismo. Creo que varias de las ideas centrales podrían haberse resu Vaya por delante que no suelo leer libros de filosofía, y este lo es, y de los duros. Entré en el libro con mucho interés por la materia, y debo admitir que entre sus páginas hay muchas teorías y análisis interesantes alrededor de por qué algunas personas nos sentimos tan apegadas al género de terror. Pero las argumentaciones están repletas de digresiones que me produjeron la sensación de estar dando vueltas, una y otra vez, a lo mismo. Creo que varias de las ideas centrales podrían haberse resumido más. Y un lenguaje más directo tampoco le hubiera ido mal. Otro punto negativo, ya no de la obra (que es fruto de su tiempo), sino de las circunstancias para un lector contemporáneo, es que las referencias se han quedado un tanto antiguas. Aunque los ejemplos sobre los clásicos siempre estarán vigentes, se echan a faltar casi tres décadas de vida del género. El texto está pidiendo a gritos una actualización y revisión de ciertas ideas. Pese a todos estos puntos críticos, es encomiable la labor del autor y su lectura aporta ideas y puntos de vista que merece la pena descubrir, si te interesa profundamente el género.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Beholderess

    The subject of the book is interesting to me, however, the author's style is difficult to read. It does feel like a scientific monograph that does not have any reader in mind sometimes. Also, the author is keen to push his own understanding of what counts as "horror", to define it as something that a) features monsters b) those monsters are repulsive, which leaves quite a lot of fiction typically understood as "horror" unaccounted for. He does notice that, and delegates such fiction t The subject of the book is interesting to me, however, the author's style is difficult to read. It does feel like a scientific monograph that does not have any reader in mind sometimes. Also, the author is keen to push his own understanding of what counts as "horror", to define it as something that a) features monsters b) those monsters are repulsive, which leaves quite a lot of fiction typically understood as "horror" unaccounted for. He does notice that, and delegates such fiction to "thriller" or "doom" category, but I still think that it should have been seen as an integral part of horror, as it elicits pretty much the same reaction in people, usually placed on the same place in stores, and people seek it out for the same reasons. Yet the whole thesis of the author hinges on defining horror as featuring "repulsive monsters", which allows him to use Purity and Danger-inspired framework for analysis.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eric Jay Sonnenschein

    The Philosophy of Horror is a virtuoso treatise of philosophy on the horror genre. It is intensely and rigorously argued and witty at times,as well. It is also full of pertinent insights on this popular entertainment and the psychological mechanism that makes so many people receptive to it. It is also quite a good book to read if you enjoy the philosophical spirit and thought process. Carroll brings much erudition to bear on his topic, including Hume, Freud, Jung, and an encyclopedic knowledge o The Philosophy of Horror is a virtuoso treatise of philosophy on the horror genre. It is intensely and rigorously argued and witty at times,as well. It is also full of pertinent insights on this popular entertainment and the psychological mechanism that makes so many people receptive to it. It is also quite a good book to read if you enjoy the philosophical spirit and thought process. Carroll brings much erudition to bear on his topic, including Hume, Freud, Jung, and an encyclopedic knowledge of horror in all of its forms. If you like brain teasers and plan to travel this would be a great book to take with you and dip into for pages at a time before you become immersed. It will challenge you and then absorb you.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Josh C

    Read for my Genre Studies: Horror, Fantasy and Sci-fi class. Pretty repetitive and drawn out for the most part, but did have some interesting concepts of why horror movies scare us. Particularly interesting was the discussion of impurity and how revolting images such as blood, spit, rotting flesh, and others as well as an obvious threat to be what makes movies particularly a product of what Carroll calls 'art-horror'.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Crumpy

    A good book but I feel that the definitions and the set up tries to cage horror as an entity as too tight fitting, there are many examples that contradict the premise and rules that are set up. It's a good book and Noel Carroll did a good job, but I feel that the genre has expanded since the writing of this book. Personally I found it dry and a little too academic, there's many instances of things that could be said directly that take up paragraphs of winding words.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steven Logan

    He has good reviews, ideas, and theories. I do believe his theories and thesis are correct. However, it's written with so much dry language that it's hard to keep reading. Essentially, it's a very boring book. One might be better off watching paint dry or cats humping. Both would bring more enjoyment than this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    (I read to page 78 and gave up) The human responses to fear and disgust that are layed out as foundation for his theories do not line up with what I know about my own feelings and responses. Therefor, reading further would waste more of my time because it's built on false assumptions. Also, it's incredibly boring, clinical and repetitive.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten Mortensen

    Useful tool for me, as a writer, as I consider what makes fictional critters scary.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mjhancock

    Noel Carroll outlines his theory of horror, slowly unfolding his general and universal theories on why the genre, in all its forms, appeals to a Western chapter. The book is divided into four chapters, each of which has a number of subsections. The first chapter is The Nature of Horror, and is broadly considered with possible definitions of horror, including a catalog of existing definitions. Broadly, Carroll believes that horror involves some form of the audience empathizing with the characters Noel Carroll outlines his theory of horror, slowly unfolding his general and universal theories on why the genre, in all its forms, appeals to a Western chapter. The book is divided into four chapters, each of which has a number of subsections. The first chapter is The Nature of Horror, and is broadly considered with possible definitions of horror, including a catalog of existing definitions. Broadly, Carroll believes that horror involves some form of the audience empathizing with the characters responding to some form of monster. Chapter 2 is Metaphysics and Horror, or Relating to Fiction, in which he considers at great length how creatures we know to be fictional can create real feelings; it's a step towards what he thinks is the big paradox of horror, why we feel pleasure at that which scare us. In the chapter, he spends a lot of time arguing against Kendall Walton's theory of make-believe, and other accounts for why we have real responses to fictional things. Chapter 3 is plotting horror, in which he forms the basic plot that most horror stories seem to follow: onset, discovery, confirmation, and confrontation. Afterwards, he discusses the relation of horror to other genres, such as suspense and the fantastic. Finally, in Why Horror?, he addresses the aforementioned paradox of horror directly, stating why psychological and ideological explanations don't suffice. His general theory applies to horror narratives, and states that the attraction of horror is a combination of art-horror (feeling horrified at something we know to be fictional) and a fascination with watching the plot unfold. It's funny that he spends so long detailing his objections to Walton's make-believe theory (and Walton, for his part, spends a long time detailing his objections to Carroll, elsewhere) as their writing styles are very similar. Both spend a long time developing out any possible objection to their theory, both prefer to focus on the general case over specific case studies (though they can delve into them, if need be) and both write in a manner that can be somewhat ponderous, but rarely too difficult for a layperson to follow. My favorite part of the book is probably the second chapter where Carroll outlines the major form of a horror plot, if only because he makes frequent references to existing horror works here in order to demonstrate the plots at work. I wonder if the general theory applies to videogames as well; most of the case is the same as with the media he outlines, and the only major difference is that character-identification is, if anything, stronger, because the player is playing as the character. Anyway, while not the most exciting literary theory book, it's certainly the benchmark for philosophical approaches to horror, and a must-read for the concept of art-horror.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Frank Cernik

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. While his work is widely referenced and, so far as I can tell, regarded as seminal, Carroll’s use to me is extremely limited. He defines the horror genre by its intended emotional reaction, which he calls ‘art-horror’ and which is delineated as a combination of fear and disgust reactions. He compares his work to Aristotle’s, wherein he defines tragedy by its role in bringing about pity- and fear-based catharsis. Carroll’s philosophical exploration, in turn, basically attempts to redraft the abje While his work is widely referenced and, so far as I can tell, regarded as seminal, Carroll’s use to me is extremely limited. He defines the horror genre by its intended emotional reaction, which he calls ‘art-horror’ and which is delineated as a combination of fear and disgust reactions. He compares his work to Aristotle’s, wherein he defines tragedy by its role in bringing about pity- and fear-based catharsis. Carroll’s philosophical exploration, in turn, basically attempts to redraft the abject from an aesthetic perspective, without once mentioning Kristeva’s parallel psychological work on the same. (Kristeva, I should mention, is too psychological to be of much use to me here; I will, instead, use her theories of abjection as mediated through Sara Ahmed’s discussion of it, which are more directly applicable to the kind of research I want to do.) He also speculates that, as the rise of the Gothic was meant as a counterpoint to the promises of Romanticism, so Horror may have been a similar counterpoint to the Enlightenment. Specifically, the Enlightenment created a conception of the natural that Horror could then violate with the unnatural and the supernatural. However, he seems to assume that emotions are given and bounded entities - throughout the text, he takes a large variety of responses within a single person and also between people (e.g. shaking knees, sweaty palms, and other physical fear responses) and groups them all under ‘fear’ and ‘disgust’ without taking a critical approach to the nature of those emotions as more than or other than words. In service of this reduction, he assumes that the characters in horror stories are meant to model the reactions that the audience is supposed to have. He also raises a number of possible objections to his structure in order to address them, but his responses typically take the form of “That’s true and a good objection, but you’d need to use it to comprehensively address every instance where my theories might apply in order for the critique to apply at all, and no one’s done that yet, so it doesn’t stand.” Further, he specifically constructs his argument in relation to monster-focused horror, but, once that is done, uses it as a prescriptive measure by which all ‘horror’ must be evaluated before it can count as horror (He first uses this to exclude Cujo from the genre), which is presumptuous nonsense.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Noel Carroll's work on the study of horror as a genre throughout time is challenging to properly review. My major problem with the book is that it appears to attempt to tackle the philosophy of horror - or, as Caroll puts it, the questions of why people subject themselves to being horrified and why we are scared of beings we know do not exist - from both a philosophical point of view, and from a cultural study approach. Chapters 2 and 3 of his book, for example, could and probably should have be Noel Carroll's work on the study of horror as a genre throughout time is challenging to properly review. My major problem with the book is that it appears to attempt to tackle the philosophy of horror - or, as Caroll puts it, the questions of why people subject themselves to being horrified and why we are scared of beings we know do not exist - from both a philosophical point of view, and from a cultural study approach. Chapters 2 and 3 of his book, for example, could and probably should have been from entirely different texts (though Caroll does warn in the introduction of his book that parts of the text will be at a much higher academic level than others). Having said all that, I absolutely loved this read. As someone who is not deeply familiar with the genre, I appreciated Caroll's thoroughness, his deeply academic approach to the subject, and his integration of an exhaustive amount of disciplines to reach any one argument he presented. For this reason in particular I consider this book more appropriately categorized under Cultural Studies as opposed to Philosophy of Art or Film Studies. This book is potentially too dense and rooted in graduate-thesis-style structure for many casual listeners, but for those who appreciate a challenging, deep understanding of a cultural phenomena that truly has been paradoxical for centuries, I highly recommend The Philosophy of Horror.

  17. 5 out of 5

    PsypherPunk

    From the roots of horror during the Age of Enlightenment (so the author believes) to its modern (circa 1990) incarnations, the author attempts to discern the appeal of horror in its multifarious forms. Straight out of the gate the author attempts a curiously restricted definition of horror: there must be a monster; anything that doesn't have a beastie to abhor isn't horror (or "arthorror" and he terms it). Although I'm inclined to disagree his arguments are well reasoned enough. What follows From the roots of horror during the Age of Enlightenment (so the author believes) to its modern (circa 1990) incarnations, the author attempts to discern the appeal of horror in its multifarious forms. Straight out of the gate the author attempts a curiously restricted definition of horror: there must be a monster; anything that doesn't have a beastie to abhor isn't horror (or "arthorror" and he terms it). Although I'm inclined to disagree his arguments are well reasoned enough. What follows is equal parts informed, florid and entertaining enough. Although erudite and heavy with interesting references the author seems loath to actually draw any conclusions. Certainly, by the book's close he's elucidated various disparate reasons for enjoying some entries in the (art)horror genre, he doesn't feel any closer to the unifying "Philosophy of Horror" proffered by the preceding pages.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Villarruel

    El autor comete un error grave en su análisis, por lo que sus resultados son equivocados, pero el proceso por el cual llega a ellos, es fascinante y nos permite, a nosotros sí, deducir por qué el horror es fascinante pese a ser desagradable (paradoja). El error consiste en pensar que el horror tiene una naturaleza específica por la cual a todos nos gusta, como si a todos nos gustaran las naranjas por su sabor ácido; no se le pasa por la cabeza que a unos podrían gistarles las naranjas El autor comete un error grave en su análisis, por lo que sus resultados son equivocados, pero el proceso por el cual llega a ellos, es fascinante y nos permite, a nosotros sí, deducir por qué el horror es fascinante pese a ser desagradable (paradoja). El error consiste en pensar que el horror tiene una naturaleza específica por la cual a todos nos gusta, como si a todos nos gustaran las naranjas por su sabor ácido; no se le pasa por la cabeza que a unos podrían gistarles las naranjas por dulces, o por frescas, o por redondas, o por sus vitaminas, o su aroma.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    Apparently Noel Carroll is the king of missing the point. I wish somebody had told me that before I started reading this silly little book. It should probably say so in the author bio or something, to prevent others from making the same mistake I did. I guess there are a handful of useful points in the first couple of chapters, but I really couldn't recommend this to anyone but the most masochistic of academics.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Maddy

    The idea of applying analytic philosophy to horror is misplaced and inappropriate and sucked the soul out of the subject matter. Though focusing on mostly popular American cinema there wasn't a lot of soul left to stuck.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Farrah

    Very interesting look at the though process of the horror reader and the philosophical ideas taken advantage of by the writer. Some interesting mentions to Descartes in relation to Dracula. A litte long winded though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dakota

    Carroll meanders in his analyses of horror, deconstructing others' theses before presenting his own ideas. Not the most organized or succint read, but interesting for those seeking to understand why horror has maintained its popularity for so long.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Lucia

    Excellent, excellent, excellent. May need to take a month, just to absorb what I just read. Very comprehensive, insightful, and illuminating.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tara Hall

    I enjoyed this book, but didn't agree with a lot of the ideas proposed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Henrik

    Re-reading this one because I have begun work on my final thesis at the University.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This was a school book I read a few months ago but I forgot to include. I forget the actual date I read it so I'm just putting in today's date.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aaron Hollander

    Amazingly clear, and concise, and an approachable, intellectualism.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tone

    There's some interesting information in here about Horror but it's too dense. It's like reading a graduate thesis.

  29. 4 out of 5

    岩倉 NIV7

    A thorough look, if a little too painstakingly, at the crux of 'art-horror', and an excellent read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tim Wainwright

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.