Danse Macabre by Stephen King is a college course in horror that you can carry around in your bag. Or on your tablet. It explores the horror genre in books, film, tv and radio during the 1950s to the 1970s. And it’s a must-read for any horror fan.

Here’s why.

King is a great storyteller, even in nonfiction. His voice is entertaining, especially when he’s passionate about the subject matter. And of course, this is the subject he’s most passionate about. The book sounds like he’s having fun with every sentence. Which, of course, makes it insanely fun to read.

Reading Danse Macabre, I learned so much about horror movies I might never have otherwise known. Movies like Freaks and Creepshow were first introduced to me through this book. After reading about them, of course, I had to seek them out. Just like I had to seek out Rosemary’s Baby after reading Danse Macabre. Some books are catalysts for other media, a jumping-off point if you will. That’s what Danse Macabre was for me. It added so many other chilling experiences in a variety of mediums to my life. I’m thankful for it from that alone.

I am a horror author in addition to a horror fan. If you are also a horror author, you need to get a copy of this book right away. After reading it, you’ll have a deeper understanding of horror as a genre. Why it works, why it doesn’t. Most importantly, why people like it to start with. Why do we go to horror movies? Why do we read chilling books or stay up way too late reading creepy little stories on the internet? It all makes perfect sense from a psychological perspective. We are, as the title might suggest, dancing with death. We are becoming familiar with him now, ahead of the time our name comes up on his dance card.

I can’t suggest Danse Macabre more for every horror fan everywhere. If you haven’t read it, read it today.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)