Book Review: The Thrill of Repulsion

Thrill of RepulsionThe Thrill of Repulsion: Excursions into Horror Culture
Published by Schiffer Publishing LTD, 2016. 280 pages.
By William Burns

When I picked up this book from ebay, from the title I figured it would be another nice addition to my Psycho-Babble section in my library. But once I got it and started to browse through it, I was completely surprised at what this volume actually is about. What seemed to be moments later, I realized I had already read the first couple of chapters!

This tome is a couple of different kinds of books. The first part, which is on films, is what got my attention right away, is the lists. After a brief introduction, we get several chapters of the Top 13 lists, such as The 13 Most Disturbing Films That Aren’t Horror Movies, or The 13 Most Deranged Horror Director Debuts, or even The 13 Most Phantasmagorical Fantastique Films. In each of these chapters, the author lists the top 13 in that particular category that he feels are important and discusses them a bit. Now like with any list, there might be some arguments or discussions with the ones that Burns has come up with, but that is really what these kind of lists are for. But the other part is that possibly for more of novice fan, it gives you a little checklist to make sure you check the recommendations. Even more experienced fans might find a title or two they need to check out. I know I did. Even if you don’t agree with the titles mentioned in the lists, the author felt they were pretty important so they should be at least worth checking them out if you haven’t already. These little lists are a great way to add some titles to your “Need to Watch” list.

But this isn’t about movies. There are a couple of these 13 lists for television, like Scariest Horror TV Shows and Scariest Made-For-TV Films. Once again, adding titles for you seek out.

There is also a section that covers literature and comic books, not only giving you some possible titles to look up, but also educating you on some of the names responsible for some amazing literature and illustrated comics.

And the last part is about music, which I thought was such an excellent idea to add here. We get the 13 Most Terrifying Horror Film Soundtracks, as well as another list of important horror bands and musicians.

The book is well written and easy to follow. Burns brings up some great points about the genre, possibly making you think a little different or even see something in a different way. You may not agree with all of his choices or opinions (and he doesn’t hold back on those), or wonder why they left a particular film or two out, but I can guarantee you that you’ll enjoy reading the choices that he did make.

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