Review by Shellie for Vortex: Essays from a Sea of Nightmares by Robert Dunbar.
Shellie’s quick take: A serious and sometimes humorous collection of nonfiction writings from an expert voice in horror - taking a look at some of the basics around the myths and monsters residing in the collective human consciousness. A “must read” for anyone interested in literary horror.
Shellie’s description: The collection contains 10 essays and an introduction. The subjects covered include the siren/mermaid, several on the “werwulf” and lycanthropy, two on the vampire, myths and legends peculiar to America, the Jersey Devil (where Dunbar shares some of the origins for his novels The Shores and The Pines – which is hilarious), female characters in horror, the literary sources of classic horror films (where he mentions a large number of classic horror flicks for the reader to explore), and a discussion on the roles of stereotypes (racial, gender, and homosexuality) within the genre.
Shellie’s thoughts: In the essays Robert Dunbar’s range of writing styles is exemplified. His writing can be descriptive, confident, yet sometimes funny and self depreciative; but most importantly it’s concise and informative – he knows a lot about his subject matter and it shows. It’s also an excellent collection that has been written over the years, combined into a short, easy-to-read book. I devoured this book in several sittings but will be rereading and using it as a reference (especially for the movies mentioned). Recommended for any lover or writer of horror and dark fiction, for those who are looking for deeper insight into the genre, and also for fans of the author. It’s a 4.5 star in my opinion.
Uninvited Books | May 1, 2013 | 216 pages