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Sintesi dell'editore

Historian and Bram Stoker Award nominee W. Scott Poole traces the confluence of history, technology, and art that gave us modern horror films and literature.

In the early 20th century, World War I was the most devastating event humanity had yet experienced. New machines of war left tens of millions killed or wounded in the most grotesque of ways. The Great War remade the world's map, created new global powers, and brought forth some of the biggest problems still facing us today. But it also birthed a new art form: the horror film, made from the fears of a generation ruined by war.

From Nosferatu to Frankenstein's monster and the Wolf Man, from Fritz Lang, F. W. Murnau and Albin Grau to Tod Browning and James Whale, the touchstones of horror can all trace their roots to the bloodshed of the First World War. Historian W. Scott Poole chronicles these major figures and the many movements they influenced. Wasteland reveals how bloody battlefields, the fear of the corpse, and a growing darkness made their way into the deepest corners of our psyche.

On the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that brought World War I to a close, W. Scott Poole takes us behind the front lines of battle to a no-man's-land where the legacy of "the War to End All Wars" lives on.

©2018 W. Scott Poole (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Generale
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    3 out of 5 stars
  • CN
  • 30/07/2019

An interesting take

This book examines the relationship of WWI in creating the genre of horror and how the effects of WWI continue to be felt today.

Overall it is a good book. Examines aspects and relationships between the war and its effects on people and culture. It does this through the lens of horror (literature, art, movies). It will introduce you to many personalities that have often been forgotten today and how they created the modern genre of horror that we are so familiar with today. At times the book is somewhat repetitive, focusing on a sometimes limited number of movements, giving often shallow treatment to others. For instance, much is said about Surrealism and its relationship to horror, while other art movements that often contain similar elements of the grotesque or shocking receive little treatment. The author makes the important links between WWI and horror to the rise of Fascism and Hitler, but glaringly absent is any discussion of communism. When marxism/communism and revolutionary movements are discussed, they are almost apologetic or completely ignore the brutality and horrors inflicted by them. Meanwhile, in the last hour of the book, the author takes a sideline to discuss US hegemony and involvement in foreign affairs with absolutely no clear discussion of how this relates to horror. Indeed, the Soviets are almost treated as victims of US aggression. Is there really no relationship between WWI, horror, and the murderous regimes of Stalin or other communist states? The inability to connect the books theme of WWI and the horror genre to the sidelines about US foreign affairs and glaring omissions of horror and communism, is why I only give this book three stars.

16 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 16/03/2021

Disappointing and annoyingly self indulgent

The parts that were actually about WWI and it's influence on modern horror were alright; but at least half of this book was cheap, tired, lazy and predictible leftist propaganda.
It starts out ok. For while there it talked mostly about horror, and seemed to have a classic liberal view on the Great War; but things soon go down hill. By the last third of the book, it's basically a textbook inaccurate analysis of Fascism, and from there you know exactly where it's going. The author constantly labels the very acurratly named National Socialist movement and closely related Fascism as "right wing", and predictibly (and embarassingly) associates modern conservatism and Trumpism with these movements with frustrating frequency.
I couldn't help but notice that this guy had nothing bad to say about communistm and conventional socialists, and seemed to sympathise with them more then any other victims of Fascism.
I also find it funny that in all this dude's harping on Fascism; he never mentions Japan, except for one sentence about their invasion of China. It's also hilariously ironic, even PARADOXICAL (the author's all time favorite word by the way) that the author criticizes nazi censorship of the arts; something the left has always been trying to do in the west, and are becomingly dangerously successful in. The irony of so many leftist horror artists going fascist also seemed to escape this know-it-all, though he took no short amount of time recounting it.
And even when he's actually talking about horror, there's no real structure to it. Aside from random and scattered references to movies from the mid and late twentieth century, the guy never even gotpast the interwar period. To be fair though, I did skip the last 2 hours after getting sufficiently fed up (I listen to most of this at work).
So yeah; unless you're a textbook regressive leftist who loves being pandered to, or unless you're just morbidly curious about the inner workings of a textbook regressive leftist who thinks he's a genius, I can firmly recommend that you skip this dribble.

8 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J. Rapoport
  • 09/03/2019

Why horror is Horror

This audiobook, and therefore it’s book, give keen insight into the experiences that shaped the creators of horror, the horrors they created, and how those creations affected their creators. I really enjoyed it and it really helped to give me understanding regarding the germination of the genre and how it developed into what the genre is today.

7 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Emily Stoneking
  • 28/12/2018

Thoughtful, insightful, and empathetic

A book that is concerned with the humanity behind horror. If you have any interest in the interwar years, film history, horror, surrealism, and/or the history of fascism, you will likely enjoy this quite a bit. It is well written and academic without being stodgy. Excellently narrated as well.

5 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 21/08/2021

What an perfect title...

This book is an indeed wasteland, it's a rambling padded mess that starts off strong and sucks the reader in, then abandons them while the author expounds on his infacuation of the media creators of the era and their work. All the while loosely tying thier creations back to the war which he trys to point out as their inspiration. More often than not he talks about the creators whom never actually served in the war, or even came close to experiencing its horrors. The second half of this book is a critique of post war fascism, which bridges into modernity, in the most ham fisted of manners, that makes even my deeply liberal self blush. All and all the author succeeded in making me feel the overall bewilderment and confusion that often goes hand in hand with war.. this entire mess left me with a case of shell shock, I'm immediately deleting this from my library, may god have mercy on all of our souls.

4 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 28/04/2021

A must read for military or art historians

Wow! Mind blown. An awesome blend of history and art, politics and psyche. Great read.

3 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Fresas
  • 03/03/2021

misleading and stupid

jesus christ. i love horror, and i love history, but this trash is endless, circular rambling and 20's art and film critiques with the occasional and random mention of the world war. this guys air of snobbiness is consistent throughout and i wanted to stab my eardrums out within a few hours of this incessant babble. Nosferatu, jaccuse, surreal, horror. just saved you eleven entire hours

3 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Leo Cacciatore
  • 02/12/2019

A little preachy with some reaching.

Very good book. Good enough I'm going to buy the print version as well. At some points the author seems to connect points on the basis of "its possible so, therefore, it IS" and at others he seems to have a very clear political message he wants you to feel. All well and good, just a little heavy handed and sometimes these two things together make the story a bit goofy.

3 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Zee P. Soffron
  • 10/11/2018

A Deep Dive

A deep dive into war, writing, political chess and the human condition. Insight on today's narrative and the roots of horror.

3 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Zack
  • 09/02/2022

not what I expected

it's a ok story but there us alot and I mean alot of modern liberal politics that I wasn't prepared for it wasn't bad but it drew alot from the story thatbi thought it was often times it seems that it was more political then about war or horror but not in a way that would describe history like it was bringing up all the modern political views and puting them on the past and everything wrong with the British polical system when I comes to racism on gay rights that seem to have nothing to do with the story .....all that said it was good enough to get for free I still enjoyed it I just wasn't what I was expecting

1 persona l'ha trovata utile

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  • Generale
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Utente anonimo
  • 07/09/2021

A fascinating work with significant downsides

While undoubtedly a unique and interesting work, the author's heavy handed, and often unnecessary, political opinions combined with his unashamed bias against HP Lovecraft, whom he neglects certain of his changing beliefs, takes his work out of context and blatantly get aspects wrong (The Case of Charles Dexter Ward is proof he did write a novel), makes for a read that becomes particularly grating as the book continues. His prejudice against Lovecraft and general limitations in understanding/presenting early 20th century horror literature makes one wonder firstly how reliable he is during the rest of the book and secondly whether he is willfully leaving out certain details which would make for a more complete overview or just didn't care. An additional annoyance too is author's politics intruding too much to be considered an attempt at balanced history. While truly unbiased writing is impossible, at least an attempt would have been appreciated.

As for the the narration, he is overall a strong narrator, though he makes significant pronunciation errors are often enraging. Standouts would include "Machen", "Paschendale" and "Verdun" that makes one grit their teeth with each utterance.

2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew Trow
  • 27/07/2020

Corpses, Death Dolls and Puppets

Unflinching and incredibly thorough account, just when you think he has missed something it appears in more detail than you could have hoped for. spice up your reading by taking a drink every time corpse, doll and puppet is mentioned.

1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nigel G.
  • 25/02/2022

Very well put together!

Despite not being quite what I expected (it was much more like an ultra long or series of academic essays, rather than a ‘book’ per-se), this was a thoroughly enjoyable listen. Well referenced, informative, entertaining and full of little snippets of strange facts/anecdotes. Highly recommended for film, horror or early-to-mid twentieth century war-history fans obviously. That said it would also appeal greatly to those interested in the birth of cinema, film politics or book fiends of all sorts. Go for it - you won’t regret it, it thoroughly changed my view on many historical events, books, films, art and iconic figures. Some for the better and others... not so much.