Yale University Press, 2016
Agent: Elise Capron
Leo Braudy, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, has won accolades for revealing the complex and constantly shifting history behind seemingly unchanging ideas of fame, war, and masculinity.
Continuing his interest in the history of emotion, this book explores how fear has been shaped into images of monsters and monstrosity. From the Protestant Reformation to contemporary horror films and fiction, he explores four major types: the monster from nature (King Kong), the created monster (Frankenstein), the monster from within (Mr. Hyde), and the monster from the past (Dracula). Drawing upon deep historical and literary research, Braudy discusses the lasting presence of fearful imaginings in an age of scientific progress, viewing the detective genre as a rational riposte to the irrational world of the monstrous. Haunted is a compelling and incisive work by a writer at the height of his powers.
"Leo Braudy sure is the ideal person to write [Haunted]....Braudy is deft and comprehensive, a veritable Linnaeus of the underworldly oversoul...and has a kangaroo capacity for crossing huge distances at a bound, moving with equal zest and confidence among biblical, classical, Enlightenment and Hollywood figures and conceits....Braudy lays out a mosaic of pieces to instruct and, yes, delight us...."
—New York Times Sunday Book Review
"Braudy is a discerning commentator on the deeper meanings to be found in artifacts of culture, both high and low....Braudy excavates the realm of horror and terror to tis deepest theological and psychological roots....Thanks to the way Braudy has reframed the vast canvas on which stories of horror and terror are depicted, I don't think I will ever watch a horror movie quite the same way again."
—Jonathan Kirsch for Jewish Journal