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Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck Why We Cant Look Away
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
218p, b&w, softcover, 4.75"x7.25"
"Wilson, a professor of English literature and author of Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy (2008), certainly has an unusual way of looking at things. Admitting his own fascination for the macabre and the tragic, he asks why we, as a society, are drawn to things that you’d think should repel us. Why do we have morbid curiosity, and what does that say about us? Exploring the question through consideration of a variety of phenomena-our fascination with the 9/11 footage of the towers coming down, our enjoyment of other people’s failures, our fondness for Hollywood tearjerkers and horror flicks, the popularity of serial killers, real and fictional-he develops the theme that we need this element of ourselves, that it’s essential to us. In essence, he argues that we need darkness in order to understand light. Not, perhaps, a blindingly original theme, but Wilson explores it with zeal and a great deal of wit. It’s hard, as one reads this fascinating book, not to see quite a bit of ourselves." --David Pitt