The Hitchcock Murders

The Hitchcock Murders

by PeterConrad (Author)


Alfred Hitchcock relished his power to frighten us and believed the shocks he administered improved our psychological health. But he could never satisfactorily explain our curiosity to see forbidden things or the perverse desire to experience anxiety and dread that made his work so popular.
"In The Hitchcock Murders," Peter Conrad, one of Hitchcock's eager victims, undertakes the task on the master's behalf. At the age of thirteen, Conrad snuck into his first screening of "Psycho," and he's been wary of showers and fruit cellars ever since. Thanks to Hitchcock, he's also suspicious of staircases, seagulls, and crop-dusting planes. Now he sets out to analyze the nature of Hitchcock's appeal to both himself and the millions of moviegoers for whom Hitchcock is cinema's foremost auteur. Examining Hitchcock's use of religion, morality, conscience, culpability, and literary symbols, Conrad unveils a chilling Nietzschean universe-one in which there is no God and no moral standard, where humans are petty and disposable and the neutral hand of fate can take a life in the blink of an eye. A timid, respectable man with the imagination of a psychopath, a chubby jester whose practical jokes took merciless advantage of human insecurities, Hitchcock is revealed here as the man who knew too much-about all of us.


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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Edition: illustrated edition
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Published: 01 Feb 2001

ISBN 10: 0571200230
ISBN 13: 9780571200238

Media Reviews
The best critical book on Alfred Hitchcock. --Nicholas Lezard, The Sunday Times Extraordinary . . . Not just a welcome addition to a crowded shelf, but one of the best books ever done on the spellbinding intensity of cinema. --David Thomson, The New Republic