Paranoia, Fear and Alienation is comprised of 12 essays in two main parts: Critical Contexts and Critical Readings. A bonus 13th essay written by the editor is included in the introduction in order to set the stage for what follows. The essays range from “’Filthy Air’ and the ‘Heat-Oppressed Brain’: Fear in Macbeth” to “The Horror of the Camera in The Blair Witch Project” to “Fear, Guilt, and Paranoia in Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train." Also included are additional works on the theme, a bibliography, contributor information, and an index.
Collecting essays by a shared topical theme, instead of by author, time period, or genre, is perhaps a bit of an unorthodox choice, but one with great results. The themes discussed are so relatable and personal that being taken on this exploration proves fascinating and intriguing. The essays themselves are well-written, focused, and as interesting as they are diverse. This unique blend of breadth and focus makes this book a great addition to literature collections.”