LURID: vivid in shocking detail; sensational, horrible in savagery or violence, or, a guide to the merits of the kind of Bad Books you never want your co-workers to know you're reading.

LURID: True Hollywood Stories

Column by Karina Wilson June 29, 2022
Torrid behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories haven't changed in a century, as a comparison of Edgar Rice Burroughs' 'The Girl from Hollywood' (1922) and Winnie M. Li's 'Complicit' (2022) demonstrates.

LURID: Moral Panic in Poetry — A Quilt for David

Column by Karina Wilson October 5, 2021
Sometimes the best way to retell a tarnished story is through poetry. Steven Reigns' new book, "A Quilt For David", re-examines an old moral panic from the 1990s and finds it wanting.

LURID: May Gray — In A Lonely Place

Column by Karina Wilson
Fog rolls through Los Angeles in Dorothy B. Hughes' 1947 noir classic, "In A Lonely Place." This cautionary tale perfectly captures the toxicity of the postwar era and still resonates in our own.

LURID: Stalker Lit and "You"

Column by Karina Wilson September 7, 2018
Lifetime's long-awaited adaptation of Stalker Lit epic, "You", hits our screens this weekend, starring delectable Dan from "Gossip Girl", Penn Badgley. Can we take pleasure in such antiheroes?

LURID: Branwell Brontë—Wastrel or Romantic Hero?

Column by Karina Wilson September 23, 2016
Why is Branwell Brontë such a hero to so many? Lurid takes a look at his wasted life, and how his perpetual failure became an integral part of the Brontë mythos.

LURID: Last Seen Wearing - Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains Databases

Column by Karina Wilson August 11, 2016
LURID takes a look at the complex subculture surrounding the Missing and the Found, especially the online databases making armchair detecting easier than ever before. Is this a new form of narrative?

LURID: Fear The Preacher — In Fiction and Beyond

Column by Karina Wilson February 22, 2016
The Preacher is a fixture in American film and fiction. Lurid takes a look at why he's such an inherently sinister - or totally badass - figure in our cultural landscape.

LURID: Bible Bloodshed - 5 of the Goriest Episodes in Scripture

Column by Karina Wilson October 19, 2015
It's Donald Trump's favorite book. How bloodthirsty, really, is The Bible? Lurid takes a look at some of the goriest episodes in Scripture.

LURID: Death Becomes Her

Column by Karina Wilson
Where is Death on your 'To Do' list? We're all going to have to handle it, so why is the topic so taboo? Lurid takes a look at four female-penned memoirs about the business of dying.

LURID: My Man Ludwig Van - The Tortured Genius of Beethoven

Column by Karina Wilson March 26, 2015
"What I shit is better than anything you have ever thought". On the anniversary of his death, we can all learn a lot from the genius of Ludwig Van Beethoven.

LURID: Written On Her Body - The Black Dahlia

Column by Karina Wilson January 15, 2015
The mutilated corpse of Elizabeth Short was discovered on January 15, 1947. Her killer has never been named, yet countless fictions have been written on the only evidence there ever was — her body.

LURID: The Horror of 'Heart of Darkness'

Column by Karina Wilson November 13, 2014
'Heart Of Darkness' was first published in book form on this day in 1902. Lurid takes a look at why it is still so terrifying.

LURID: Get Your Motor Running — Bad Boy Bikers in Fiction and Memoir

Column by Karina Wilson September 8, 2014
The FIFTIETH (count 'em) Lurid takes a look at America's fascination with outlaw biker gangs, from 'The Wild One' to the final season of 'Sons of Anarchy', which begins on TV this week.

LURID: Barbecue Season - Cannibalism for Connoisseurs

Column by Karina Wilson
It's barbecue season. What exactly IS that sizzling on your neighbor's grill?

LURID: Gangster Paradigm - Telling the Whitey Bulger Stories

Column by Karina Wilson June 27, 2014
James Whitey Bulger's criminal career has spawned an entire sub-genre of newspaper articles, books, movies and TV shows. Lurid wonders if the man made the myth, or the myth made him?

LURID: Dracula - The Grandaddy Of Them All

Column by Karina Wilson May 26, 2014
Happy birthday Dracula! Since his first appearance in print on this day in 1897 he has never relinquished his hypnotic hold on our imaginations. Lurid takes a look at his genesis and legacy.

LURID: Bardic Birthday Bloodfeast

Column by Karina Wilson
Happy 450th birthday, William Shakespeare! Lurid takes a look at the Bard's hard-on for violence and gore, which has been delighting bloodthirsty playgoers for centuries.

LURID: O Unlucky Man - Christopher Marlowe

Column by Karina Wilson March 7, 2014
Christopher Marlowe, troublemaking trailblazer, forever the second-greatest Elizabethan dramatist, celebrates his 450th birthday this year. Lurid takes a look at his colorful life and legacy.

LURID: Hooray for Hannibal

Column by Karina Wilson February 28, 2014
Hannibal Lecter, AKA the Chesapeake Ripper, returns to TV tonight. Lurid takes a look at his non-linear genesis and his extraordinary appeal.

Lurid: Nipped In The Bud - Hebephilia in Fiction

Column by Karina Wilson February 5, 2014
Does writing about a pubescent object of desire put the 'ick' in fiction? Lurid takes a look at some of the most contentious protagonists ever written - an unholy quartet of hebephiles.

LURID: Lifetime (Movie) Achievements

Column by Karina Wilson January 17, 2014
Lifetime Movies have always been a guilty pleasure, but this month the female-centered network surpasses itself with all-new 'Flowers In The Attic' and Lizzie Borden adaptations. Lurid takes a look.

LURID: Macabre Christmas - M.R. James

Column by Karina Wilson
M.R. James is acknowledged as King of The Christmas Ghost Story. Lurid takes a look at the chills his tales have been generating since the Edwardian era.


Column by Karina Wilson November 22, 2013
50 years ago today six seconds changed everything. Lurid takes a look at the way the fatal JFK headshot ricocheted out of myth and into modern fiction.

LURID: Victorian Psycho - The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Column by Karina Wilson October 16, 2013
On Oscar Wilde's 159th birthday, Lurid takes a look at 'The Picture of Dorian Gray,' his only novel. In turns chilling and beautiful, does it really reveal the identity of Jack The Ripper?

LURID: Dread And Circuses

Column by Karina Wilson
Roll up! Roll up! The circus is always in town for writers and readers of lurid fiction. Send in the clowns - and the dude in the tight pants cracking the enormous whip...