Talking Scared

59 – James Han Mattson and the Fear Fetish Facepalm

October 06, 2021 Neil McRobert Episode 59
Talking Scared
59 – James Han Mattson and the Fear Fetish Facepalm
Show Notes

Welcome to Hallowe’en ’21. If ever a year required us to find the fun in all things grim, dark and depressing then this is the absolute best year since last year. 

Appropriately for the lead-in to Spooky Season, our guest this week wrote a book all about fear as an attraction. James Han Mattson is the author of Reprieve – a mouthwatering prospect of a novel set in an extreme, full-contact, haunted house escape room. What could go wrong, right?

Well, as you’ll hear, James’ novel is less interested in fake blood and rubber axes than it is in the very real damage caused by prejudice and discrimination. That’s what Reprieve has been likened, in yawn-inducing fashion, to Get Out. In fact, it’s something much more interesting than just another social horror satire. 

James and I talk about a whole lot of heavy stuff, from racial fetishization to the psychology behind liking to be afraid. Meanwhile, I repeatedly seize the chance to put my foot in my mouth with some untypically (according to you guys) dumb questions.

Happy October. The fun starts here.


Reprieve was published October 5th by William Morrow in North American and Bloomsbury in the UK.

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