Scream by Michael J. Seidlinger

Scream is an Object Lessons book which explores screaming, combining personal essay elements with a look at the variety of screams in the world, from fear to joy to catharsis. Seidlinger’s own music taste and growing up provide ways into some of the discussions, like alternative music and rollercoasters, and other elements focus on pop culture like Munch’s The Scream and film screams.

The Object Lessons series always interesting for such short books can combine, in different amounts, personal and analytical, with authors using their own experiences to explore the titular concept in each case. This one definitely appealed to me and it contains some of the things I expected—like the Scream films and fear—but also other elements I wouldn’t’ve guessed. I enjoyed the discussion of musical genres that use screaming, as I remember some of the 2000s fads for nu-metal and screamo and how the screaming element felt divisive, and I learnt about the different styles of scream-related singing. Scream has a lot of personal essay elements and it was very interesting to think about how these various scream-related things could say a lot about feeling out of place or alternative when growing up.