penny dreadful

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penny dreadful

A cheap paperback novel, typically characterized by melodrama, violence, and adventure. Primarily heard in UK. Why waste your time reading penny dreadfuls when you could be reading fine literature?
See also: penny
References in periodicals archive ?
But these comedic penny-dreadful horrors distract from the more chilling vision Hollywood presents: the antiseptic and dehumanized future created by genetic engineering.
Serpentine psycho-thriller played like a penny-dreadful by a cheerfully leering Alec Baldwin.
Penny-dreadful the opera may be, but shabby it is not.