Last Christmas, I mentioned my newfound enthusiasm for vintage horror novels and my crusade in tracking them down. It seems like Grady Hendrick’s book, Paperbacks from Hell, has inspired many of us horror fans and though it made them harder to find, I’m pleased to see it. Perhaps it will encourage publishers to give those romance books a rest and start churning out a new crop of pulpy horror – especially if they mimic that vintage cover art.
I mentioned in my Christmas post a new book called Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix and how it inspired me to start reading and collecting horror novels from my teen years. I also sited one of my favorite authors from that era, William W. Johnstone, and how his book, The Uninvited (1982) was my first bookstore find once I got started. After reading it, I debated writing a review and recapping the book since I figured it’d be hard for readers to track down themselves and, in some cases, rather pricey. There’s also a great blog called Too Much Horror Fiction by Will Errickson that’s been covering these books for over a decade. Errickson even assisted Hendrix with his book which proves he’s an authority; something, admittedly, I’m not. I’ve come to be a fan of his site myself and it prompted me to track down Ray Russell’s Incubus (1976) which was a lot more entertaining than the ‘80s film it was adapted from. What eventually convinced me to move forward with discussing them here was learning that The Uninvited and many other old “classics” are readily available to modern readers via Kindle. So for those looking for a quick and cheap read, or possibly scoping out the original like I did, I’ll go ahead and discuss. That being said, William W. Johnstone (1938-2004) is as good a place to start as any.
Would you believe something as simple as a friend’s Christmas list could help sweep away the holiday blues? It did for me, though not in a syrupy Hallmark Channel sort of way, but rather with a nostalgic boost of horror that was like reconnecting with an old pal; one you never should have lost touch with in the first place. It all started a few weeks back while doing some online shopping. I was looking over the other Terror Dave’s Amazon “Wish list” hoping to fill in a few gaps when one of his requests seized my attention. It was a new book (written about older ones) titled “Paperbacks from Hell” and written by Grady Hendrix. The adventure that followed would not only melt this Winter Warlock’s heart but likely impact his coming year as well. Before I explain, I’d like to clarify this is NOT a book review. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a phenomenal book; loaded with enough illustrations to merit your coffee table and absolutely worth buying. However, in keeping with the spirit of season, I’d rather spotlight its Sin-spirational subject matter instead.