PAPERBACKS FROM HELL: THE TWISTED HIS­TORY OF 70S AND 80S HOR­ROR FIC­TION

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - Books - By Grady Hen­drix

Un­holy al­liances be­tween chil­dren and clowns, evil sci­en­tists per­form­ing di­a­bol­i­cal ex­per­i­ments, zom­bies, mon­sters, skele­tons, haunted houses, pos­ses­sion and gore: For fans of pulp hor­ror fic­tion, the 70s and 80s were a golden era. A new book aims to re­dis­cover cult clas­sics of the genre all too of­ten rel­e­gated to col­lect­ing dust on thrift store shelves. Paperbacks From Hell traces the story of mass-mar­ket hor­ror’s rise and demise, with such a ra­zor fo­cus on cult au­thors that Stephen King barely gets a men­tion.

The book pairs art­work with colour­ful syn­opses of ob­scure nov­els as well as re­cur­ring themes and trends. The tone is ir­rev­er­ent and play­ful. Writ­ten by Grady Hen­drix, whose other ti­tles in­clude Hor­rorstör and My Best Friend’s Ex­or­cism, the book is a true ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the genre, ac­com­pa­nied by one of the ul­ti­mate joys of the boom: the campy cov­ers.

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