Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Book Review | Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix (with Will Errickson)

Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction is a nonfiction book from Grady Hendrix and Will Errickson.

Take a tour through the horror paperback novels of the 1970s and ’80s . . . if you dare. Page through dozens and dozens of amazing book covers featuring well-dressed skeletons, evil dolls, and knife-wielding killer crabs! Read shocking plot summaries that invoke devil worship, satanic children, and haunted real estate! Horror author and vintage paperback book collector Grady Hendrix offers killer commentary and witty insight on these trashy thrillers that tried so hard to be the next Exorcist or Rosemary’s Baby. It’s an affectionate, nostalgic, and unflinchingly funny celebration of the horror fiction boom of two iconic decades, complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles. You’ll find familiar authors, like V. C. Andrews and R. L. Stine, and many more who’ve faded into obscurity. Plus recommendations for which of these forgotten treasures are well worth your reading time and which should stay buried.

This book is astonishing.

First of all, Paperbacks from Hell is a gorgeous book. All of the pages are in full color, and every aspect of this book is high quality. You could call it a coffee table book, but there's a lot more to Paperbacks from Hell than just the stunning paperback images.

Paperbacks from Hell is divided up into the major categories of horror fiction that were prevalent in the 70's and 80's. Topics like 'Hail, Satan', 'Creepy Kids', 'When Animals Attack', and 'Real Estate Nightmares' walk the reader through the history of the horror genre. The written content in Paperbacks from Hell is just as extraordinary as the visual content. There's a lot of information about publishers, authors, and cover artists, as well as insight into what the readers were wanting and how the market shifted throughout the horror boom. The commentary is filled with a lot of humor and a lot of love.

I felt so much nostalgia reading Paperbacks from Hell. Whether I was remembering the books I saw growing up or remembering books I've read and loved, I had a great time revisiting the horror paperbacks of the past. There were also quite a few books that were completely new to me.

After making my way through Paperbacks from Hell, I can't help but have paperback envy and regrets over the books I've purged over the years. Paperbacks from Hell has sparked a love in my heart for even the worst of books.

I can't say enough about Paperbacks from Hell. It's a must read for anyone interested in the history of horror fiction, and I highly, highly recommend it.

10/10: Awesome Read

Review copy provided by publisher


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  1. I think I'm ordering a copy today!

  2. I'm dying to read this! Plus I just plain love Grady Hendrix.

  3. This. Sounds. Awesome. Must ask my library for it. lol

  4. I think a lot about the horror paperbacks I've sent to charity shops over the years along with my childhood reads. I wish I'd had the space to keep more of them!

  5. I don't tend to read non fiction tbh - a failing I confess - but it's good to see you loved this one so much, I could be tempted to pick up a copy.
    Lynn :D

  6. I LOVE this book! Now I want to find all of those old pb's I gave away :(


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