Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix is THE book of 2017. An exploration of some of the strangest mass market fiction ever printed, it features books where “no plot was too ludicrous, no cover art too appalling, no evil too despicable.”
If you love the horror genre, you owe it to yourself to purchase this book. It goes a long way toward explaining how The Exorcist and The Omen took over pop culture. From The Sentinel to The Legacy to The Manitou, I was surprised how many movies came from these books.
And I was excited to learn of other books that totally should have been made into films, like The Omen 4 and The Omen 5, which seem 666% better than any of the filmed sequels. Or Russ Martin’s Satanic Organization series of books. Or Jere Cunningham’s The Abyss, where Appalachian miners drill into hell. Or Guy N. Smith’s series of books that depict evil crabs attacking the world. My apologies for the run-on sentence, but there are so many books to get excited about inside this tome!
Even better, the artwork of the covers is explored, celebrated and shared.
What I loved most was that you can tell that Hendrix has a true love for this fiction. Where a lesser author would simply take the piss out of these modern penny dreadfuls, his pokes and jabs come from a warm place.
From satanic shockers to evil babies, inhumanoids, vampires and more, just about every topic gets covered. Plus, there’s some great background on the artists whose covers draw us right into these books.
Not only does this book have my highest recommendation, but we’re featuring three of the movies that were inspired by Paperbacks from Hell: Burnt Offerings, The Dark Secret of Harvest Home and Orca, this week!
I’m also beyond excited that I got the chance to interview Grady Hendrix about his book, how horror movies were shaped by these books and the future of the genre. Look for that interview — and one with Will Errickson from Too Much Horror Fiction tomorrow!
And do horror a favor and write in the book for every category you can in the Great Reads Best Books Awards!