Buy this book.
I should leave the review at that, but I should try and convince you a little more, just in case. But the chances are, if you’re a reading this, then you’re a horror fan. And Paperbacks from Hell is for horror fans.
So, go and buy this book.
If you’re in any way nostalgic about the horror you read growing up, chances are, you’ll find a morsel of that within these pages; a scrap of trivia, or nugget of information that you weren’t aware of. Something that’ll make you smile. Hendrix has extensively researched his subject matter (I’m talking years, a lifetime probably), and it shows. You can feel his enthusiasm bubbling up at the turn of every page.
As well as revisiting old tales I once read and loved, I discovered books I wished I’d read during my youth. The horror market for me growing up was a vast and wild plain, often the stuff I found as a spotty teenager was stuff I simply stumbled across at second-hand shops and car boot sales, books that I discovered instead of sought out. Grady Hendrix has been collecting these titles, like some great cryptozoological hunter, and organised them under different chapters, sectioning off the history, different sub genres, publishers, prolific authors and the famed artists whose work helped grabbed the reader in the first place.
Hendrix is funny, sometimes injecting a caustic wit whilst still showing he respects the subject matter as he waxes lyrical about the good, the bad and the ugly. He knows these books like the back of his hand and it shows. Every page is a love letter to the craft, to the discover of new works by old story tellers and to the entire industry itself.
Included throughout is page after page of gloriously lurid artwork in full colour, each beautiful and disturbing in their own right.
Paperbacks from Hell is like discovering photos from your childhood that you never know existed. If you’re after a weighty tome that will inform, educate and entertain you on a subject you love greatly, this is a trip to hell that’ll be worth it.