Good Reads, Lifestyle

Good Reads Challenge Book Review: Paperbacks from Hell, The Twisted History of ’70s & ’80s Horror Fiction

It’s Friday… People!

“Since time immemorial, humankind’s greatest natural predator has been the clown.”
– Grady Hendrix, Paperbacks from Hell

Hello my friends! I hope you’re doing well, taking care of your body as well as your mind, drinking plenty of water, enjoying some fun activities, and checking in with friends and family.

It’s time for another book review as I tackle more books from my 2023 Good Reads Challenge. Today I’m reviewing Paperbacks From Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s & ’80s Horror Fiction.  There is also a podcast to go along with this review. Part 1 & Part 2

The Review

Title | Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s & ’80s Horror Fiction
| Grady Hendrix
Pages | 256
Published  | September 2017
Genre | History, Horror, Pop Fiction, Humor
GR Rating | 4.28
Purchase | Amazon


Demonic possession! Haunted condominiums! Murderous babies! Man-eating moths! No plot was too ludicrous, no cover art too appalling, no evil too despicable for the Paperbacks From Hell. Demonic possession! Haunted condominiums! Murderous babies! Man-eating moths! No plot was too ludicrous, no cover art too appalling, no evil too despicable for the Paperbacks From Hell.

My Rating & Review  (5.00)

Paperbacks from Hell is a dive into the most obscure horror fiction from the ’70s and ’80s.

The book makes some great observations about horror novels but in particular, 3 books that would change the face of it and have authors scrambling to imitate it or keep up: the Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Others.

Art imitates life when it comes to what we fear, ” It was at this time that horror had no future because it was buried in the past.

from Paperbacks from Hell
“Hating clowns is a waste of time because you’ll never loathe a clown as much as he loathes himself, but a magician? Magicians think they’re wise and witty, full of patter and panache, walking around like they didn’t deserve to be shot in the back of the head and dumped in a lake.”

Horror was also hidden from the title of the book to make them more approachable, so they were labeled “tales of the unexpected” or “chilling adventures. Enter the gothic romance, which was very popular with women. Books could be purchased at drugstores and supermarkets, all with the same cover showing a terrified woman fleeing a dark house with one window that blows against a stormy dark sky and a mysterious person brooding close by.

The novel is broken down into chapters that discuss satanic panic, creepy kids, when animals attack, real estate nightmares, weird science, gothic and romantic, in-humanoids, splatter-punks, and serial killers.

It’s creative as each chapter addresses a fear with a brief synopsis as it goes through the various books within that genre. Throughout the chapters, you get a peak into the various novels as well as the spectacular covers that preceded them.

from Paperbacks from Hell
“Because after all the monsters have flown away, hope is what’s left at the bottom of the box.”

The book covers were just as important because they were shocking, beautiful, interesting, and had to say pick me up and buy me. (I.e., all of VC Andrew’s paperbacks)

This book talks about mainstream artists like Anne Rice, Stephen King, and Paul F Wilson because their novels were turned into mainstream movies and how Chris Pike and R.L. Stein came together to create the ever-popular Goosebumps series to appeal to the teen market.

This, by far, was one of my favorite audiobooks this year, and I’ve added about 20 extra books to my TBR list if I’m brave enough to get through them.

from Paperbacks from Hell
“Things change, flesh rots, houses decay and fall into disrepair—there’s no point complaining. But the lost creativity makes you want to scream and pound on the inside of your coffin lid as it’s being nailed into place.”

My Good Reads Progress

What books are you reading this summer?  Share them in the comments.

Thanks so much for visiting the blog today.  Don’t forget to follow and subscribe, as I really appreciate the support. — Peace

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