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Novels > Paperbacks Featured in Paperbacks From Hell

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message 1: by Kenneth (last edited Apr 01, 2019 07:50AM) (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Ever since Grady Hendrix released Paperbacks From Hell (and even before), there has been an explosion of interest in these gems from the past with cheesy covers. Zebra, Leisure, Tor, Avon, Pinnacle, and many other publishers rode the wave of popularity and introduced us to some fantastic reads. This is the thread where we will discuss all things Paperbacks From Hell.


message 2: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
So in the past year, I have been a huge collector of these rare and hard to find paperbacks with the awesome covers. Who else has the same illness as I do??


message 3: by Char (new)

Char  | 13703 comments Mod
I would love to be collecting them, but really can't afford it. I sure am kicking myself for not keeping the paperbacks I collected in my teens. Some got damaged in flooded basement but the rest I just gave away when I moved. UGH!


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin | 2258 comments I have several from the book and others that got traded in when I was young! I found a few I wanted but they cost and arm and a leg 😫


message 5: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
I’ve been fortunate. There are a few places I’ve found, Facebook groups, used book stores, paperbackswap, etc, that I’ve been able to build up my collection without breaking the bank. Now, breaking my bookshelves? That’s another story.


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin | 2258 comments 😂🤣. That’s awesome!! Not the breaking bookshelves part!!


message 7: by Tyler (new)

Tyler J Gray (wickedjr89) | 915 comments *prays for strength for Ken's bookshelves*


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin | 2258 comments Damn!! That’s awesome!! I haven’t read those that I remember


message 10: by Perry (last edited Apr 01, 2019 07:33PM) (new)

Perry Lake | 305 comments Weird. I read PFH last year and I loved it and I wrote a glowing review. But oddly enough, I have no particular interest in reading any of the books that Hendrix cataloged. Then again, maybe it was to be expected. Although his was an entertaining book, he makes it clear that most of the material he covered was hack work.


message 11: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
There is no question that there is plenty of schlock in PBFH, but there are some gems too. It's like finding that solid B-movie at 2 am on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Shudder. For instance, I read Icefire by Robert C. Wilson the other day. It gets less than 3 stars. By that rating, and the fact that it was a 500+ page doorstopper, that should've been one long, torturous journey. I found it to be the opposite. I loved it. I found the writing to be really well done, lots of descriptive atmosphere, and fully fleshed out characters. Something that doesn't get done very well in many of the 180-200 page novellas of today.


message 12: by Perry (new)

Perry Lake | 305 comments Ken wrote: "There is no question that there is plenty of schlock in PBFH, but there are some gems too. It's like finding that solid B-movie at 2 am on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Shudder. For instance, I read [b..."

Glad you found a good read from that collection, Ken.


message 13: by Laurie (new)

Laurie   (barklesswagmore) | 1471 comments I read Coma, Ken, back in my 20's. I remember liking it but remember nothing else about it, lol.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) | 875 comments I love these classic covers. I started a few listopia on Zebra horror paperback covers and Leisure. I used to subscribe to Leisure horror books from time to time - what a treat that was, wish we still had something similar.


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin | 2258 comments Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* wrote: "I love these classic covers. I started a few listopia on Zebra horror paperback covers and Leisure. I used to subscribe to Leisure horror books from time to time - what a treat that was, wish we st..."

I wish we had something like that too!! And not as expensive!


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) | 875 comments Ken wrote: "They can use all the help they can get. I just got another shipment today!

Alligator by Shelley Katz Alligator by Shelley Katz
Coma by Robin Cook [book:Co..."


I had Coma years ago and marked it as read, but can't recall it.


message 17: by Rob (new)

Rob | 2 comments Coma and The Island should still be somewhat easily found at Goodwills, Salvation Armys and such. Those books were ubiquitous back in the late 70's/early 80's. I've read both at some point, but remember almost nothing about them. They've both been made into movies.

Not ALL of the Paperbacks from Hell are schlock! Hendrix dedicates a page or two to some of the more worthwhile authors like Michael McDowell, Ken Greenhall, Elizabeth Engstrom, Joan Samson, etc. I lobe PBFH, but it's kind of a springboard for finding your own taste in some forgotten horrors. The covers are the focal point.


message 18: by Marie (new)

Marie | 3428 comments I just started reading this book and I am loving it so far.


message 19: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Rob wrote: "Coma and The Island should still be somewhat easily found at Goodwills, Salvation Armys and such. Those books were ubiquitous back in the late 70's/early 80's. I've read both at some point, but rem..."

You're exactly right. I've been furiously amassing my collection based on the covers and have really found some great reads. For instance, I'm now reading Kathryn Meyer Griffith's Evil Stalks the Night and loving it. I don't think many of these writers got the credit they deserved.


message 20: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Another thing that I've noticed, and its an absolute shame, is that there seems to be more female horror authors than male, and so many of these female authors were one-and-dones. It really shows how much female authors weren't respected back then. Many of them even had to resort to using their initials instead of their names to sound more male. Its really too bad, because I'll put most of these female's stories up against a male author's anyday.


Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin | 2258 comments Kudos, Ken!


message 22: by Laurie (new)

Laurie   (barklesswagmore) | 1471 comments Ken wrote: "Another thing that I've noticed, and its an absolute shame, is that there seems to be more female horror authors than male, and so many of these female authors were one-and-dones. It really shows h..."

This is so very true and such a shame.


message 23: by Marie (new)

Marie | 3428 comments I am reading the Paperbacks from Hell and I sort of remember when I was younger some of those covers on the books. It would be a very unique book collection to start to track them all down, but it would definitely be a most rigorous task.

The only way to even start such a collection of them would be scour the thrift stores to literally lay hands on the original copies. Trying to find them on the internet would probably not yield very good results as sometimes book covers were updated.

Though if I remember correctly I did see some of the 80's horror paperbacks at a flea market about a year ago, but at that time I just didn't realize how "collectible" they were until now since I have been reading this book. If I had known then what I know now, I would have grabbed up those books and started my own collection!


message 24: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 8 comments Fortunately I work at a library, so for that past year or two I've been finding some of those titles through interlibrary loan, but man, some of them are extremely scarce.

I invited Grady Hendrix to do a program at my library last year, and he was such a delight! If you ever get a chance to see his Paperbacks in Hell Live show, take it!


message 25: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Managed to grab a couple more off the PFH list tonight -

The Savior by Marvin Werlin The Savior by Marvin Werlin
The Accursed by Paul Boorstin The Accursed by Paul Boorstin
Blood Snarl by Ivor Watkins Blood Snarl Ivor Watkins


message 26: by Latasha (new)

Latasha (latasha513) | 10681 comments Mod
Jessica wrote: "Fortunately I work at a library, so for that past year or two I've been finding some of those titles through interlibrary loan, but man, some of them are extremely scarce.

I invited Grady Hendrix ..."


i got to see him to. it was great and wonderful and all the fun you'd think it would be. and he was super nice.


message 27: by Josh (new)

Josh | 29 comments I recently read Mantis K.W. Jeter

Mantis by K.W. Jeter

Started and finished it the same day. Not the kind of 1980's horror book you'd expect from the synopsis

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 28: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Ooh. That one is on my shelf.


message 29: by Rob (new)

Rob | 2 comments Ken wrote: "Another thing that I've noticed, and its an absolute shame, is that there seems to be more female horror authors than male, and so many of these female authors were one-and-dones. It really shows h..."

Ironically, some of the male authors featured in PbFH used female pen names, like Ken Greenhall writing as Jessica Hamilton. I'm not sure why they would choose to do this.


message 30: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth McKinley | 1515 comments Mod
Siren by Linda Crockett Gray Siren by Linda Crockett Gray

Pulled this one off my shelf today to start reading. Has anyone read this or any other Linda Crockett Gray?


message 31: by Cuniculus (new)

Cuniculus Potterton | 2698 comments The best of the more obscure writers I've discovered through Paperbacks From Hell was New Orleans-based author Chet Day. As far as I know, he got two books published back in the day, both of them readily available nowadays as Kindle re-releases:

Halo by Chet Day

Featured in the "Attack of the WASP segment and by far the best and balanced of the novels introduced there. It has aged quite well...

The Hacker by Chet Day

This one was/is more a kind ot tech-thriller in the vein of Michael Crichton than straight horror... but with characters who are actually well-written and interesting. Yeah, I think that was indeed a weakness of the tech-thriller master. The Hacker is set in the paleo-internet community of 80ies New Orleans, which is an interesting concept, especially for readers like myself who were barely born back then.

In one of the forewords to the Kindle editions, Day stated that he plans to return to writing... Let's hope he will indeed write another novel.


message 32: by Karen (new)

Karen (hmssparky) | 167 comments Ken wrote: "They can use all the help they can get. I just got another shipment today!

Alligator by Shelley Katz Alligator by Shelley Katz
Coma by Robin Cook [book:Co..."


I've read & loved all the books by Charles L. Grant! His Oxrun Station series is incredible!


message 33: by Karen (new)

Karen (hmssparky) | 167 comments Does anyone know if there is a comprehensive list of these paperbacks (thus far) anywhere? I'd love to see one; I'll bet I still have about half of them!


message 34: by Rob (new)

Rob | 2 comments From the mouth of Valencourt Books:



'We just announced on our Facebook and Instagram pages that Black Ambrosia is signed and will be coming out in wave two of Paperbacks from Hell. :)

No date of release yet but it will be this year."


message 35: by Josh (new)

Josh | 29 comments Recently finished Black Ambrosia by Elizabeth Engstrom

Black Ambrosia by Elizabeth Engstrom

My thoughts: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

This book is also going to get to re-print treatments from Valancourt Books this year :-)


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