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Summary

Take a tour through the horror paperback novels of two iconic decades...if you dare. Hear 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. Complete with story summaries and artist and author profiles, this unforgettable volume dishes on familiar authors like V. C. Andrews and R. L. Stine, plus many more who've faded into obscurity. Also included are recommendations for which of these forgotten treasures are well worth your listening time and which should stay buried.

©2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Paperbacks from Hell

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Nostalgic Return To My Youth

Reading this fascinating book,reminded me of my teen years.When I would browse through the second hand book shops and market stalls,in search of a new horror to read.Drawn more to the amazing art work on the cover,then to the blurb on the back.I now look back on those 40 years nostalgically.Yes the modern day has many advantages for readers/listeners,but theres nothing like having one of those "Forbidden Classics"in your hands. "Paperbacks From Hell"works well as an introduction to these books and as a starting point to learn more.Unfortunatley,many of these books have not made it to your Kindle or Audible (apart from the more successful ones),but they are still out there in their paperback covers,waiting to terrify and disgust the adventurous reader again !

1 person found this helpful

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A must for every horror fan

Absolutely amazing! Fun, educational and interesting peek at both the horror and culture of 70's and 80's America.

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  • R. Squyres
  • 26-02-18

A Lot Of Fun

Paperbacks from hell is a book about books. Simply put, it's a funfilled wild ride through the world of horror paperbacks.

You'll come away with a reading list -- and another list of books they couldn't pay you to read.

The authors keep the book moving. It's lighthearted, never taking itself or its subject too serious; after all, these are mostly books people have forgotten. But want to know about some of the craziest stuff put in print, this is the book that gives you that tour.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Patrick
  • 31-05-20

Enjoyed it, but wanted a supplemental download.

Bottom line? I enjoyed it and added a few titles to my reading list. Because I opted for the audio version, however, I missed out on seeing the artwork that is presumably included in the print version. I wish there was a supplemental download somewhere so I could see the covers discussed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • S. Winchester
  • 17-01-18

A look back at some classics

As a child of the seventies, I really enjoyed this. Grady Hendrix did a wonderful job discussing an era when horror books were at their peak craziness.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Stefan Filipovits
  • 26-08-20

The Rosetta Stone of horror schlock

I think this is one of the more interesting finds I’ve come across on audible. For quite some time I had been on a horror jag but had little luck in finding anything sufficiently creepy to hold my attention. Miss after miss, disappointment after disappointment, wasted credit after wasted credit, I had despaired of finding anything that was well-written and unsettling at the same time. Then I found Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix and contributor Will Erickson. When I call this book the Rosetta Stone of horror schlock that’s precisely what it is. It will open up an entire world for you of interesting and original horror. With a pinch of wit and humor the author exhaustively catalogues the biggest names and titles of the paperback horror boom that began in the latter half of the 20th century. The authors guide us from obscure authors with absurd and undeniably creative premises to titans of horror like Blatty, Levin, and Harris and always with insight, admiration, humor, and respect. As a connoisseur of horror, even I was impressed by the authors knowledge and found myself writing down title after title that I hadn’t heard of but sounded interesting. This book opened up new avenues to me as a horror fan and I found the authors own love of horror rather contagious. There’s history, humor, and horror here and I can honestly say I recommend it to any book-lover or horror junkie. Give it a listen!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Love2Listen
  • 13-09-20

mmmhh

It was interesting, but without a booklet to accompany it and show the listener the covers it is talking about, it seems incomplete.

1 person found this helpful

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  • R. MCRACKAN
  • 31-08-20

An encyclopedia of trash

Listening to this made me feel like Oscar the Grouch singing "I love trash". Hendrix's deep knowledge, research, and passion are infectious as he deconstructs one trend after another in pulp horror and its surrounding industry. His admiration is infectious. You'll never mistake this for the best book you'll listen to this year, but if you're into the subject matter it's a fun ride into the best of the worst.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Flavius Krakdaddius
  • 26-05-20

Rediscovering Lost Horrors

Paperbacks from Hell was a fun book—a loving exploration of paperback horror from the 70s-80s. The book highlights a number of authors and their novels, as well as the artists who created the compelling artwork which graced the books’ covers. The author’s unabashed enthusiasm for the subject gives the book a “fannish” feel, while still being well-researched and informative. I enjoyed hearing about so many books that I’d not only never read, but many of which I hadn’t heard of at all. After hearing some of the wild and incredibly creative (not to mention often bizarre and disturbing) plot synopses, I wanted to go out and search for some of these forgotten treasures. The narrator is very pleasant, and I think does a good job. He mispronounces several words and names, but it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the work. Lastly, I don’t want to discourage anybody from downloading this book, because as I said, it was enjoyable and informative, but I almost wish I’d gotten the print version instead so that I would have an easy reference for some of the authors and titles mentioned. Also, I think that some of the cover illustrations are included in the print edition. Having said that, I’m glad I purchased this audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Erik N
  • 12-10-20

Fun look back at the golden age of trash horror

A fun look back, as my headline says. Discussions of the types of horrors that went through brief vogues, the authors, the cover illustrators, the publishers, all are illuminating and the writing style is light and fun and funny in places. The reader has a good voice, but no one has edited this. The mispronunciations are common enough that they are jarring. Saying “mediation” when the word written was “meditation.” Saying “blacklist” when the word is “backlist.” Saying ‘zine as if the i rhymes with eye and not ee. Mispronouncing Dachau. Saying “jeela monster” when referring to a Gila monster (hint, that isn’t correct). Sadly, it was enough to hurt the book as an audiobook. Wish we could see some of these covers. Wanting to read a few mentioned books now, and wanting to make sure I never run across some of the others.

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  • Michael
  • 22-09-20

Very interesting, but awful pronunciations

Still giving the book 5 stars because it's so enjoyable. However, the narration suffers from poor pronunciation throughout.

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  • Gregory S. Moss
  • 21-09-20

fun interesting book, clueless narrator

The book itself is lively and fun (though would be improved with a pdf of book covers) but the reader mispronounces so many words that I had to stop listening. He can’t say “coven” right! Shades of American Movie...