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Archive for the ‘Andreas Decker’ Category

Justin Marriott – Paperback Fanatic #12

Posted by demonik on December 5, 2009

Justin Marriott (ed.) – Paperback Fanatic #12 (Nov. 2009)


Beyond the Silver Sky- an overview of Ken Bulmer’s work from Ace Doubles to Dray Prescott
The House of Bulmer- Andreas Decker looks at the enduring popularity Ken enjoyed in Germany
Masero Lives! Johnny Mains interviews the classic cover artist
Death Merchant- Andreas Decker gives the inside story on the outrageous men’s adventure series
The Four Gringos- saddles up with blood-thirsty western series Breed, Herne and Crow
Weird Tales at Panther- a much expanded and heavily illustrated 8-page reworking of The Paperback Dungeon checklist
When the Vile Take Over- at last we cover NEL’s Hells Angels poster mags

OUT NOW! The usual eclectic, wildly entertaining celebration of the beautiful, beautifully ugly and just plain hideous paperbacks from the ‘sixties and seventies. Anthology fans will particularly enjoy the overview of Panther’s Weird Tales heavy output,  NEL freaks get the notorious  Hells Angel poster magazines. Details from Paperback Fanatic, and anti-review of sorts and comments on the Vault forum.

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Paperback Fanatic #10 : Out Now!

Posted by demonik on June 3, 2009

Justin Marriott (ed.) – Paperback Fanatic #10 (June, 2009)

Cover: John Holmes

Cover: John Holmes

Just crawled through the letterbox so without preamble, here’s what you get in #10

Stephen Sennitt on serious occultist turned top pulp author Gerald Suster.

Andreas Decker on the German editions of Donald Glut‘s ace New Adventures Of Frankenstein.

Justin Marriott on New English Library’s “Sex Manuals” of the ‘sixties & seventies.

John Mains interviews cover artist John “The Fontana Horror ‘Melting Heads’ man” Holmes.

Justin Marriott again on Barry Sadler, the man responsible for not only the Casca the Mercenary pulps but also the rabid pro-‘Nam US smash hit single The Ballad Of The Green Beret (!!!)

Roy Bayfield on Ballantine’s Adult Fantasy books’.

Justin (“I’m leaving to everyone else this issue”) Marriott on versatile and ludicrously prolific pulpster John Harvey whose credits include the Herne The Hunter series and a collaboration with Laurence James on the elusive snuff exploitation job Cut.

Four pages of Fanatical Thoughts

A tribute to Richard Gordon

Order your copy via the Paperback Fanatic site!

Posted in Andreas Decker, Donald Glut, Gerald Suster, Justin Marriott, Magazines (NEL interest), Paperback Fanatic | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jack Shackleford – The House of the Magus

Posted by demonik on May 27, 2009

Jack Shackleford  – The House of the Magus (NEL, 1979)

Jack Shackleford - House Of The Magus

Jack Shackleford - House Of The Magus

Review by Andreas Decker

This novel from 1979 was I gather the next to last novel Shackleford published. Plotwise it is a continuitation of his former works, only longer. With 237 pages we leave the realm of the slim and fast NEL novels and are halfway to the big and bloated horrornovel which succeded them.

Spoilers follow!

Juliet is an actress. After the flop of her last play and the suicide of her friend Rachel she fled to the isolation of her house, where she lives with her husband Mark. When Mark is there; as a businessman he often is away. Juliet is kept company by her housekeeper. It is the beginning of the summer. Her agent is badgering her to return to the stage, Juliet drinks like a fish and is lonely.

Enter the new neighbors which rented the cottage on the ground. William Lister is a more or less successful writer of horror trash – his own words – , which pays the rent. His daughter Susanne is 18 and beautiful and dearly devoted to Dad. His wife though has suffered an accident while moving and is in the hospital.

Now charismatic William is very interested in Juliets home. Because it was the home of Simon Ansell, a magician. His library is still there, and William would love to browse through the books.

Juliet doesn´t like him. Strange things happen. A hitchhiker is found dead. Why has Susanne these scars on her back? One night Juliet sees the ghost of her dead friend in the garden. Why has Lister´s wife seemingly vanished? Her husband just shrugs it off, even after Lister candidly reveals that he is a witch like the great Ansell and practises magic, his daughter does it also.

A day later Mark and the housekeeper die in a traffic accident and Juliet is truly alone. She tries to evict the Listers, but the writer puts a curse on her and makes Juliet a prisoner in her own house. All part of a long plan, as it is revealed, as Lister was a member of Ansell´s coven and wants to do a ritual in his library to rise in the ranks. And Susanne isn´t his daughter, but an old witch in the body of a young girl. Juliet has to play the role of the Scarlet Woman in the ritual, if she likes it or not. Lister denies killing the husband, but Susanne says he has.

So Juliet is groomed for the role, robbed of her will she becomes a sexual plaything of Susanne and Lister. And to her horror she discovers she likes it. But not all is as it seems, Susanne has her own plans, and on the night of the ritual after lots of sex with the arriving coven all hell breaks lose.

Like I said, the plot is rather similar to Shacklefords earlier novels. The magic is the Crowley kind of satanism – or paganismen, as the villian insists -, rather skillfully intervoven in the mundane. The beginning is slow and a bit too long compared with the last third where we get lots of scary magic, lots of graphic sex, pentagrams in the library, the goat of Mendes, vengeful ghosts and a surpise ending, which hasn´t aged well (which is not the fault of the writer, but of the times). But for all the occult stuff, there is a strange lack of drama. You can´t shake the feeling that you read this already, that there is nothing really new. Or maybe it is the conscious effort to present the magic stuff in a serious way, without the hysterics of say, a Dennis Wheatley for instance.

Regardless it is mostly a fun read. Juliet seems to have a more than passing resemblance with Mia Farrow in Rosemary´s Baby. She is not very likable. Lister´s opinion concerning his work is fun. “The Place of the Dhols” is a novel I would like to read.  “Good books don´t make money”, he says. “Britain has not been good to me”, he continues, “my work is more succesful in France and the scandinavian countries.” It would be interesting who is speaking there, the character or the writer. Or if this was a dig at his former publishers.

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David Gurney – The Devil In The Atlas

Posted by demonik on May 21, 2009

David Gurney – The Devil In The Atlas (NEL, 1976)


Review by Andreas Decker

I knew there was a horror writer named David Gurney from browsing catalogs but there was nothing that desperately screamed read me from the often pitiful descriptions. Along came the new Paperback Fanatic and the excellent article about NEL´s horror output. Amazon marketplace was accommodating, so I bought two of his novels.

THE DEVIL IN THE ATLAS is a quite a departure from the standard NEL of its time with its rather small print and 190 pages of text.

And it managed to surprise me. Expecting one of those Dennis Wheatley rip-offs I instead got a very well written mixture of a black magic novel and a straight adventure novel. Of course there is some real trash and some of the “why did he thought this a good idea?” – which in this kind of book can be a good thing – but on the whole this is quite a page turner.

Spoilers follow. You have been warned.

It is a sequel to the novel THE CONJURER. Peter Fletcher, hero and narrator of the book, marries blonde Liz, also heroine of the novel – if I got the extensive flashbacks right. They honeymoon on a tropical island, but then Liz vanishes form one second to the other. Peter discovers that Liz is a member of an archaeological dig in Morocco, but since the beginning of THE CONJURERS. Whom did he marry?

The dig is searching for a kind of a satanic bibel, led by Liz, who is a satanist and a bitch of the first order. There is blackmail, sex, backstabbing, a power-mad native satanist who wants to use the satanic bibel for political power and a long chase in the High Atlas. There is also murder, the forces of darkness, which like to fuck with the minds of the heroes, just because they can, and a gruesome rape by Satan as a goatman. Oh, and an truly dark end with more twists than your average Hollywood horror movie, except that here they work.

The pace is brisk, the characterization is often remarkable and delightfully mean-spirited and very cynical for its time.

Sure, some scenes and descriptions don´t really work and come across more laughable than gruesome, but the writer has a great eye for nasty details. And the novel is worth its money alone for the great summoning scene where the hero has to deliver the required sexual energy by courtesy of a two page long blow-job. Interesting way to build suspense for the climax.

This one is highly recommended. A true classic and a subtle but great cover too.  Rather a shame Gurney wrote only those three novels.

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