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Archive for the ‘David Gurney’ Category

David Gurney – The Necrophiles

Posted by demonik on June 16, 2009

David Gurney [Patrick Bair] – The Necrophiles: A Modern Essay In The Macabre (New English Library, 1969) [Hardcover]


Nope, i’ve still not got hold of a copy and my knowledge of Mr. ‘Gurney’s censor-baiting follow up to The F-Certificate is gleaned entirely from fleeting references in Paperback Fanatic and this note, posted by Steve on Vault MK 1 (who may or may not have provided the cover scan – i’m no longer sure!).

“It looks like Necrophiles was published by New English Library in 1969, 222 pp. A “Macabre tale of necrophilia and sordid debauchery” I’m informed.

A description I found of a later Pyramid edition mentions; “Orgies, incest, drugs, homosexuality. All the spicy things in culture.”

One bookseller describes it thus: “A group of English kids start exploring their sexuality in the woods, only to take a perverse turn that involves raiding mortuaries. It just gets more bizarre from there!”

Form an orderly queue please gents…”

Like he said.

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David Gurney – The Evil Under The Water

Posted by demonik on June 8, 2009

David Gurney – The Evil Under The Water (New English Library, July 1977)


A mysterious party had been held one Friday night, and all the signs pointed towards a horrific satanic ritual having taken place.

And then Julie Jordan was found to be missing, which to her boyfriend, Mike Benson, spelt disaster – for he knew about devil worship and the importance of virgin sacrifice, and Julie had been a virgin…

Then when Sergeant Willis was struck down by some strange force, the world’s leading organisations for the control of occultism were called in – but what could even they hope to do against the powers of the devil and the Evil Under the Water?


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David Gurney – The Conjurers

Posted by demonik on June 6, 2009

David Gurney – The Conjurers (New English Library, 1973)



Even a quiet respectable seaside town like Westport can have its suspicions and shameful secrets. When the Seamew sank so many years ago it was whispered that the mysterious clairvoyant, Madame Jo, had something to do with it after all, the hull was never recovered, and her husband, the skipper, was drowned. And she remarried again so soon…

But when a new generation began to take an interest in the powers she claimed she had, and tried to invoke the powers of darkness for their own selfish ends, what had first begun as a party game, a conjuring trick, suddenly became all too real.

Here is a powerful novel revealing the lengths to which men will go when stripped bare of civilisation’s veneer.

Thanks to severance and Steve for the cover scans

colour recreation: Bill Taylor, photograph: Adrian Mott

colour recreation: Bill Taylor, photograph: Adrian Mott

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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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