Your Daily NEL: New English Library

Cheap and Nasty Seventies Horror Pulp

Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Wheatley’

Paperback Fanatic 3

Posted by demonik on June 14, 2009

Justin Marriott (ed.) – Paperback Fanatic #3 (August, 2007)


Finally settled on a name and format, ‘the British magazine for collectors of pulp fiction’ was off and running with an issue entirely written and produced by the editor.

The Paperback Fanatic Guide To Kung-Fu in Pulp Fiction by a variety of often pseudonymous authors. Bruce Lee cash-ins, King Kung Fu, Mace, Jason Striker, Sloane, TV & Movie tie-in’s, Mondo, the Black Samurai, Six Gun, Samurai, Kung-Fu Master ….

The Many Faces Of Dr. Tabori. Paul Tabori, the veteran genre and publisher hopping purveyor of everything from serious sex studies (if NEL were involved, they packaged them as smut regardless), Crime & The Occult, a biography of Harry ‘Borley Rectory’ Price and a personal memoir of WW2  to fictional ghost stories, thrillers and Sci-Fi novels.

Sphere Horror: A Scrapbook Of The Seventies. This article and checklist provided the basis for Vault’s Sordid Spheres blog/ mini-site/ call it what you will, which continues the story through the following decade. With Justin’s encouragement, i might add.

The Devil And All His Works. Companion piece to the above, a brief look at the Dennis Wheatley Library Of The Occult and indebted to Stan Nicholl’s article What Ever Happened To Dennis Wheatley (Million magazine, Jan. 1991) as acknowledged in the text.

The Special Squad. ‘Donald Franklin’s short-lived series for NEL pit C.I.D.’s Barney Garrett and Jack Marsh versus the worst the steamy crime underworld can offer.

Back cover gallery. Six of Richard Clifton-Day’s seven cover illustrations for ‘Klaus Netzen’ (Laurence James)’s Killers series for Mayflower.

Posted in Justin Marriott, Magazines (NEL interest), Paperback Fanatic, Paul Tabori | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Simon Majors – The Druid Stone

Posted by demonik on May 28, 2009

Simon Majors (Gardner F. Fox) – The Druid Stone (NEL, 1970: originally Paperback Library, 1967)


A Black Magic Novel Of Terror

The supernatural rears its terrifying head in this occult story of ancient sorcery struggling to deliver the modern world into the hands of the devil himself.

Brian Creoghan’s fight against this devouring evil in the haunting atmosphere of a quiet village – and in a strange barbaric land of thousands of years ago – is an unforgettable adventure into the dark unknown.

This is a chilling story of witchcraft and sorcery written with all the horrifying power and reality of a Dennis Wheatley.

Of all the Paperback Library gems Haining could have snagged on his early American jaunts and he comes away with this. Curt is less than impressed on Groovy Age, muttering darkly of “fantasyland episodes” which are “barely even readable”. Justin signs off his review in Paperback Fanatic #8 with “your eyes may never forgive you if you read this one!”. Can it be that we are holding before us that holiest of holiest, the worst NEL ever? I’d like to be able to throw my hat in the ring, come up with a glowing endorsement for The Druid Stone even if only to be perverse, but truth is, in three attempts, i’ve progressed no further than twelve pages into the “action” before Mr. Majors’ affected prose style has done for me to the point where a rematch with Dracula And The Virgins Of The Undead seems like the most attractive proposition ever. Respect!

If anyone other than the seriously dedicated gents mentioned above have made it past Brian Creoghan tedious meditations on whether or not his neighbour, Benius Foss, is a witch on account of keeping a pair of cats, now is your opportunity to shine.

Posted in Horror Fiction, NEL, Novel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Raymond Giles – Night Of The Griffin

Posted by demonik on May 17, 2009

Raymond Giles – Night Of The Griffin (NEL 1971)

Richard Clifton-Day

Richard Clifton-Dey

Review by Nightreader

This is a pretty straightforward gothic romance with all the traditional elements you’d expect. Even for a reader who doesn’t know this genre it follows a fairly predictable pattern.

Beth St. Dennis is the heroine. She is encouraged by her far more glamorous flatmate Nina to accompany her to a Halloween party at her wealthy friend’s mansion, Griffon House, a suitably grand but spooky location. Griffon House is the family home of the Griffon family, in residence are the strikingly beautiful but wicked Maretta and her moody but attractive brother Robert.

Maretta is a witch, a white one she says, and wants Beth to view a Sabbat that is being held later in the evening. Maretta is interested in Beth because she has shown a talent for the Tarot and may be a gifted psychic. At the Sabbat Beth is charmed by Robert who persuades her to leave the Sabbat and spend time with him. Robert is a troubled man, he has scars on his wrists from a suicide attempt and is prone to deep and dangerous depressions.

Naturally Beth falls in love with Robert and he asks her to marry him. That is when things start to go wrong. Robert and Beth marry and this seems to be the catalyst for things to change. Beth begins to sense a great evil in the house, the stirring of the griffin perhaps, then Robert’s depression returns and he wants Beth to leave but wont say why. It eventually emerges that Maretta is the leader of a coven called the Children of the Griffin, whose members worship the Griffin as a manifestation of Satan himself. A sceptical Robert once pledged himself to the cult which demands that a member should never marry one outside the cult. Maretta now wants Beth to be initiated into the cult…

Sadly there isn’t a big satisfying Wheatley-esque finale but a kind of soppy cop-out, as Robert attempts to sacrifice himself to save Beth. Like I said this is all fairly predictable stuff, but apart from the weak ending, there are some good moments in the book. I liked the Children of the Griffin idea, the classic coven of hedonists, all prospering from their nefarious doings. Maretta is a good baddie, cool and sophisticated and scheming.

But in the end it’s not as good as ‘Night of the Warlock’…

Posted in Horror Fiction, NEL, nightreader, Novel, Raymond Giles | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sandra Shulman – The Daughters of Satan

Posted by demonik on May 17, 2009

Sandra Shulman – The Daughters of Satan (New English Library, 1969)

Sandra Shulman - The Daughters of Satan

Sandra Shulman - The Daughters of Satan


The Abbey of Light – England’s most exclusive finishing school – is just a front for a Satanist with terrible powers.

Behind its doors unholy black magic ceremonies take place – girls become spiritually and sexually enslaved to their diabolical master. And one man begins a lone fight against an evil which threatens the whole world.

Here is a chilling novel of modern Satanism in the tradition of Dennis Wheatley – written with all the horrifying power of Rosemary’s Baby.

Cover and blurb courtesy of Sexy Witch!

Posted in Sandra Shulman, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »