Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Horror Paperback Covers of Bernard Taylor

Born today in 1937, British horror and suspense author Bernard Taylor probably isn't a very familiar name even to horror fans. However, his 1977 ghost story Sweetheart, Sweetheart was chosen by Charles L. Grant as one of the 100 best horror novels. I read it last year and quite liked it, although it does have a long, slow build-up that's oh-so-very British. But how about that Moorstone (St. Martin's Press, 1981) cover? Never get tired of drippy blood-letters!

If you like the kind of pre-King horror novels of the early 1970s, ones that take their sweet, sweet time to introduce whispery moments of chills and the supernatural, Taylor's probably your guy. I haven't read any of 'em, though, but I did just come across his short story "Out of Sorts" in a Grant anthology and really liked its dark humor. The Godsend (1976) looks of perfect vintage...

1991 Leisure Books reprint

And holy shit, check out this cover for The Reaping, Taylor's 1980 entry into the gerund-horror post The Shining. Demonic fetus? Fuck yes thank you!

Sad Rosemary's Baby ripoff reprint from Leisure, 1991

1987 Leisure. I'm sure King was anxious about this usurper to his throne.

1990s cover. Yawn.

6 comments:

Rob said...

Sweetheart is a good one for sure, and The Reaping is not bad at all - took me a while to figure out what was going on. Mother's Boys was actually quite startling and disturbing.

The Doctor said...

I love Bernard Taylor's stuff. I have all of them except "Since Ruby" (1999), his last novel under his own name. Quality stuff. "Moorstone" is more commonly known as "The Moorstone Sickness", and is a nice piece of quiet horror that doesn't deserve that garish cover!
It's a pity the movie of Mother's Boys was so compromised, and therefore so shit.
It's also sad that the only novels he has written in the last 12 years are historical romances as "Jess Foley".(at least, I assume that is what they are by the covers)

I've always intended to write a retrospective about his novels. As you say, not as familiar to horror fans as he should be.

francisco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
francisco said...

his style is more or less like the works of Ramsey Campbell? are his novels setting in England? If that... ummm... I prefer modern horror to be set in the USA, I think of England as a victorian or classic horror setting...

Will Errickson said...

SWEETHEART, SWEETHEART is set in NYC and the English countryside, in the modern day (well, 1970s, when the book was published). Not a whole lot like Campbell, though he does have a rather British style.

Kasia S. said...

I had to get Madeleine after seeing the cover and reading the synopsis, I have a feeling that reading your blog will make me spend $ on books today, yay!