Monday, 14 August 2017

BLAST FROM MY PAST: THE PAN BOOK OF HORROR STORIES...



Behold!  A battered 1963 edition of a 1959 book that I read around 1972 or '73.  I no longer recall where it came from; whether it was bought by my father or brother, or whether I got it from a jumble sale, but I remember taking it into secondary school one day to read during the breaks.  At some stage afterwards, at home, it got spattered with paint flecks when some decorating was in progress, and it lost a corner (which I replaced), but it's held up pretty well for a 54 year old paperback.  Regular commenter JP mentioned horror books recently, and I said I'd dig this copy out and post it on the blog - consider it done, JP.  Now I might actually re-read it after going to the effort of emptying half a cupboard to find it. 


And below, after hours of painstaking work, is a digitally cleaned up presentation of the cover.  I don't think I'll bother doing the same with the back cover - not for a good while at least.  Far too time-consuming.  Must confess though, I did a good job - even if I say so myself.


4 comments:

Philip Crawley said...

Now that brings back memories. Not that I recognize the cover but I had, read and still have several others in the series which going by the cover graphics (and I do mean graphic) must have come from later print runs with a different title font and layout and rather lurid cover illustrations. I recall having to read them in broad daylight or I would not be able to sleep if I read them after dark! Some of the stories still scared the beejeezas out of me in the middle of the day! A combination of the descriptive writing and mood setting and my vivid imagination taking those words and running with them in the mental image I took away of some of the scenes of horror. Wonder if they would shock me now should I read one? I gave them star ratings, in pencil, that are still there next to the list on the contents page. Too late now I'll have to wait until it's a bit brighter before I dare...

Kid said...

I used to love horror stories when I was a kid, PC. I remember finding Dracula quite a scary book, but, like you, wonder if I'd think the same now. I've only got two horror anthologies, the paperback you see here, and another I bought in the late '70s or early '80s. I guess I grew out of scaring myself. The only horror movies I like are the old Universal ones, as well as the '50s and '60s Hammer ones; never seen The Excorist, or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or any movies like that. I quite enjoyed Frankenstein (the book), but I wouldn't quite class that as a 'horror' novel as such. (I found it more interesting than scary.) I've started cleaning the paint flecks off that Pan cover, with the actual book, and its digital image also. I want it to look as good as it can.

Philip Crawley said...

I'm a great fan of the Universal and Hammer films as well, as a glance at my DVD library will attest, love the 50s SF films as well, but I still like a good scare out of films of the 'modern' era as well, like the Japanese horror films (The Ring, Grudge, Shutter, etc). One of the scariest scenes in the Grudge happens in the middle of the day - doesn't need darkness to creep you out. I have seen the Exorcist but it's not one that I'd watch very often (too intense), and Texas Chainsaw. The later films in that franchise were much gorier. The original was more about mood and tension, I'd watch that one more than the Exorcist. Quite a wide variety of horror films mentioned here and I'd say I relate to them all on different levels. Wouldn't say that the new ones are better than the old ones or the other way around - they just have different ways to achieve the same end, admittedly some more subtle than others!

Kid said...

I think I prefer the subtle method, PC. Having said that, Sleepy Hollow, which isn't really a horror film (fantasy/horror I suppose), had some excellently rendered decapitation scenes, which were, technically, very well done. I think the fantasy element of the film placed those scenes on a 'comic strip' level , whereas if they'd been in the context of modern times in a 'serious' movie, they'd have been much more disturbing. I've got all the Universal Studios Monster movies (including the Spanish version of Dracula) on DVD, and one day I might add the Hammer ones to my collection, but I think I'd call it quits at that. The worst Horror movie I ever saw was the last 20 minutes of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels (I caught it while waiting for Annie Hall to start). It wasn't meant to be a horror movie, but it WAS truly horrible.

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