The James Herbert thread

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The James Herbert thread

#1  Postby Shaker » Mar 11, 2010 10:41 pm

Seeing as we have a Stephen King thread, I thought it was my bounden duty to open a thread to thump the tub for James Herbert, arguably Britain's greatest exponent of horror fiction and (equally arguably) sort of the British Stephen King. As a young whippersnapper I grew up on the books of both men (yes, I know: I was allowed to read pretty much whatever the hell I liked) and so I have a very strong affection for Herbert's very British brand of horror. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but to me the early novels - The Rats; The Fog; The Spear; The Dark; The Survivor; Shrine - remain the best even though Herbert is still very much in harness and still publishing. Horror novels generally never actually frighten me in the way that they're intended, but I still remember that Herbert's Moon (1985) was one of the most genuinely unsettling and downright creepy books I've ever read.
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Re: The James Herbert thread

#2  Postby Aces-High » Mar 11, 2010 10:50 pm

I remember the first James Herbert novel I read was The Magic Cottage, I was hooked and couldn't put it down.
The ghosts of sleath and 48 were my favorites but I could never really could get into The rats.
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Re: The James Herbert thread

#3  Postby rJD » Mar 11, 2010 11:08 pm

I read several "Herbert the pervert" books as a kid - I remember one grisly scene, of a PE teacher having his knob cut off by insane pupils, being read out loud in our changing rooms after PE. :-)

The one thing that struck me as odd was that the category listed on the back of most of the paperbacks was "fiction", with the exception of "Fluke" ("The story of a dog who thinks he's a man, or a man who thinks he's a dog!", which was listed as "horror, despite being pretty funny, a little sad, & quite sweet!
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Re: The James Herbert thread

#4  Postby Shaker » Mar 11, 2010 11:12 pm

The one thing that struck me as odd was that the category listed on the back of most of the paperbacks was "fiction", with the exception of "Fluke" ("The story of a dog who thinks he's a man, or a man who thinks he's a dog!", which was listed as "horror, despite being pretty funny, a little sad, & quite sweet!

Exactly. Fluke stands out as very much not horror among JH's books.
To be boosted by an illusion is not to live better than to live in harmony with the truth ... these refusals to part with a decayed illusion are really an infection to the mind. - George Santayana
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Re: The James Herbert thread

#5  Postby Mr P » Mar 12, 2010 3:42 am

JH was very popular at school and the books were passed round the whole year until they fell appart from over use. The Dark was my particular favorite with Fluke coming in a very close second.

Although King may be more popular I always preferred Herberts style, perhaps it's a Brit thing? :ask:
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