Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scary Books – Alfred Hitchcock’s Paperback Anthologies


Film director Alfred Hitchcock was such a big name in the 60s that anything he put his name on made money. And so we had Alfred Hitchcock Presents the Three Investigators series of books (created by Robert Arthur), record albums, and a successful series of hardcover anthologies that were all quickly reprinted in paperback. The paperback versions sometimes had fewer stories than the hardcovers, but it was the paperbacks that made the most money. These popular anthologies were actually compiled and edited by Robert Arthur who also wrote the introductions that Hitchcock put his name to. No matter, the stories were great and represented some of the best suspense writers of the past two decades. I devoured these paperbacks and read many of the stories over and over again. It was here that I first read The Fly by George Langelaan, The Whistling Room by William Hope Hodgson, and stories by the long forgotten Henry Slesar, Robert Edmund Alter, Hal Ellson, Talmadge Powell, and Richard Hardwick. And it is here that you will find rarities even today, stuff that has seldom been reprinted like Ray Bradbury’s To the Future, The Other Hangman by Carter Dickson, and Adventures of the Sussex Archers by August Derleth. Robert Arthur, himself an accomplished writer, knew a good story when he read one. These paperbacks are a goldmine of classic American and British fiction. Alfred Hitchcock’s name may be on the covers, but these books were Robert Arthur’s all the way. 

2 comments:

  1. I read many of these books when I was a kid and loved them, also the AH hardback collections from the library. Wonderful stuff, and many of the stories have stayed with me ever since.

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  2. Thanks, there a so many wonderful tales here. great material indeed!

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