August 21, 2007
Stephen King's Night Shift mass market paperback, circa 1979?
I found this Night Shift cover in the folder with the Roussel postcard. I remember as a kid staring at it in horror. (Too bad the current cover edition is so generic.) I don't have the actual book anymore, just the torn off cover, so I don't know the artist's name. But wait, the internet has brought me immediately to THE EYE IN HAND site . . . which says the cover is uncredited. Oh well.**** [March 2008 I discovered the artist is Don Brautigam]
I read a lot of horror fiction when I was a kid, starting with Stephen King and then Clive Barker, Peter Straub, and Ramsey Campbell. Luckily I didn't read H. P. Lovecraft until just last month. Lovecraft is truly terrifying and he would have broke my little mind and given me nightmares and ruined any trips. I wouldn't actually recommend reading him, but if you are in an extremely masochistic mood, and relatively secure in your sense of reality, check out "Whisperer in the Dark" in the fancy Library of America edition of Lovecraft's stories.
I can barely forgive my friend Ian Nagoski for suggesting that I read Frederic Brown's story "Come and Go Mad" a couple years ago. It is the most evil piece of writing I ever hope to read. Okay, I'm glad he told me about it, I just wish he gave me a warning.
***March 2008 update: I just discovered Millipede Press, dedicated to reprinting classic works of horror and crime. They feature the eye/hand painting on the cover of their Don Brautigam portfolio. Actually it's part of their "Centipede Press" collection of deluxe editions.
***Update: I found out Houellebecq (Wellbeck) read Lovecraft when he was seven. Now that is scary.