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Posts Tagged ‘Monsters and Nightmares’

On an Internets article about subjects which writers can blog about (because my mind is too much of a burned-out wasteland to think on my own), it suggested talking about books that inspired me. I’mma start with this one:

MN1

This cover is amazing.

Bernhardt J. Hurwood’s Monsters and Nightmares, 1967.

There’s not a ton written about Bernhardt J. Hurwood–I kinda, almost want to write a biography of him myself, that would rule.(I think the best bio I’ve seen of him so far is actually in The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead, 2nd ed.) Here’s his obit from 1987. I have a handful of his other books, but I’m always on the lookout for more. What is it about this book? I dunno, but I think I’ve read it about 80 times. Seriously. It was my father’s, which he probably bought around the time it came out. Sometime in the 80s, he tried giving it to my brother. I understand my brother started reading it, but it gave him nightmares (werewolf-related nightmares, to be exact), and so he returned it to my father, who then turned it over to me. Sloppy seconds, I know. But whatever. This book is awesome. I mean, just look at this TOC:

MN2

Wut, wut? Yasssss…

The Monstrous Maggot of Death? The Horrible Legacy of the Cannibal Chef? The Holy Prepuce and the Miracles? (That one actually sounds like a band name, which…hmm.) I think I was 10 or 11 when I was handed this bad boy, and I read it until my eyeballs bled. It’s one of those collections of ghastly, true (or “true”) tales. It’s creepy and gruesome and everything anyone who loves horror wants, especially at such a young and accident-rubbernecking age.

I read a lot of stuff, but when I’d run out of books, or maybe I got bored with this or that, Monsters and Nightmares was my go-to book. So much so that the one pictured here isn’t even the original copy. No, that one is falling apart and tucked away in a safe place. This one I had to order from Amazon because, well, yeah, it’s 30 or so years later and I needed another readable copy.

I’ll be reading this on my deathbed, I’m pretty sure.

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