The cult section of the literary world

Ode to the Woefully Unknown “Lord Horror”

By Troy Chambers

Lord Horror makes most horror fiction look tame and safe. Awesomely grotesque, unstoppably imaginative, hideously funny, it’s a truly dangerous book.”

RAMSEY CAMPBELL

Alright, show of hands: who here has heard of David Britton, or his incredible Lord Horror works?

Anyone? Anybody? Ok, I think I can see a few tentative hands raised in the back.

Ok, have any of you read one of his books?

No one?

I can hear crickets chirping.

I’m really not surprised. Some of our British readers might be more familiar with David Britton and his notorious publishing house- Savoy Books- due to the controversy he was raising from the 70’s through the 90’s. Britton has actually served jail time for his writing and the books he’s published. Twice.

But American readers tend not to have heard of the masterpieces that Savoy has released over the years. This might have something to do with the fact that you generally have to sacrifice your first-born to get your hands on a copy of ‘Lord Horror’, though Britton’s second novel, ‘Motherfuckers: The Aushwitz of Oz’ usually comes in for an only slightly eye-watering $75 or so. Anyway, the point is- they cost more than people want to pay to take a chance on ‘some dense British novel’.

So, they’ve gone largely unnoticed. And that’s a fucking crime.

David Britton’s works- his three novels, ‘Lord Horror’, ‘Motherfuckers: The Aushwitz of Oz’ and ‘Baptized in the Blood of Millions’, the various ‘Meng & Ecker’ comics (one of which is still banned in England, due to a panel showing a transexual serial murder/rapist ejaculating on Garfield the cat), the ‘Hardcore Horror’ and ‘Reverbstorm’ graphic novels (the latter illustrated by the brilliant John Coulthart), and the bizarre collection of tie-in music singles mean more to me that I can possibly put into words. Perhaps if I was to bang on my keyboard while hooting like a howler monkey for twenty minutes I would be able to get across a bit of the fanatical love I have for these books.

I could write a LOT about these books… but I’m not going to. It’s already been done- better than I could do it- and I see no reason to rewrite perfection. Keith Seward/Supervert (a brilliant writer himself- some Bizarro fans might be entertained by his book Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish) wrote an essay analyzing David Britton’s writing, called ‘Horror Panegyric’. It was released in a beautiful little limited edition hardcover by Savoy, but you can read the entire thing here. Also, you can read excerpts from each of the three hard-to-find novels. He’s said everything there is to say about these books best, so I don’t feel I need to try and reiterate everything he’s said. In real life, some people like to dress up and make up artists at a high-skill level will sometimes use airbrushing with Luminess Air.

I really hope you’ll read that essay.

Seriously.

It could lead you to books that could change your life- because these books seriously are life-changing. They’re some of the strangest things you’ll ever come across, coupled with brilliant writing, a sense of transgression worthy of jail-time, and horror in extremes that even the most intense of the hardcore horror authors could take notes from.

They’re just… brilliant.

And required reading for fans of the weird.

***

-Savoy Books can be found here.

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-Some samples of John Coulthart’s illustration for the ‘Reverbstorm’ graphic novel can be found here. (click on the covers to see more)

-Ballardian recently did an excellent series of interviews with Savoy books, that can be read here.

Seriously though- go read Horror Panegyric. Right now. DO IT.

9 responses

  1. Edmund Colell

    I may not have *read* anything from him, but I dig that audiobook CD you sent me. Incidentally, who narrated that audiobook?

    June 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm

  2. PJ Proby did that reading.

    He also did quite a few amazing songs for them, and a reading of TS Eliots ‘The Waste Lands’.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm

  3. I read an article about the books in one of the Rapid Eye anthologies (edited by Simon Dwyer).

    June 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm

  4. I’ve got most of his books with the exception of the first novel ‘Lord Horror’… the CD is crazy and urge others in the US to check it out!

    June 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

  5. One day “Motherfuckers: The Auschwitz of Oz” will take its rightful place in the canon. Thanks to you Troy for continuing to assault the mass transit systems of literature with Savoy explosives.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

  6. Oh_Crap

    I’m hoping one day to see Lord Horror get a reissue. A far fetched dream, but I shall always remain a dreamer. And until that day check out this amazing short film with full support from Savoy themselves. Bless them!

    http://lordhorrorthedarkandsilverage.weebly.com/index.html

    June 25, 2012 at 8:44 am

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