"Russell links postpulp literature and the Grand Guignol tradition with the modern sensibilities of America in the 1960s. Within him resides a neo-paganistic streak that is passed from Algernon Blackwood and Sax Rohmer to him and other writers of unusual proclivities, such as Bernard J. Hurwood. A fascinating combination of the liberal and the heretic... Russell is the literary equivalent of the Italian filmmaker Mario Bava, a supersaturated neo-Gothiscist who shines above the premises of his material based on style, conviction, and artistic flair." - Guillermo del Toro, from the introductionPraise for Penguin Horror Classics:
“The new Penguin Horror editions, selected by Guillermo del Toro, feature some of the best art-direction (by Paul Buckley) I've seen in a cover in quite some time.” – Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
"Each cover does a pretty spectacular job of evoking the mood of the title in bold, screenprint-style iconography." – Dan Solomon, Fast Company
About the Author
was born in 1924 in Chicago, Illinois, and served in the United States Air Force during World War II in the South Pacific. After the war, he attended the Chicago Conservatory of Music and eventually joined the editorial staff at Playboy
, helping turn the magazine into a showcase for imaginative fiction. At Playboy
, Russell published such writers as Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Richard Matheson, Jack Finney, Robert Bloch, and Charles Beaumont, while also editing many of the bestselling Playboy
anthologies, including The Playboy Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy
and the Playboy Book of Horror and the Supernatural
. His first novel, The Case Against Satan
, will appear in Penguin Classics in 2014, and his best known work, "Sardonicus," was called by Stephen King "perhaps the finest example of the modern Gothic ever written. His work also included publications in The Paris Review
and several screenplays, including Mr. Sardonicus
, The Horror of it All
, and X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes
. Russell received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1991. He passed away in Los Angeles in 1999.
GUILLERMO DEL TORO is a Mexican director, producer, screenwriter, novelist, and designer. He both cofounded the Guadalajara International Film Festival and formed his own production company—the Tequila Gang. However, he is most recognized for his Academy Award-winning film, Pan’s Labyrinth, and the Hellboy film franchise. He has received Nebula and Hugo awards, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award, and is an avid collector and student of arcane memorabilia and weird fiction.