Monday, October 22, 2007


Besides the other genres of fantasy, science fiction and horror that Robert Bloch wrote, he also got into the serial killers. Norman Bates from Psycho was inspired by Ed Gein. Gein's ghoulish story inspired a lot of horror fiction and movies. Hitchcock changed parts of Bloch's novel. Bloch's Norman was fat and had a stash of porn. His "mother" disapproved, of course.

American Gothic was published in 1974. If it wasn't for the big Bloch byline I would have mistaken this for just another in an endless series of paperback gothic romance novels with a cover showing a heroine in the foreground, and a castle in the background. Despite the misleading look to it, it is actually inspired by real life swindler and killer H. H. Holmes, who operated out of a castle in Chicago during the time of the 1893 World's Fair. Bloch's character is called G. Gordon Gregg, which sounds suspiciously like Watergate conspirator G. Gordon Liddy, in the news almost every day during that time period.Finally, this is a copy of Psycho House, a 1990 sequel to the original. Bloch signed it. I found it in a thrift store for 75¢, which makes it one of my better thrift store finds. Bloch's sense of humor shows in the way he signed it.

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