Summer of Sleaze is 2014’s turbo-charged trash safari where Will Errickson of Too Much Horror Fiction and Grady Hendrix of The Great Stephen King Reread plunge into the bowels of vintage paperback horror fiction, unearthing treasures and trauma in equal measure.
Just about every horror paperback that came out in the mid-’70s had to have blurbs on its cover comparing it favorably to bestselling horror novels like The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, The Other, ’Salem’s Lot, and/or The Omen—that was simply a fact of publishing then.
But every now and again there’s a book like The Manitou, the 1976 debut from Scottish author Graham Masterton (b. 1946, Edinburgh), which is entirely its own kind of horror novel. With little use for good sense or good taste, Masterton uses only a few elements of those contemporaneous famous and popular works but then one-ups—nay, a dozen-ups!—them (for another example of his over-the-top style, check out his 1988 novel Feast) and gives readers a damn-near perfect example of vintage ’70s horror fiction.