Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lord Horror by David Britton


Recently I've been frothing at the mouth over my desperate need to read and own the highly controversial, highly out of print Lord Horror books. Though there are some comics, I'm mostly concerned with the three novels written by Savoy Books owner David Britton: Lord Horror (1990), Motherfuckers: The Auschwitz of Oz (1996), and Baptized in the Blood of Millions (2001).

Lord Horror, coincidentally, is the last book to be banned in the U.K., which should tell you something. They are frustratingly unavailable and expensive. Lord Horror is occasionally available in Amazon US and Amazon UK and distressingly ranges between $60 for the used paperback and $800 for the hardcover. Motherfuckers is only available through Amazon UK, though the price cap is currently about $200. Baptized in the Blood of Millions is the only one available new, though only in the UK, which means you have to take in to account the exchange rate and shipping. It makes me want to rip my hair out. And of course no libraries that I was able to find carry them.

These will certainly only appeal to an audience with an acquired taste for the offensive and possibly the disgusting. All three books are essentially nonsensical, pornographic, surrealist attempts to filter a what-if-Hitler-won-the-war altered reality through the demented glasses of a fantastical world like Wizard of Oz. Lord Horror himself is a re-imagining of a British pro-fascist aristocrat turned radio DJ during the war, Lord Haw-Haw, a traitor who acquired German citizenship.

Probably because of their obscure and offensive nature, these books also have a surprisingly low internet presence. I first read about them in Clive Barker's A to Z of Horror and recently rediscovered the series through Supervert's article. You know times are tough when it's easier to find a book about a book, rather than the book itself. Fortunately, if you want to know more, there are some good resources.

Here's the Savoy books link about Lord Horror that includes a number of informational blurbs. Savoy also links to some lengthy articles, namely one by David Mitchell for Beyond Magazine, one by Brian Stableford for Other Dimensions and an early retrospective by Robert Meadley. There's a great Michael Moorcock article about books that re-imagine the fall of the Third Reich that praises Lord Horror.

As to the books themselves, the best I can do is to send you over to Supervert, which has a lengthy excerpt from Lord Horror and a few links with excerpts from the other two books.

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