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James Herbert - The Devil in the Dark: The Authorised True Story of Britain's Most Terrifying Horror Writer

James Herbert - The Devil in the Dark: The Authorised True Story of Britain's Most Terrifying Horror Writer [Kindle Edition]

Craig Cabell
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The undisputed king of the psychological horror genre, James Herbert’s writing has plundered the darkest depths and exposed the most dreaded secrets of the human mind.

Now, for the first time, this completely authorised work exposes the secrets at the heart of the author. Based on over a dozen exclusive interviews with the man himself, there are also contributions from Herbert’s friends and acquaintances, including Clive Barker, Peter James and Ingrid Pitt.

Drawing out the dramatic parallels between the dark images that have characterised his life and the haunting tales from which he made his name, this book traces his formative years growing up in the East End of London, where he witnessed the swarming vermin that became the basis of his first novel in 1974, The Rats.A close friend and associate of Herbert, Craig Cabell charts he development of Herbert’s work throughout his life and outlines the extraordinary comparisons with other practitioners of horror writing.

’In everybody’s life story, they are the hero. So if they are made to feel inadequate or a little stupid, then who’s the hero? Not me, I’m the bastard. I’ve upset a lot of people because I just try to get things as right as possible’ – James Herbert

Utterly Gripping…Totally Absorbing’ – The Express

About the Author

Craig Cabell has been a freelance writer for over ten years, writing for a host of publications, including The Independent. He is an authority on the horror/thriller genre and has written extensively on the subject

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 682 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Metro (30 April 2004)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1782194983
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782194989
  • ASIN: B00C1F0C28
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #182,958 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Craig Cabell was a freelance reporter for 20 years, working most notably for The Independent newspaper. He spent five years as a freelance music journalist and five years as an in-house reporter with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) House journal Focus. He interviewed generals, princes, lords, arms-dealers, prime ministers and a host of authors, musicians and other celebrities, as well as writing three regular wine and books columns, and was the editor of the first MoD online daily news service.

He went on to become the Small Arms desk officer of the Ministry of Defence,created the Sniper Pyramid and the industry group the Ballistic Toolkit, and also introduced the Nimbus Non-lethal Car Protection System into Iraq through the FCO. Diversely he also became an expert in rare books from Charles Dickens to Ian Rankin, and was a writer for Book and Magazine Collector for 20 years.

Craig is the author of 18 biography and history books(and over 20 chap books, more about them later). He was the main author of the acclaimed Operation Big Ben - the anti-V2 Spitfire Missions, 1944-45 (with Graham Thomas), which enjoyed a book launch at Duxford, where Raymond Baxter and Lady Bader were guests of honour. A special dinner at the 602 Squadron Museum in Glasgow resulted in Raymond Baxter presenting a signed copy of the book to the museum director. A short CGI movie was also made of the book, which can be viewed on You Tube. It is interesting to note that Craig has also provided several special Introductions to Graham Thomas' own non-fiction books, which can be found listed in Craig's bibliography below and on Graham's own Author Page.

Craig's book concerning 30 Assault Unit (a crack team of commandos created by Ian Fleming) was adapted into the movie Age of Heroes (featuring Sean Bean and Danny Dyer), and his first Kray book The Image Shattered was optioned for TV in 2013.

Craig wrote the authorised biographies of Frederick Forsyth and horror writer James Herbert with their full cooperation. For the 60th anniversary of VE Day he released a book concerning the circumstances leading up to the surrender of the Nazis and reminiscences of people who were alive and experienced those events. Extracts from the book (co-written with Allan Richards) were acted out by Richard E Grant at a gala event in Trafalgar Square to mark the 60th anniversary, and Craig appeared on a host of radio shows, BBC TV news features, and several public signing sessions.

Craig's work for government services saw him travel to Kuwait, South America and North America, as a regional desk officer. He has studied several areas of US politics, including the lives and assassinations of John K Kennedy and Robert Kennedy (see Operation 40 and the Big Event,From Assassination to Extermination). He book Killing Kennedy is a thorough ballistic report of the JFK assassination, based upon his expertise in the Small Arms sector. His interest in the work of Edward Curtis inspired his interest in the plight of Native American Indians, and culminated with his first completed short story featuring antiquarian book dealer Jason Maccleson, titled 'Words of a Free Spirit', which is available as a stand-alone eBook. The first Jason Maccleson novel A Pharaoh's Last Secret is also available as an Amazon eBook and details the murders surrounding the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in the 1920s and how Agatha Christie knew all about it.

For nearly 40 years, Craig studied the life and career of Horatio Nelson and spent some considerable time researching archive material in Portsmouth and Greenwich. His work in East Anglia researching the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins, spawned a noteworthy book that brings together all the published facts about the notorious man.

Craig's extensive list of chap books (small press, limited editions booklets) are being published by Bellack Productions on Amazon across 2014 as revised eBooks, alongside his first three novels (The Dance of the Necromancer - 1988; Jophalla - 1996;and Abdicus - 1999). Bellack Productions is an association of authors created by Craig to publish their own work, the way they want it.
Note:try searching for Bellack Productions on Amazon to find a diverse bunch of exciting and affordable work.

Frederick Forsyth - A Matter of Protocol, the Authorised Biography (Robson, 2001)
The Kray Brothers - The Image Shattered (Robson, 2002)
James Herbert - Devil in the Dark, the Authorised True Story (Metro, 2003)
Operation Big Ben - the anti-V2 Spitfire Missions 1944-45 (with Graham A Thomas) (Spellmount, 2004)
VE Day - A Day to Remember (with Allan Richards) (Pen & Sword, 2005)
Snipers (with Richard Brown) (Blake, 2005)
Dennis Wheatley - Churchill's Storyteller (Spellmount, 2006)
Getting Away With Murder (with Lenny Hamilton) (John Blake, 2007)
Witchfinder General - the Biography of Matthew Hopkins (Sutton, 2007)
Ian Fleming's Secret War - Author of James Bond (Pen & Sword, 2008)
Ian Fleming's Red Indians - The History of 30 Assault Unit (Pen & Sword, 2009)
Ian Rankin and Inspector Rebus (John Blake Publishing, 2010)
The Doctors Who's Who (John Blake Publishing, 2010) (extended for 50th Anniversary in 2013)
The Hunt for Captain Kidd (with Graham A Thomas & Allan Richards) (Pen & Sword, 2010)
Terry Pratchett - The Spirit of Fantasy (John Blake, 2011)
The Hunt for Blackbeard (with Graham A Thomas & Allan Richards) (Pen & Sword, 2012)
Killing Kennedy - The President's Last Day (John Blake, 2013)
Iain Banks - Student Without Portfolio (Bellack Productions, 2014)

A Pharaoh's Last Secret (Bellack Productions,2014)

Chap Books
Dennis Wheatley and the Occult (Kindle edition),(Bellack Productions, 2014)
Black Sniper (Short Story) (Bellack Productions, 2014)
A Spooky Thing Happened on the Way to the Keyboard (Bellack Productions, 2014)
Operation 40 and the Big Event (Bellack Productions, 2014)
From Assassination to Extermination (Bellack Productions, 2014)
The Curse of the Baskervilles (Bellack Productions, 2014)
Words of a Free Spirit (A Jason Maccleson Short Story)(Bellack Productions, 2014)

Audio Fiction
The Man Who Loved Christmas
Guest House
Akin to Light
Mr Rake
The Flame and the Whisper

Special Introductions
Annabelle Says (Stephen Laws and Simon Clark) (Hodder/Fantasy Society, 1994)
Furies Over Korea - the story of the men of the Fleet Air Arm, RAF and Commonwealth who defended South Korea, 1950-1953 by Graham A Thomas (Grub Street, 2003)
Firestorm, Typhoons Over Caen, 1944 by Graham A Thomas (Grub Street, 2007)
Terror from the Sky - the Battle Against the Flying Bomb by Graham A Thomas (Pen & Sword, 2008)
The Dan Brown Enigma by Graham A Thomas (John Blake, 2011)

How It All Began by Craig Cabell:

After 12 years of writing articles and interviewing authors for various magazines and newspapers, I found that I got to know certain writers very well. They trusted me, and felt that the reviews or articles I wrote were a fair reflection of their latest work and past highlights. So when I told them that I wanted to make them the subject of a book, they weren't necessarily that wary of my angle or credentials. So quite naturally, James Herbert and Frederick Forsyth were the first two people I would write about, because I had worked with them the most.
I wrote my first book Frederick Forsyth - A Matter of Protocol, after offering Robson Books the opportunity to publish my finished manuscript of James Herbert - Devil in the Dark. They basically said that they preferred Forsyth as a subject matter for a 'man and His Works' type of book, but would consider the Herbert book afterwards.
A Matter of Protocol was based upon a dozen different interviews with Forsyth, so was quite easy to write, because he demanded that the book would be 'no more than 10,000 words biography and no more than 50,000 words overall'. I agreed but the publisher still published it as an 'Authorised Biography' and neglected to show me proofs, so I remain irritated by a few typos in the book and photo section. That said, the book was studied at university level as a good example of literary criticism (and I recall, it ended up being just over 12,000 words biography in the end).
Forsyth was delightful to me and provided several special Introductions to some of my later work, including Snipers (with Richard Brown), Dennis Wheatley - Churchill's Storyteller and VE Day - A Day to Remember (with Allan Richards).
My second and final book for Robson was The Kray Brothers - The Image Shattered (not the James Herbert book!), which I was very proud of. It is, to this day, one of the most accurate books about the Krays and its most significant point was the fact that Ronnie fired two guns in the Blind Beggar when killing George Cornell.
Note: An interesting point here is: proof copies of my two Robson books exist, the Forsyth one has a slightly longer interview with the author at the back, while the Kray one has incomplete text, because I was still clearing text through official sources. Good luck in finding proofs of either!
My third book was, at last, James Herbert - Devil in the Dark, and started a ten year publishing relationship with John Blake. Herbert approved the text and the book was issued as a limited leather bound edition (designed by me in two different red leather bindings, and based upon the cover of Jonathan Harker's diary in the first Hammer Horror Dracula movie), and two revised paperbacks. It remains a fan favourite and a book I am immensely proud of. Herbert bought 50 copies to give away to family and friends, and always told me that it should have been published by his own publisher Macmillan.
So through a critical mass of interviews/meetings with two top authors, and a fascination with why people celebrated the Kray Brothers, I moved from reporter and reviewer, to research journalist, historian and biographer.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work in progress 13 May 2004
By A Customer
Having read the hardback counterpart to this, I was loathed to spend more money on a paperback. However, when I realised that the photo section was changed and the chapter concerning Nobody True extended - with both critique and quotes - I bought it.
In the revised Conclusion (entitled Thoughts in an XJS) Cabell explains that the book is a work in progress and adds more depth and understanding concerning his friend James Herbert by analysing the man today (Cabell speaks of discussions between he and Herbert on release of the hardback of Devil in the Dark). So not only is the book bang up-to-date, it is also a very valid revision, not a commercial trick.
Further study shows that the Collector's Guide has been revised and also the Further Reading, which I found interesting the first time round. A great deal of thought has gone into this book and it has proved to be Herbert's most popular companion work. The first, By Horror Haunted never saw paperback and added little to what fans already new about him, whilst Dark Places was Herbert exploring locations and legends and adding a couple of biographical notes.
Devil in the Dark is a true companion to Herbert's work, it is also a serious piece of literary criticism on the SF/Horror genre. Cabell is so knowledgeable on the subject, and add the odd interview segment with Herbert's inner circle (let alone generous quotes from the man himself), which presents other peoples views not just his; this clearly shows a greater awareness and must have been difficult to balance (this being an authorised work and Herbert would have had to approve everybody's observations - this adds weight to Cabell's Author's Note where he states that Herbert had to let certain observations stand). A very satisfying read, which culminates with a brilliant new short story from Herbert himself. This is a good book. I recommend it.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The right thing at the right time. 2 Sep 2004
By A Customer
This book isn't just about James Herbert, it's about the whole SF/Horror genre - as one genre. Herbert has been at the cutting edge of his field for many years and that is seriously showcased in this book, but so are other more obscure areas of the horror genre. This book keeps you on your toes. It is not as much a biography of James Herbert as a biography of the whole horror genre. Herbert even argues that SF and horror are one genre and both Cabell and Herbert seem to be in agreement about that.
The new short story is stunning. The best Herbert short story in print and Cabell's detail of each book is excellent for when you want a prompt of what Herbert to re-read - he must be a Herbert junkie to know so much but perhaps he and Herbert are simply just good mates, as they really get into each chapter with gusto and a no-holds-barred attitude.
I am surprised that Herbert ever agreed to do this book because it gives more of him to the public, but the good thing is: it's the right thing at the right time. It's something back to the fans who have been loyal thoughout. When does part two come out!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Salute Worth Waiting For 23 Aug 2003
After reading and thoroughly enjoying Craig Cabell's "The Krays The Image Shattered" and being a James Herbert fan, I was waiting expectantly for this book about my hero. I have not been disappointed. Craig became a friend of James's and it shows in the warm, humourous and yet very serious way the book is put together. James has opened his heart to Craig in places and proves that you do not have to be a villain (The Krays The Image Shattered)to be successful at what you are good at.
There is a lot of new material and black and white photographs and a great bibliography. A must for the Herbites like myself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for the memories 3 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Useful background about Herbert's childhood, and his adult years before he became a full-time writer; but this biography is as much a chronology of his published works, detailing his own thoughts about them, as a history of his personal life. As such it has inspired me to seek out the few of his novels I had missed, as well as to joyfully revisit those I had read already. It's a bit like the 'making of' and 'behind the scenes' documentaries on the box set dvds of a movie or TV show. As such, I found it to be an enlightening and enjoyable read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pay The Ghosts 16 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent companion piece to the novels of James Herbert. The writer Craig Cabell gives a broad history of James Herbert's working and private life providing a background to each of his novels. I certainly came away impressed with how much work went into each novel and how the author bravely admitted some works were not his finest. Herbert comes across as a determined man who strove to improve the horror genre and publishing in general. The biography ends with Nobody True but I believe there is a new updated version with a complete book list now that the great man is no longer with us. I bought this version at a bargain price but some readers may want to seek out the complete updated version. Two thirds of the book covers Herbert's life and novels while the last third features an excellent short story Extinct, a cut chapter from Sepulchre, an essay, suggested further reading and an extensive bibliography. To summarise this is a fascinating companion piece to James Herbert's novels and a worthy tribute to his legacy of work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FANTASTIC INSIGHT 14 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i just had to read this book it gives you a great insight into James Herbert's books i wonder if there are any more to be released now that he has passed away he will be sadly missed
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
As a long time fan of James Herbert i recently began a new read of all his books. Herbert began writing in the 1970s and i was interested in finding out why he wrote the books. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Malcolm
3.0 out of 5 stars It Is A Good Book, But.
I bought this by mistake, not realising it was a biography, and sadly I am not keen on biographies at all. Nothing wrong with the book, subject or author, just not for me. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jackie
1.0 out of 5 stars was really disapointed.
I thought this was a bioraphy of james but it not it just analysing all he book i ended up skipping a lot of it.It also mention photo and they was none. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Sarah Moorin
5.0 out of 5 stars biorgraphy of james herbert
I found it quite interesting to read about the real
life of james herbert as an author a very interesting
Published 20 months ago by g taylor
3.0 out of 5 stars James Herbert: Devil in the Dark
This book is a bit disappointing as it has too many references to and passages from his back list. I was expecting more of a biography but it's more of a bibliography. Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2010 by S. Mumford
4.0 out of 5 stars devils in the basement
Over the course ofthe last 8 years ive read all of herberts books
,ive loved most ,been bored only by one <magic cottage which i did enjoy on 2nd try>
We all know... Read more
Published on 4 July 2003 by 20th centuryboy England
5.0 out of 5 stars The man behind the books - at last!
At last, a biography of Herbert. But wait, this book, although part biography, is also part literary criticism and part companionwork. Read more
Published on 2 July 2003
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