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James Herbert is my favourite British novellist and is famous for his trashy shock value horror stories. I love the sleazy, raw style that he has and Herbert is never afraid to stray across the boundaries of bad taste and taboo. The paper back version of this book costs RRP £6.99, but there are plenty of copies selling on the Amazon marketplace starting from just 1p plus postage + packing. I picked up my copy in a charity shop for around 50p.
Description: "Sometimes horror is in the mind. And sometimes it's real. Telling the difference isn't always easy.
It wasn't for Joe Creed. He'd just photographed the unreal. Now he had to pay the price. Because he always thought that demons were just a joke. But the joke was on him. And it wasn't very funny. It was deadly..."
This story follows the character Joe Creed, who is a paparazzi photographer living and working in London. The type of guy who seems to get into trouble without trying, this time he gets it really bad. When photographing the funeral of an elderly celebrity he takes a shot at the wrong person and finds himself being haunted by demons seeking to undo the damage he has done.
Joe Creed is a different and unusual type of lead character, in the sense of we shouldn't really like him. He is a grimy character full of bad attitude, willing to stoop to any low to get the shot that he wants. He is not afraid to exploit people for his own personal gain. Creed is separated from his wife who he now despises, and has a son that he neglects in favour of spending his time to himself. He also likes the ladies and is a bit of an arrogant womaniser. Not the most pleasant character! However, there is something very real about Creed and you can find yourself sympathising with him and seeing his point of view even when he is being ruthless.
There are plenty of shocks and weird events even from the start of the book. James Herbert is not something for the faint-hearted to be reading. This book is in a similar vein to many of his others, including all sorts of dereanged depravities from sexual indecencies, horrific fantasies, monsters, black magic and the occult. The story has many twists and turns owing to the fact that Creed is constantly unsure of who he can trust, and this even includes himself. He is seeing things too awful to believe that they are real, but is this all a delusion or is he in real danger?
This is not the best Herbert horror that I've read, but there is plenty of craziness going on here to keep the average reader entertained, just be warned that there are explicit themes and you may not feel comfortable at times when reading this book. Was I scared by it? No. Was I grossed out? Yes, definitely!
This is my short story, which i think is on the same topic as Creed by James herbert: Four Walls The crash, followed by the immediate tinkling of pointed shards of glass, pierced the air, which at this time of night, was usually invested in a cathedral silence. The next sound was the slight cracking of the glass shards as thick boots enforced their weight on them and they were pushed deep into the thick folds of the plush carpet. The feet then moved silently over to where a solid oak box stood proudly on a teak shelf. The intruder opened the box to see the bounty of silver and gold jewelry, which boasted their wealth. Over the trespasser head, creaking boards showed that the shattered glass had roused the owner of this substantial wealth. The piercing blue eyes followed this sound until the occupant had made to the staircase. The thickset hands reached over to where a shimmering candleholder stood proudly displaying its brilliance to the world. The outsiders fingers curled around the twisted metal and held it in an overwhelming grip so that the knuckles turned white as they were raised above the head of intruder as he stealthily hid behind the door that was already opening. An old woman, around 76 years old, white as a sheet called “the police are on their way, come out and –“. The sentence was cut short as wide eyes turned up as the candleholder, once a flamboyant decoration, now acting as a brutal weapon came flying into the back of her head with a gargantuan thud. Far away in the distance, barely recognizable, there was a faint sound of a police siren. By the time the thief had made to the window, the blue and red lights lit up his face, showing the prominent features of a 36 year old, and then the rough hands of a police officer had thrown him to the ground. Derek Marsden sat on the bed in the cell he was to remain in for the rest of his life. He played back the sentence that had already been reminisced in h
is mind countless times “Derek Marsden, you have been sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2nd degree murder of Mary Boyle”. A melancholic sigh escaped the pale lips as Derek recalled his wife and children who had abandoned him as soon as they heard the somber news. He had lost so much in one insignificant burglary, which due to a moment’s loss of control had decided his fate, which was to spend the rest of his meaningless days in prison in the suburbs of London. A knock on the wrought iron door, jolted Derek from the past to the present. A narrow hatch opened at the base of the door, and a plastic plate where the only slight pleasure of the whole prison routine lay, food. Derek ate his food in silence as he had always done; other occupants became fairly social at the meal times, talking contently with the other prisoners, except for Derek. Nobody socialized with him, he didn’t mind though. He did not want to be associated with the rapists and murderers. He felt that their thoughts and feelings would infect him. He was not one of them; he had grieved over what he had done. For the first week of his arrival to the ‘coffin’, as he called it, he had not spoken a word and hardly ate a morsel. He sat there contemplating what he had done. In the tiny little cell, in which Derek sat, day after day, month after month, year after year, there was only one thing that kept him sane, the rectangular window on the back wall of the ‘tomb’. Every morning he would gaze out at nature with an indescribable longing to be among the trees, which encircled the prison. That was everybody’s dream in jail, to be free. It was only four, 5cm thick bars that prevented Derek from escaping. For the first year, that was all he could think about, getting out, making it up with his family. Now he was plunging into despair, not longing for anything. Taking it day by day that was the only way to make it through prison, but what was the point,
he would never be able to get out, what was the point in trying to survive. Every time he touched the cold metal bars, it reminded him of the candlestick holder that he had held that night. One evening lying as he always did on his mattress, staring up at the ceiling deep in sorrow and regret, he heard a small scuffling. He shrugged this off, “only the wind”; all was silent…THUMP! This sudden noise made Derek jump up out of his stupor. He stared around the tiny room; the haunting shadows from the moonlight outside sprawled across the cell, like the old woman had done when she had died. Derek paced slowly around space checking every spot where this noise could have come from. Wide eyed he lay back on his bed, closed his eyes and trying to get rid of the feeling that he was not alone. “How could somebody else be in the room, he could not get out, it’s a jail for goodness sake” Later on in the night, he woke up with a start. He sat there trying to figure out what had woken him. Then, he heard a faint sound, so faint that he could hardly hear over his own breathing. Then, it started to get louder, thump, thump, thump, he could hear another persons heartbeat getting louder and louder. Rising up from a quiet beat up to what sounded like someone beating a huge drum. Then suddenly, silence. Nothing could be heard. Then, cold fingers grabbed his shoulder. With a loud exclamation of horror Derek spun round to see the white, cold looking face of Mary Boyle. “Oh my God, How”. “Not pleased to see me” the old woman spoke softly, but with a sinister hint of pleasure at his fright. “But, but” Derek stuttered. “Your dead”. With a macabre smile, she said slowly, word by word “So are you”. There was a moment of indescribable shock as a thousand thoughts rushed through Derek’s mind. “What, how, when did I die”. “Right after you robbe
d my house and killed me”. Derek started to panic, not believing what he was hearing. “No, I can’t be dead, I am here”. The woman smiled again “Do you think this place is hell”, “Yes, course I do” he said, then paused, the thought slowly dawned on him. Patiently, the haggard, old figure spoke “What if it was… Your trial, that was not just for the murder but for your life, it was your judgement, Derek, and you lost”. Mary Boyle slowly rose up walked to the door and passed through. Derek rested his chin on his chest. “Life sentence” that’s what the judge had said, it should have been eternal sentence. Thanks for reading!
I finished reading Creed about two weeks ago, and had to read it at work as I couldnt read it at home ~ too scary! Joe Creed is an arrogant man working as an independant photographer for the newspapers in London. Whilst on a shoot, he spots a man doing an undignified act over a fresh grave, and takes some snaps. This leads him on a terrifying crusade of horror and mystery, ever knowing if the person he is trying to track down is just a weirdo or satan himself. I found this book a little hard to follow, with the his he or isnt he part being a little confusing, but it had a good ending, and was rather rude to boot!
The hero in this book is a guy called Joe Creed (hence the title) and he is portrayed by James Herbert as being a bit of a scum bag, which, as he is a fully paid up member of the paparazi is probably not that far from the truth. Now as we know these guys know all the tricks for getting the juicy bits of gossip and more importantly the photographic proof to go with it. It is this very "skill" that gets Creed into the trouble he soon finds himself in when he takes a photo of someone (or something) that he shouldnt of. Although James Herbert does try and make Creed the sort of person you dont really care what happens to I did end up feeling a bit of empathy with his plight, not only is he trying hard to deal with some seemingly supernatural happenings but he is also plunged into some interesting moral dilemas such as should he make love to a "ghostly apparition" or try and save his sons life .... all I'll say about that bit is that its a very interesting, and a strangely erotic, chapter. The story itself is quite intriguing although it does in some ways follow a similar pattern to "Others" ... or I should say "Others" follows a similar pattern to Creed as this book was published prior to "Others". Its perhaps not as bloodthirsty or gory as some of James Herberts earlier work but it certainly still has plenty of chilly spine tingling bits, it also has a couple of bits in it that wont go down too well with cat lovers, but you will have to read it to understand what I mean by that !!
I read Creed last year (so some bits of this might be inaccurate) after I'd read The Rats, The Dark and Portent. Although it's got some great horror in it, I found myself laughing at most of it - Herbert somehow managed to tie horror and comedy together. Creed is based on the paparazzi photographer Joe Creed, who while working at a funeral, he sees mysterious goings on in the graveyard after the funeral has taken place. Creed decides to investigate, and he finds himself tied up in a bizarre and dangerous group of "people" (I use the word lightly), but being kept there by deception.
Creed, a celebrity photogropher, sees something beyond his wildest expectations through the viewfinder of his camera.