Unholy Tales by Tod Robbins with and introduction by Johnny Mains
Hardcover – Tartarus Press – 2020 – 262 pages
Clarence Aaron Robbins (1888-1949), often credited as C. A. Robbins, but better known as Tod Robbins, was an American author of horror and mystery fiction. His posthumous and popular reputation is based on the short story ‘Spurs’ (1923), which Tod Browning used as the basis for Freaks (1932), a controversial film that suffered from censorship and bans, but which developed a cult following. Robbins’ novel The Unholy Three (1917) was also adapted for the screen, first in a silent version directed by Tod Browning (1925) and later in a sound version directed by Jack Conway (1930).
Tod Robbins’ short stories and novels, appealed to contemporary readers due to their bizarre and frightening plots. Some of his extravagent mysteries are rationalised, but in other work the supernatural is allowed full reign.
This new selection of the curious work of Tod Robbins contains an insightful Introduction by Johnny Mains, who offers new information about an author who wrote for commercial markets, but also impressed discerning critics, like E. F. Bleiler.