James Herbert's classic horror writing peaked in popularity in Great Britain in the late 1970s and stayed that way until the mid to late 1980s. Of course, the breakthrough for James Herbert was "THE RATS".
The big name in the business as James Herbert began to grow in stature was Stephen King, and as Herbert's star waned, so rose the star of Clive Barker.
Comparisons then are sometimes made between the three, and in fact if this is done, despite the global prominence of Stephen King and the sucess of at least one of Clive barker's novels as a film, James Herbert does come out on top.
As no less a commentator than former Booker Prize judge and critic of some thirty years of standing Stuart Kelly noted to me, James Herbert was:
"... more daring than Stephen King, and not as obsessively nasty as Clive Barker."
An ideal combination, and faithful description of the one whom many horror fans still rightly call: THE MASTER.
When it came to his own ambition to take on the United States and Stephen King - - which both amounted in effect to the same thing - - James Herbert wrote the novel Shrine, whcih was something of a departure for him, and which consciously seemed to emulate KIng's style in several respects.
Shrine wasn't a great sucess in the United Kingdom, but it was eventually made into a film, having taken 35 years to eventually leap that hurdle.