Adam Parfrey (April 12, 1957 – May 10, 2018) was an American journalist, editor, and the publisher of Feral House books, whose work in all three capacities frequently centered on unusual, extreme, or "forbidden" areas of knowledge. A 2010 Seattle Weekly profile stated that "what Parfrey does is publish books that explore the marginal aspects of culture. And in many cases—at least back when his interests were almost exclusively transgressive—he sheds light on subjects that society prefers to leave unexplored, carving a niche catering to those of us with an unseemly obsession with life's darkest, most depraved sides."
|Born||April 12, 1957|
New York City, U.S.
|Died||May 10, 2018 (aged 61)|
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
(m. 2006; div. 2011)
|Parent(s)||Woodrow Parfrey (father)|
Parfrey was born in New York City, but during childhood moved to Los Angeles with his parents, actor Woodrow Parfrey and Rosa Ellovich, a stage director of Jewish descent. After graduating high school, he attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, and UCLA, before dropping out to move to San Francisco, where he began a short-lived experimental magazine, IDEA. That publication folded after two issues. In 1983 he wrote and performed in a play, The Wickedest Man in the World, about Gilles de Rais, a 15th-century French serial killer of children.
That year, Parfrey moved east to Hoboken, New Jersey, and began working at New York City's Strand Bookstore. In 1984, with Kim Seltzer and Strand co-worker George Petros, Parfrey launched EXIT Magazine; he collaborated on three of the six published issues before leaving the publication in 1987.
In 1987, Parfrey co-founded Amok Press in New York with Kenneth Swezey. (Amok Press should not be confused with Amok Books, founded by Swezey's brother Stuart later that same year.) Amok Press's first title was an English translation by Joachim Neugroschel of Joseph Goebbels's 1929 novel Michael, followed by the groundbreaking and controversial Apocalypse Culture, a collection of articles, interviews, and documents that explore various marginal aspects of culture. (It has been reprinted twice: in 1990, and in 2001 by Parfrey's next imprint, Feral House.) The partnership of Parfrey and Swezey published eight books, including You Can't Win, by Jack Black, The Grand Guignol: Theatre of Fear and Terror, by Mel Gordon, and Boxcar Bertha, with an intro by Kathy Acker.
Parfrey moved back to the west coast and while living in Portland, Oregon, founded another independent imprint, Feral House, in 1989. Over the years Feral House published titles by Steven Blush, Joseph P. Farrell, Phillip Thomas Tucker, John Zerzan, Alain Saury, Jennifer Robin, John Sinclair, and others, as well as many titles Parfrey wrote or edited.
Tim Burton's bio-picture of B-movie director Ed Wood, Jr., featuring Johnny Depp in the title role, was based upon the 1991 Feral House book Nightmare of Ecstasy, a biography of Wood by Rudolf Grey.
In 2000, Apocalypse Culture II, a sequel to the 1987 book, was published. The book was widely campaigned against and has been banned in many countries. In 2005, Parfrey co-founded the independent publishing company Process Media with Jodi Wille of Dilettante Press.
Parfrey left Portland and lived in Los Angeles for a time before decamping permanently to Port Townsend, Washington, where he resided for the remainder of his life.
- Apocalypse Culture edited by Adam Parfrey (Amok Press, 1988, ISBN 0-941693-02-3)
- Rants and Incendiary Tracts edited by Bob Black and Adam Parfrey (Amok Press, 1988, ISBN 0-941693-03-1)
- The Manson File compiled by Adam Parfrey, credited to Nikolas Schreck (Amok Press, 1988, ISBN 0-941693-04-X)
- Apocalypse Culture: Revised and Expanded edited by Adam Parfrey (Amok Press, 1990, ISBN 0-922915-05-9)
- Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. by Rudolph Grey, edited by Parfrey (Feral House, 1994, ISBN 0-922915-24-5)
- Cult Rapture: Revelations of the Apocalyptic Mind by Adam Parfrey (Feral House, 1995, ISBN 0-922915-22-9)
- End Is Near!: Visions of Apocalypse, Millennium and Utopia by Stephen Jay Gould, Roger Manley, Adam Parfrey and Dalai Lama, foreword by Rebecca Hoffberger (Dilettante Press, 1998, paperback ISBN 0-9664272-7-0, 1999, hardcover ISBN 0-9664272-6-2)
- Muerte!: Death in Mexican Popular Culture by Harvey Stafford, edited by Adam Parfrey, illustrated by J. G. Posada, photographs by the ¡Alarma! Staff (Feral House, 2000, ISBN 0-922915-59-8)
- Apocalypse Culture II edited by Adam Parfrey (Feral House, 2000, ISBN 0-922915-57-1)
- Extreme Islam: Anti-American Propaganda of Muslim Fundamentalism edited by Adam Parfrey, introduction by Tamim Ansary (Feral House, 2002, ISBN 0-922915-78-4)
- Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and the Germs by Brendan Mullen, Adam Parfrey and Don Bolles (Feral House, 2002, ISBN 0-922915-70-9)
- It's a Man's World: Men's Adventure Magazines – the Postwar Pulps edited by Adam Parfrey, material by Josh Alan Friedman, Mort Künstler, David Saunders and Bill Devine (Feral House, 2003, ISBN 0-922915-81-4)
- War Is a Racket: The Anti-War Classic by America's Most Decorated General by Smedley D. Butler, with introduction by Adam Parfrey (reprinted in 2003 by Feral House, ISBN 0-922915-86-5)
- Two Thousand Formulas, Recipes, and Trade Secrets: The Classic Do-It-Yourself Book of Practical Everyday Chemistry by Harry Bennett and Adam Parfrey (Feral House, 2003, ISBN 0-922915-95-4)
- Sin-a-Rama: Sleaze Sex Paperbacks of the Sixties by B. Astrid Daley, Adam Parfrey and Lydia Lunch (Feral House, 2004, ISBN 1-932595-05-8)
- Secret Source: The Law of Attraction and Its Hermetic Influence Throughout the Ages by Maja D'Aoust, Adam Parfrey and Jodi Wille (Feral House, 2007, ISBN 978-1-934170-07-6)
- Love, Sex, Fear, Death: The Inside Story of the Process Church of Final Judgment by Timothy Wyllie, edited by Adam Parfrey (Feral House, 2009, ISBN 978-1-932595-37-6)
- Feral Man in a Feral Land: Strange Tales from the Apocalypse Culture by Adam Parfrey (Feral House, 2010, ISBN 978-1-932595-45-1)
- Ritual America: Secret Brotherhoods and Their Influence on American Society: A Visual Guide by Adam Parfrey and Craig Heinbichner (Feral House, 2012, ISBN 978-1-936239-14-6)
- Citizen Keane: The Big Lies Behind the Big Eyes by Adam Parfrey and Cletus Nelson (Feral House, 2014, ISBN 978-1-936239-95-5)
- Propaganda and the Holy Writ of the Process Church of the Final Judgement: Sex Issue, Fear Issue, Death Issue, The Gods on War by Timothy Wyllie and Adam Parfrey (Feral House, 2015, ISBN 978-1-936239-10-8)
- Winner: Independent Publisher Awards Best History Book of 2012 Silver Medal: Ritual America: Secret Brotherhoods and Their Influence on America Society, by Adam Parfrey and Craig Heimbichner
- S.W.A.T. – Deep Inside a Cop's Mind: The Soundtrack for the Next Police State (Audio CD, 1994, Label: Amphetamine Reptile Records)
- A Sordid Evening of Sonic Sorrows (Audio CD, 1997, Man's Ruin Records MR-066)
- He has also collaborated with Boyd Rice on his album Hatesville.
- Plays the voice of Lord Jehova in the reading of The Gods on War with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (The Lord Lucifer), Lydia Lunch (The Lord Satan) and Timothy Wyllie (Transcendence).
- Parfrey had a part in Crispin Glover's What Is It?.
- He published and edited Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr., which was the credited source for the Tim Burton film, Ed Wood.
- He also published American Hardcore, the credited source for the feature-length documentary of the same name.
- He published Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground, credited source for the narrative feature directed by Jonas Akerlund. Parfrey co-wrote a screenplay that was to be adapted by Sion Sono.
- Conklin, Ellis E. (November 23, 2010). "For Adam Parfrey, Publishing the Unabomber's Book Is All In a Day's Work". Seattle Weekly.
- Conklin, Ellis E., "For Adam Parfrey, Publishing the Unabomber's Book Is All In a Day's Work", Seattle Weekly, November 23, 2010
- "Adam Parfrey - Biography" on JewAge
- Roberts, Sam, "Adam Parfrey, Publisher of the Provocative, Dies at 61", The New York Times, May 14, 2018
- "Amazon.com: Michael: A Novel (9780941693004): Joseph Goebbels, Joachim Neugroschel: Books". amazon.com.
- Apocalypse Culture, A. Parfrey (ed.) (Ekaterinburg: Ultra.Kultura), 2005. ISBN 0-922915-05-9
- "You Can't Win: The Autobiography of Jack Black: Jack Black: 9780941693073: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com.
- "Amazon.com: Grand Guignol: Theatre of Fear and Terror (9780941693080): Mel Gordon: Books". amazon.com.
- "Boxcar Bertha: An Autobiography, As Told to Dr. Ben L. Reitman: Box-Car Bertha, Ben L. Reitman, Kathy Acker, Roger A. Bruns: 9780941693066: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com.
- Feral House website: About Us
- Feral House catalog at Feralhouse.com
- Nightmare of Ecstasy at Feral House website
- "Apocalypse Culture". streettech.com.
- "Process Media – Independent Book Publisher". processmediainc.com.
- Haring, Bruce (May 11, 2018). "Adam Parfrey Dies: Feral House Publisher, Author And Editor Of Forbidden Knowledge Was 61". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
- "Independent Publisher: THE Voice of the Independent Publishing Industry". Independent Publisher – feature.
- Rev. Keith A. Gordon. "Deep Inside a Cop's Mind". AllMusic.
- Al Campbell. "A Sordid Evening of Sonic Sorrows". AllMusic.
- "Boyd Rice". boydrice.com.
- "The Gods on War". Feral House.
- Agent10 (January 27, 2005). "What Is It? (2005)". IMDb.
- Tecun_Uman (September 22, 2006). "American Hardcore (2006)". IMDb.
- "Official site for Sion Sono's Lords Of Chaos". IMDb.
- Adam Parfrey. Interview(in Russian)
- adam parfrey at Disinformation, biographical sketch with quite a few links.
- Feral House's website
- Adam Parfrey biography
- Interview with Adam Parfrey at Plaza of the Mind
- "Is the Internet Good for Writers?"
- US publisher defends Brady book: BBC News
- Salon.com profile of Adam Parfrey
- Reason.com "Publishing's Feral Child"
- Mongrel Patriot Review "Feral House publisher, writer, and filmmaker Adam Parfrey"
- Seattle Weekly "For Adam Parfrey publishing the Unabomers book is all in a day's work"
- LA Times "The Publisher as Provocateur"
- LA Times "Turning Taboo into Titles"
- LA Times "No Holds Barred"
- Huffington Post "Is Adam Parfrey really the most dangerous publisher in America?"
- Adam Parfrey on IMDb