Born with a Tail

The Devilish Life and Wicked Times of Anton Szandor LaVey, Founder of the Church of Satan

Coming Soon


By Doug Brod

Read by Jonathan Yen

Formats and Prices





  1. Audiobook Download (Unabridged) $27.99
  2. ebook $15.99 $20.99 CAD
  3. Hardcover $31.00 $40.00 CAD

A provocative, irreverent biography of Anton Szandor LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, BORN WITH A TAIL chronicles a time when Americans could welcome a macabre showman into their living rooms via TheTonight Show, before a ginned-up hysteria known as the Satanic Panic would put a target on his shiny, shaven head.

When Anton LaVey burst onto the San Francisco scene right before the Summer of Love, he parlayed his eerie obsessions into a philosophy and lifestyle that capitalized on a New Age rage. With his signature cape, horn-studded hood, and Ming the Merciless beard, LaVey was a media-savvy provocateur who took what he did seriously, but was always in on the joke.

From a spooky old Victorian house, he founded the Church of Satan, where young women squirmed nude on the mantel of his ritual chamber as he delivered a doctrine of self-deification and indulgence that combined the writings of Ayn Rand, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Aleister Crowley with the pulpy fictions of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard.

Later, his book The Satanic Bible (still in print since 1969) struck an ominous chord with the alienated—the fringe dwellers who were goth before there were goths. But LaVey’s influence could be felt far beyond his flock, namely in the paranormal and metaphysical entertainment that dominated pop culture in the 1970s and continues to make an impact today.

He was a musical prodigy who attracted a cluster of celebrities into his orbit, including Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Sammy Davis Jr. But living like a real-life Gomez Addams, complete with a full-grown pet lion, came at an awful price.

Deeply researched and featuring dozens of interviews, as well as recently unearthed personal correspondence, BORN WITH A TAIL: The Devilish Life and Wicked Times of Anton Szandor LaVey, Founder of the Church of Satan separates the facts from the fabrications of this uniquely American character’s extraordinary life.

On Sale
Oct 8, 2024
Hachette Audio

Doug Brod

About the Author

DOUG BROD is the former editor in chief of SPIN and TV Guide magazines and the author of They Just Seem a Little Weird: How KISS, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and Starz Remade Rock and Roll (Hachette). He has also been an editor at Entertainment Weekly and Condé Nast and has written for The New York Times, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, and Fangoria. A native New Yorker, he lives with his family in Toronto, where he is an editor at the Toronto Star.

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