Scars and Other Distinguishing Marks

Richard Matheson, Author Scream/Press $20 (168p) ISBN 978-0-910489-15-7
Matheson's first book (he is the son of the well-known fantasy writer Richard Matheson) contains 27 fantasy and horror stories, nine of which are original to the collection. The brevity of the tales is their chief virtue; the punchy narrative form displays the author's wit and an almost poetic compression. But Matheson's flawsa sloppiness and laziness evinced in a lack of credibility and a tendency to the clichemilitate against the needs of the genre. Among the stories that do work well are ""Timed Exposures,'' a tale of two strangers linking up at a party, with a genuinely disturbing denouement; ``Graduation,'' about a homicidal college student; ``Where There's a Will,'' in which a man wakes to find himself buried alive, with a true horror comic-book windup; and ``Goosebumps,'' a gruesome idea nicely realized. Harry O. Morris has created photo-montage illustrations, and Stephen King and Dennis Etchison have provided introductions. (August 25)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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