More a series of vignettes than a structured story, this novella elaborates one of horror maven Barker’s favorite themes: the close proximity of the human and the monstrous. Executed murderer Tom Requiem is resurrected by agents of the Underland to lead the titular parade, which will “send some fears into the hearts of men.” Over the next five chapters, Requiem expands his entourage to include the person he murdered, a homicidal golem, a gaggle of circus freaks, a mythical monster known as the Sabbaticus, and a young woman tortured to death in an iron maiden. Several of these chapters have only a tenuous connection to the frame narrative. Barker draws the reader in by giving his horrors a human dimension and describing them with his usual cinematic vividness. Hardcore Barker fans will snap this title up. (Mar.)
This review has been corrected; an earlier version mistakenly attributed cover and interior illustrations to the author, rather than to the correct illustrator, Bob Eggleton.