DARKER PLACES

Richard Matheson, Author . Gauntlet $55 (0p) ISBN 978-1-887368-61-2

This cunningly wrought horror collection from master storyteller Matheson contains six early tales and an unproduced screenplay adaptation of John Saul's 1989 novel, Creature . In "Revolution," we learn that there's more in the blank stare of the animal world than mere complacency when one man becomes attuned to the surrounding fauna's radicalized proletarian message. "Puppy," a chilling tale of revenge, concerns an overbearing mother who becomes murderously jealous of her little boy's new pet, but can't seem to get rid of the darn thing, no matter how relentlessly she tries. "Cassidy's Shoes" focuses on a Broadway dancer and the haunted shoes that are just killing his feet—and perhaps him as well. The strongest piece is "Little Girl Knocking at My Door," in which a ghostly playmate slowly wins the affection—and, finally, the soul—of a young couple's daughter. This little gem is a tour de force demonstration of every creeping dread a child-in-danger tale can induce. The screenplay Creature similarly raises shudders, as the reasons that a small-town football team is just a bit too good are slowly revealed. Matheson fans and collectors should be well pleased. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/12/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
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