cover image Burial


Graham Masterton / Author Tor Books $22.95 (382p) ISBN 978-0-3

Masterton blends horror and humor with aplomb in this gleefully gruesome second sequel to his best-known novel, The Manitou . Once again the spirit of Misquamacus, the greatest of all Indian medicine men, ventures forth from the world of the dead to avenge the near-extermination of his people. But this time the horrific wraith teams up not only with a Lovecraft-like god of the underworld (a hulking shadow complete with tentacles) but also with the spirit of a voodoo priest eager to pay back whites for their enslavement of his tribe. Against these forces, modern America writhes in agony. Chicago and New York are reduced to rubble; a man possessed by Misquamacus reaches deep into a woman's body and pulls her inside out; the Indian spirit performs the hastiest eyeball-removal seen on paper since Jerzy Kosinski's The Painted Bird. None of this is inherently funny, of course, but what gives the novel its bright comic glaze is the wisecracking narration (alternating with third-person scenes of carnage) by Harry Erskine, the charlatan clairvoyant who's taken on Misquamacus twice before. And what saves it from fatal political incorrectness, though not from soap-boxing, is Masterton's hammering home of injustices done to Indians and blacks by whites. All in all, this is a treat for horror fans enamored of steak tartare and even bloodier books. (June)