It includes a story about a thief, who steals an old makeup case used in old Hollywood horror stories, and who quickly discovers the makeup has the power to transform the wearer. There’s a story about a man who wakes up one morning and finds the skeleton of his wife lying next to him. There’s a great story of a small town with a unique ritual which takes place every Halloween night. And another of an old man who used to play the role of a super hero in the old serial movies, who decides to dust off his old costume in order to hunt down a serial killer. In the final story in the collection, McCammon tips his hat to Ray Bradbury with a futuristic story dystopian story of a woman who finds comfort through Bradbury’s short stories.
Most of the stories were written back in the ‘80s and first published as a collection back then. The Subterranean Press edition, which came out in 2015, includes three newer stories and are new to the book itself. The evolution of McCammon’s writing style and ability is evident when you compare those last three stories to the rest. The older ones are pretty typical of the genre back then. They’re a little unsettling or they make you feel uneasy, while the newer evoke deeper emotions. They’ve got elements of the supernatural, but they deal with the sense of loss and the emotions which accompany it. I enjoyed them all, but felt like those last three are much more indicative of the type of writer McCammon has become.
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