A wonderful collection of tales by the horror genre’s most literate and endlessly inventive writers.
“Little Red’s Tango” incorporates a vampire story, miracle legends, a saint’s legend, an epistle, beatitudes, and jazz minutiae within a contemporary faux-gospel.
“Lapland, or Film Noir” is a journey to place of the dark, paranoid crime movies made in Los Angeles between 1948 and 1956, which Straub calls “one of the most compelling periods in American film history.”
“The Geezers” is a fascinating exercise in withholding everything that might explain what the protagonists and their friends were up to, and describing instead their reactions to the consequences of the unstated actions. It is Straub at his best.
“Donald Duck” is a surreal study of how a family can be changed irrevocably by the decisions of one reckless member.
The final tale, “Mr. Aickman’s Air Rifle” reveals itself in clever homage as Straub deliberately assumes the mantle of “a great and respected elder, with felonious intentions.” This is the first time these stories have been collected, and represent a welcome addition to the Straub’s body of work.