Another lot of fine Richard Matheson short tales, this collection published as a result of the 'Real Steel' movie based on the first story 'Steel', wh...moreAnother lot of fine Richard Matheson short tales, this collection published as a result of the 'Real Steel' movie based on the first story 'Steel', which I had already read in the 'Duel' collection. The unique thing about this collection is most of the stories were originally published in the 1950s bar two who were printed in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The third youngest story was printed in 1958, therefore there is a gap of 51 years between stories! I don't think there is a story collection out there with such a huge time difference. I find that quite incredible, one story written in the age of record players, the next written from the perspective of LCD TVs. Most of Matheson's 1950s are, as per usual, good to excellent but I was surprised his later two stories were also worthy additions considering much of his output in recent times has not been... well received. Just goes to show even in his 80s he's still got the touch.(less)
I get the impression Matheson tried to create another ‘What Dreams May Come’ masterstroke, with a lot of research involved as the bibliography at the...moreI get the impression Matheson tried to create another ‘What Dreams May Come’ masterstroke, with a lot of research involved as the bibliography at the end highlights. Unfortunately it doesn’t work. The narration by the author is too self conscious and becomes very annoying after a while. I’m sure this was intentional and not laziness on the part of Matheson but doesn’t make it any less grating. The story itself had some potential... I guess... but I didn’t find myself as involved as I would have liked. The setting is not something I would typically enjoy reading about but then neither was George RR Martin’s Fevre Dream, however in that case the prose was the glue that held my attention. Once again the protagonist is involved with a middle aged red haired beautiful woman, which has been something of a recurring trait in Matheson’s later books. I can only conclude this is what Matheson’s wife looks like; otherwise, it’s a puzzling pattern. Overall the book was a disappointment, not offensively so (like The Memoirs of Wild Bill Hickok) as it’s an easy, quick read and there are brief moments of interest... but not much of the wow factor associated with many of Matheson’s previous works. (less)
Brilliant collection of Matheson stories, mostly from the 1950s. Matheson’s creative peak was during the 1950s to the 70s and here it shows. Many woul...moreBrilliant collection of Matheson stories, mostly from the 1950s. Matheson’s creative peak was during the 1950s to the 70s and here it shows. Many would consider the stories ‘Sci-Fi’ than ‘Terror’ (as stated on the front cover) but ignore the fact that they are tales of terror as well. What I love about a Matheson story is his ability to evoke genuine emotion into his characters, regardless of the situation. That can be felt across all his stories here, particularly Duel, Last Days, and Trespass.
Some of the stories would be considered dated by some but is that really justifiable criticism? I mean, it’s a product of the time and he’s an author, not a real clairvoyant. As long as the stories have interesting and creative ideas who cares if he didn’t predict the I-Pad!
My favourite stories are Duel, F-, and Last Days however most in this book are top notch. (less)
*sigh* Unbelievable. Is this what Richard Matheson has reduced himself to? It becomes pretty clear early on that the real Wild Bill Hickok was the tem...more*sigh* Unbelievable. Is this what Richard Matheson has reduced himself to? It becomes pretty clear early on that the real Wild Bill Hickok was the template for Matheson's previous western 'Journal of the Gun Years' and protagonist as this book is almost a scene by scene rehash! Both are famous gunslingers whose reputation has exploded beyond their actual ability, both write diaries, both become sheriff's in small towns then move on to bigger places, both have mistresses who are red haired circus acrobats(!), both have random idiots come up to them to test their skill, both shot their deputies and have to leave their sheriff position, both can't handle their fame, both become actors on the stage about their lives, both find their mistresses are too old, both leave for a mining town to pursue riches, both develop eye problems, and both get shot in the mining town. To use Wild Bill as a character template in Journal of the Guns is fine, but to then write a sequel to the original book and use that exact same story is just fucking stupid and shows an utter contempt for one's fanbase.(less)