Anthony's Reviews > Road Rage: Two Novellas

Road Rage by Richard Matheson
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Feb 18, 11

bookshelves: short-story-collections
Read in May, 2009

As the press release says, this collection of two "novelettes" (I'm not sure when that became an official publishing term, but I've seen it three times now in the past two months) brings together one of Richard Matheson's classic short stories and a new Stephen King / Joe Hill (father and son, if you didn't know) collaboration. The stories share the title theme, yes, but even more specifically they share an antagonist: a lumbering truck on a lonely stretch of highway.

Not the same truck, of course. If King and Hill had somehow pulled the faceless truck-driver of "Duel" into their own story, I think I'd have been annoyed and disappointed no matter how cleverly they did it. The stories have different trucks (and faceless, but not necessarily nameless in the King/Hill piece, drivers) as antagonists, and they have different pacing as well. The Matheson story starts with a surge of gas and keeps going to the final, inevitable, explosive scene. The King/Hill story starts slower, letting us get to know the main characters a bit more and understanding what brings them to the point where they find themselves fighting a trucker for their very lives.

I listened to this on cd, read by Stephen Lang. I haven't read either of these stories in print form, although I would like to. While both stories are engrossing, Lang's voice on the Matheson story seems forced, drawn out, somehow wrong for the intensity of the story; his work on the King/Hill story fits much smoother.

It's only available on cd at the moment according to Amazon. I highly recommend it even with my reservations about the reading of the first story.
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