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Thread: Robert McCammon?
October 5th, 2008, 02:41 PM #1
I've just bought a second book by him called Blue World, which is a lauded collection of his shorter work that looked very good. I already have Swan Song and I'm considering Boy's Life as well. Has anyone read McCammon and if so what did you think of the books you read? He's also due to publish Mr. Slaughter next year, the third and final volume of a historical trilogy.
October 5th, 2008, 04:59 PM #2
I loved his work years ago when I was into horror in a big way. If a book was horror, I'd read it. No judgment at all, I just wanted my scares. McCammon was one of the better horror novelists and I read everything he wrote.
A few years back I started to re-read Boy's Life and found I didn't care for it. I put it down after a few pages and asked myself "Why did I like that so much?" It seemed juvenile and clumsy. It probably wasn't -- maybe if I hadn't read it before, it would have been okay. If I know where the story's going, I start noticing problems with the style. They might not be problems at all -- just my own personal pet peeves, like excessive adverbs, strained metaphors, clumsy foreshadowing.
I read Speaks the Nightbird, the first of the trilogy, and except for a few short sections I didn't like it at all. I thought it was padded -- way too much to'ing and fro'ing and description of mundane stuff that added nothing to the story, setting, or characterization. As historical fiction, it was just okay.
But I really do have fond memories of his books, and might try re-reading again. Could be I was just in a bad mood, or coming off off something that was really good.
October 5th, 2008, 05:16 PM #3
I went through a lot of McCammom's stuff years ago. They Thirst was a solid Vampire Tale, Wolf's Hour is probably the best werewolf novel I've ever read. Stinger is a pretty good tale of alien possession.
Usher's Passing was something of an update of Poe's Rise and Fall of the House of Usher
October 5th, 2008, 05:43 PM #4
I've read all of his books, probably my favorite author. I would very much recommend these titles, all are very good reads.
The Wolf's Hour
Speaks the Nightbird
October 5th, 2008, 05:59 PM #5
I forgot about Stinger. Now that one I did re-read and enjoyed it just as much the second time.
Forgot about Wolf's Hour too. And Bethany's Sin, Night Boat, and Mystery Walk.
October 5th, 2008, 08:25 PM #6
McCammon is a bit less popular today perhaps, but he's in the best-selling uber-respected group of horror writers that dominated the field for twenty years, including Stephen King, Peter Straub, Clive Barker and Dean Koontz (and they are all pals.) Like most of them, he likes to write a lot of different types of stories -- thrillers, dark fantasy, horror, historical, with somewhat different styles, so it's really a book by book thing. Mr. Slaughter is getting a lot of advance buzz, but I haven't read that series.
I would say that you would probably definitely like Usher's Passing, Mith, where he plays with Poe and goes Goth. My favorite more pulpy horror of his is the best-selling Bethany's Sin, a quintessential 1970's/early 1980's horror tale tackling sexual politics, suburban angst, mystical possession and, er, Amazons.
He's really good with characters, in my opinion, and a bit less the rushed, noir stylings of Barker and Koontz. Although, I haven't read all his stuff, so for all I know he's got a super noir piece somewhere.