Blue World by Robert McCammon
***** 464 pages Pocket books
At this point in my life my favorite authors are John Shirley, F.Paul Wilson and Robert McCammon. McCammon wrote my second favorite novel of all time – Swan Song. He has written several other favorites in my collection including Mine and the weird crime classic Gone South. I had been saving two of his books for the “Right time” for years. That has included “Boy’s Life,” and his short story collection “Blue World.”
While I still have found the perfect time for the other yet, I read Blue World this last summer and I am so glad I did. McCammon is to me the genre author who has the most readable and smooth prose of any I have ever read. The pages just fly when you read his novels. I had read one or two of these short stories but I was reading most of these ten short stories for the first time. The title piece at the end is longer and I would argue that it is actually a novel. In the fifties it’s length would have been considered a novel. It is easily 60,000 words, has twenty three chapters and it feels like a novel. I Digress.
While McCammon doesn’t write traditional horror anymore, he is stillactive with historical mystery novels like “Speaks the Nightbird” which do contain macabre elements and the novel “the Five” which was genius Rock and Roll thriller. Blue World is filled with classic 80’s McCammon shorts and I loved every single page of it.
My favorite story was a Halloween classic called “He’ll come a knocking at the Door.” This perfectly wicked Halloween story would be perfect for a campfire. Other favorites included “Something Passed By,” and the opener “Yellowjacket Summer.” The classic story Nightcralwers that William Fredkin directed as an episode of the 80’s Twilight zone and the amazing “Night calls the Falcon” which celebrates old school super hero serials.
The title story is a very strong character piece that is more about people in the story than the thriller aspects. It is the story of a porn star named Debra Rocks, and the priest that falls in love with her after she comes into confessional. Father John can’t himself, but as he gets to know Debra he discovers that he not only one obsessed with the star. Someone is killing her co-stars, is she next?
There is no dud in this collection, McCammon was at the top of his horror skills in the 80’s. I am glad I finally read this one, it’s a classic, If you like short horror fiction do yourself a favor and read it.