Horrorweenby Al Sarrantonio
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For untold ages a dark presence has shrouded the small town of Orangefield. In addition to the plentiful pumpkins that gave the town its name, Orangefield is home to the dreaded Lord of Death himself, Samhain. Despite rumors of his existence, and rare, brief sightings, Samhain has long been content to leave the local inhabitants alone. But that's about to change...
When a boy from the town disappears, detective Bill Grant is convinced Samhain is responsible. But even Grant cannot imagine the horrific extent of the Lord of Death's grand scheme. As what may prove to be the last Halloween approaches, the fate of the world will depend on the survival of a small group of people, pawns in a terrifying game of cosmic proportions.
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Sarrantonio's latest offering, Horrorween, is actually a trio of previously published novellas thinly-disguised as a novel by virtue of brief, connecting passages of conversation between Samhain, the Lord of Death, and the 'dark one'. All of the novellas concern the efforts of Samhain to offer to the 'dark one' ritualistic sacrifices from the town of Orangefield on Halloween. The first of the three stories is the best one, perhaps because of its succinctness and clarity. The remaining tales fall short of the mark, in part due to their seeming vagueness and lack of clarity, a style somewhat reminiscent of the late Charles Grant's, whose emphasis on mood and atmosphere made him an acknowledged master of that device. Sarrantonio is merely good in that area. But that first novella, in which an author suffering from writer's block also finds himself suffering from an infestation of bees and a missing wife, is quite good. By far the best of the three novellas.
The cover art to this book is great, but unfortunately the overall story is disappointing. Would not recommend this book.