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Posted October 10, 2006
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.
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Posted November 2, 2006