Gorog frames her 11 horror stories with an explicit (second-person) invitation to her audience, urging them to visit the art exhibit at the Gallery Pitu, where the paintings magically draw viewers into the worlds they portray. Included in this rather disparate assortment is a lesson in the laws of fate, set in ancient Damascus; a turn-of-the-century Halloween party where something goes very wrong with a mummy costume; and a coffee-maker that takes over the life of a children's book writer. In another story (narrated, like the framing device, in the second person) the reader is put in the shoes of a character who captures criminals with the help of his grandmother. As intriguing as the idea of Gorog's interactive picture gallery is, it never lives up to its potential. Many of the stories read like sketches, straining for plot twists and suffering from a lack of structure. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
This collection of 11 atmospheric short stories will please lovers of the bizarre. A talking coffeepot becomes overbearing and rules the life of an author of children's books. A listening house recalls the tragic sounds of a violent crash on a nearby highway, and it repeats those sounds for each new occupant. In another house, rented for a year by a university family, strange events occur to victimize the innocent renters, leading to accusations by the police. A teen becomes a successful disc jockey, only to discover that his very thoughts are broadcast on his program. A phantom car plays guardian angel to a small town, then drives off with a troubled youth. All the tales have their starting point in a strange interactive art exhibit--touching an exhibit propels the reader into another tale of horror, yet the reader always returns to the gallery unharmed. Although the book provides a comfortable way for the younger YA to explore the eerie, it will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.