I suspect this little collection of stories will fly under the radar (the fact that it has no reviews on Goodreads as of now is a good indicator), which is a shame, as these three short tales set in the small town of Greystone Bay show McCammon working at his usual standard of excellence.
The first story, “The Red House,” is the longest and serves as the inspiration for the cover art. It reminded me of this author’s seminal work, Boy’s Life, because it is about a man looking back on his childhood and strange incidents that occurred therein. The metaphors in this one might be a little too heavy-handed for some readers, but I didn’t mind. The second story, “Doom City,” is my favorite. An apocalypse . . . or the Rapture . . . has happened. McCammon is never clear on it because the survivors don’t know. I like that — the reader’s imagination is allowed to go wild. The final story, “Beauty,” is one best left unspoiled, but I will say it is perhaps the saddest piece I’ve read by this author.
I was pleasantly surprised by this collection. It was an impulse buy, for sure, and I wasn’t expecting to finish it feeling so rewarded. In addition to the three stories, this book features a few beautiful illustrations. If you’re feeling impatient waiting for The Listener, give this a go. Out now from Cemetery Dance!