Friday, February 20, 2009

Button, Button: Uncanny Stories by Richard Matheson

*Read in 2008*

Richard Matheson might just be the greatest writer you've never heard of. The author of I am Legend, Stir of Echoes, What Dreams May Come, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Hell House (a 2007 read of mine), numerous Twilight Zone episodes, etc, you'd think he'd be a household name. Instead, when he's spoken of at all it's often in relation to Stephen King, a man who names Matheson as one of his greatest inspirations.

Button, Button is a collection of pre-1970 stories by Matheson, headlined by the wonderful title piece. It's the tale of a woman who is offered $50,000 for each time she'd press a button, knowing that each time she pressed it a stranger would die. There's goofiness here too, such as 'The Creeping Terror', Matheson's take on the spreading influence of California, and Twilight Zone worthy pieces like 'No Such Thing as a Vampire', and the dated 'The Jazz Machine'.

There are great stories in the book and a small percentage of clunkers, but overall a fine collection and a solid introduction to the work of a master.



gryphondear said...

Sounds suitably creepy.

I've found another book site if you're interested.
This one seems to be more oriented toward what you read as opposed to what's physically in your library. And it's free... so far.

;^) Jan the Gryphon

Bridgett said...

I still haven't read I Am Legend. I really need to, as I've already seen the movie. I have it in my wish list for Amazon, but just haven't purchased it yet.

This book sounds deliciously creepy. Me loves creepy. :)