Collected Stories Vol 3 MOBI ↠ Collected Stories


10 thoughts on “Collected Stories Vol 3

  1. Shawn Shawn says:

    And so we reach the end the last volume of Richard Matheson's collected works 29 stories written between 1959 and 1971 with a completist's smattering of little bits published in the 1980s but reportedly written before 1971 After that he turned away from short fiction and wrote novels and screenplays This volume contains some of Matheson's most famous stories and possibly his most famous one and serves as a fitting ending as before see the monumental reviews for Collected Stories Vol 1 and Collected Stories Vol 2Those smatterings of stories I mentioned turn out to be some of the weakest stuff here in some cases probably written by Matheson and unsold well sadly not all of them only to be doled out to anthologies when a reuest came in over the next decade Till Death Do Us Part is PLAYBOY magazine filler as a man plots to kill his hideous wife using voodoo Matheson seems to have loved the idea of murder by voodoo and does a number of iterations of it in the stories in this volume the to be touched on a bit later Therese being the best of them Till Death is a pretty weak little thing misogynistic and tepid or at least the main character is The Finishing Touches is a strange hodge podge of plotting a perfect murder story and well telling you would give it away but let's just say it's not very remarkableThe Near Departed is so slight it would be hard to even call it a joke a man walks into a mortuary like one of those little blackout sketches they used to do on NIGHT GALLERY Cute but forgettable In By Appointment Only a weird variant of the classic protection racketscam is sketched out see also the aforementioned Till Death Do Us Part and Therese it's also a pretty slight story tarted up with a bit of lurid sexual description to sell it to PLAYBOYMatheson stretches some in this volume as he did in Volume 2 and so a piece like Tis The Season To Be Jelly isn't so much weak as it is not really to my taste story wise If something like a post apocalyptic hillbilly satire LIL' ABNER with radiation poisoning let's call it sounds like it's up your perverse alley go for it although reading this did make me realize that Matheson is kind of covering the same ground that Joyce Carol Oates does in her story Family although with a broader comic scope No Such Thing As Vampires while totally solid betrays the problems with twist stories once you know the twist the joy of rereading is diminished Still a kid could easily be taken by surprise on first reading this tale of a European family seemingly plagued by bloodsuckers this was adapted on the Matheson heavy Dan Curtis directed made for tv anthology DEAD OF NIGHT and can be seen starting about the 6 minute mark here and the second half is here stay for the next story Bobby as well you won't be disappointed I promiseSome solid but somewhat flawed stories are in this volume as well Deadline is the Mathesonian cute idea here involving a doctor called out on New Year's Eve to tend to a dying old man who claims to be one year old stretched a little thin Enjoyable as a single read Deus Ex Machina is Identity Paranoia Matheson in full flow a man cuts himself during his morning shave and discovers he has oil for blood but no one else seems to notice as the world grows increasingly stranger There's no logical ending for a nightmare like this situation and the author doesn't try to cram one in to his credit but that also leaves it's status as an actual satisfying story kind of hanging Shockwave is an atypical Matheson story about the last day of a giant church organ that doesn't want to be replaced Atypical because there's not much of a plot it takes place during services in the church and not even much psychological depth to the main character or to be honest the concept itself Atypical because it's mostly highly detailed description something Matheson doesn't indulge himself in very often also to his credit although it is uite fitting and well deployed here all adjectival phrasing and attempts to bring across in language the auditory phenomena occurring as a tidal wave of sound builds to a crescendo Maybe not a great story but interesting in comparison to his usual styleI loved Interest until I reached the underwhelming twist ending Again though like Deus there's almost no ending that could cap such a well written build up as a woman finds that marrying into an incredibly rich family may expose her to a strange family secret This opens with a classic uncomfortably meeting the future parents in law during dinner scene that is so tense it is freaking hilarious The story almost seems like an odd stab of Matheson writing a 1960's women's Gothic paperback scenario From Shadowed Places offers the familiar at least as old as Rudyard Kipling's The Nature Of The Beast tribal curse is placed on white interloper story seed although here it receives an interesting racial twist true to the time period it was written in as a black college professor must perform ancient ceremonies to save the racist victim Different with a well handled erotic aspect simmering throughout that never struck me as exploitativeTwo stories here I ended up reevaluating up from previous readings A man discovers his wife suddenly tastes and then smells and then feels odd to him on their First Anniversary While the twist in this one may not be fantastic the last few lines of the story really struck me this time out as both moving and deeply disturbing Similarly I found Buried Talents about a very odd gentleman who seems capable of foiling a rigged carnival game with consummate ease to be evocative and strange again no explanation is spelled out with a killer last lineThere's an entire raft of completely solid stories in this volume Tonal experiments like the comedic false history The Creeping Terror in which Los AngelesHollywood culture is discovered to be growing across the rest of America like a fungus evoking a desire for shallow movies and flashy cars and clothes during the future 1980s ironic since that's what did happen An interesting reaction to the post WWII economiccultural boom at the time of writing 1959 and structural experiments like The Jazz Machine a narrative beat flavored poem exploring Matheson's love of jazz music and another reflection on racial issues of the time well done and striking as a mad scientist invents a machine that can translate music and a jazz musician tells him why that's a bad idea I imagine some would have problems with a white guy writing in the voice of a black guy but I could care less stand alongside narrative experiments like Mantage in which a successful writer montages through his life to get to the good parts only to realize that life is all about the journey not the destination an interesting comparison between filmic and literary approaches to compressing time with a surprisingly moving ending and the dry prosaic almost Shirley Jackson esue Fingerprints a psychological tale about a long bus ride a sexually repressed spinster and her charge a deaf old lady who never stops talking with sign languageScience fictional Matheson appears here in longish Mute which was adapted on the hard to see hour long season of THE TWILIGHT ZONE as can be seen or at least started here which I should watch along with you as I've never seen it a bittersweet story of a boy girl in the TZ version who loses his family in a fire only for the local sheriff and his wife to adopt him and discover that he can't speak It's all about what is gained and what is lost in the process of enculturation the end plays like a dark inversion of THE MIRACLE WORKER and Button Button which just got made into a full length movie check Netflix despite the fact that it's a short fable like tale this is an unfortunate thing that seems to be happening to Matheson recently the upcoming film REAL STEEL looks like it deforms the original Steel see review in Volume 2 to turn it into a full length Spielbergian movie I've read heard complaints from both friends and the hipster braintrust of the Onion AV CLUB about lack of characterization in Button Button but that seems to miss the point of the approach it's a stripped down idea story presented as a parable about how humans relate to each other and how they face a moral dilemma the characterization is pretty deftly sketched through dialogue I felt Not so much depth let's say as breadth not every story needs subtext and endless unraveling despite what this generation that's too smart for its own good seems to think The 80s version of TWILIGHT ZONE also adapted this and changed the ending as well which is viewable hereDark storyteller Matheson can be found here in a number of classics Do I need to go into how great Nightmare At 20000 Feet is you know the Gremlin story? Watch the Shatnerific TWILIGHT ZONE original here and then compare it with the Lithgowian TWILIGHT ZONE THE MOVIE version here hint they're both great and then check out the in joke when Shatner and Lithgow meet on THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN Rereading this I'd forgotten about the suicidal ideation of the main character something they obviously couldn't get away with on 1960s television Day Of Reckoning is a surprisingly cruel story about an uncommunicative young boy found at the scene of a suicide who seems scared to death of everything around him It's a psychological conte cruel honestly not a form Matheson explored very oftenThe short dark tale is something Matheson excels at and four stories here are solid examples Crickets in which a man claims that the sounds of the titular insects are actually a language spelling the names of the dead is a creepy little concept just long enough to give a chill and then get out before logic collapses it Big Surprise is simplicity itself an old man tells some boys to dig in an isolated field and they'll get a big surprise you may remember it from NIGHT GALLERY a perfect example that plot logic doesn't matter in creating a creepy story if you expertly control your pacing and story size A cruel misogynist ruthlessly exploits his girlfriend's precognitive visions for blackmail cash in Girl Of My Dreams until he gets his very justly deserved desserts Not an amazing story or anything but an intensely ugly character study of a cretin This was adapted on the British anthology show JOURNEY TO THE UNKNOWN another I've never seen yet And as mentioned previously Therese is the story of a an uptight heiress who hates her debauched twin sister and plots to murder her with voodoo It was expanded slightly as a role for Karen Black in the middle segment of TRILOGY OF TERROR as Millicent Therese It's enjoyable to read a story like this just as long as the idea deserves which is to say not very long at all A lot of modern flash fiction to my mind is problematic because it seems to short circuit the part of a developing writer's mind that should be judging story length relative to idea with the understanding that some ideas are just not worth developing into stories sacrilege I know Here is a perfect example of a full but compact story told in few wordsSpeaking of TRILOGY OF TERROR here also is The Likeness of Julia adapted as Julia another nasty story in which a young man fixates on a female classmate changed in TRILOGY to his teacher eventually drugging raping and blackmailing her into unspeakable acts until the tables are turned in a twist ending This is an interesting artifact of a time when sexual matters were beginning to be loosened up for exploration in fiction but hadn't been totally opened yet so Matheson resorts to some effective eliding the sexual implications in this story were very discomfiting to me as a young reader in the late 1970s I imagine the twist in this one automatically renders it un PC in our easily offended world which can never seem to place anything in context like an adult would but then horror is ofttimes a reactionary genre riddled with bitter and unfortunate observations about the human condition that make no particular ideology happyThe three masterpieces here are Duel Prey and a personal fave the little known A Drink of WaterDuel the suspenseful made for TV adaptation of which helped start Spielberg's career watch it here is if you don't know and how could you not? the prosaic suspenseful tale of a man who passes a slow truck driverthe wrong truck driver as it turns out and gets pursued across hill and dale It's a taught terse well paced story and a total gem crafted out of simple detail plot logic and suspenseful pacingPrey adapted as Amelia in TRILOGY OF TERROR is the justifiably famous short story about a woman with an overbearing mother who buys the wrong present for her boyfriend It's a jewel in Matheson's writing crown crafted from expertly composed muscular prose it sets up the plot and then becomes pure unrelenting action until the ending short fiction as efficient delivery machine although there are some nice subtle psychological touches in Amelia and a momentary coloring of telepathy that adds to the flavor as well as a brief focus on a victim unable to conceive of the unreality of her situation hard stuff to pull offA Drink of Water what can I say about this story? It may be secretly my favorite Matheson story of them all although for very personal reasons I don't mean to be building it up it's an efficient little tale about a man who comes home late and is very thirsty only to find that the water has been shut off so he heads out to find a drink of water There's no twist no surprises no genre elements at all and that is actually why I loved and still love this story you see when I read it as a kid it taught me some things It's typical Matheson a forward driven real time plot arising out of prosaic even mundane circumstances and yet atypical as I said no twist ending and yet perfect for that When I read it at age 10 or 11 I became immediately engrossed in it carried along by the events and then was struck dumb by the ending no twist? What's the point? It finally struck me after some long thinking raised as I was on Rod Serling and O Henry etc that there didn't have to be a twist although there is a very subtle point to the tale that engrossing details of real life were just as important as genre trickery and an important backdoor into literature was opened in my mind that day Amazing controlled writing and mounting tension make the human experience fascinating thank you Mr Richard Matheson for everything you've given my life wonder excitement fear fantasy and an exemplar of short fiction writingAnd as before thanks again to my beloved sister who bought me these books and who passed away one year and 2 days ago 3 days after her 49th birthday I miss you every day and think of you even often than that

  2. Jordi Jordi says:

    I tried Matheson as I found out he wrote some of the stories that later would be showed on the twilight zone which I enjoyed as being a kiddoEven enjoying a few stories most of them are today too much old fashioned The good thing is that the author writes really well and most of the stories keep a suspense in high degree throughout the development Some stories are better than others but imho anyone a great oneYou can easily find some of the short stories in film support on the internet

  3. Phobos Phobos says:

    This collection of short horrorthriller stories is uite good It's amazing because I would start reading many of these stories and then realize they were later adapted into uite famous TV shorts or moviesThis is just one third of Richard Matheson's I Am Legend short story collection but includes the story Nightmare at 20000 Feet upon which the famous Twilight Zone episode with William ShatnerIt also includes the story Button Button which was the influence for the 80s Twilight Zone episode It will be remade this year into a Cameron Diaz movie called The BoxOne other story is Prey about a killer African doll which stalks a woman in her apartment It was later adapted as the amusing The Doll episode in Trilogy of Terror It was later famous enough to be lampooned in the Simpsons Halloween episode with the killer Krusty dollFinally this collection ends with Duel which was adapted into a Stephen Spielberg's first feature length movieThis is all to say that Matheson has had a profound effect on popular culture He's still alive at a ripe old age of 83 but he doesn't write short stories any It's too bad because many of these are uite goodThe Twilight Zone likely couldn't exist without the work of this man

  4. Jessica Jessica says:

    54 books for 2009Well I've officially read all of Matheson's short stories It's a lesson in creative writing within itself

  5. Bri (the short story guy) Bri (the short story guy) says:

    Big Surprise 4The Creeping TerrorDeadlineMantageNo Such Thing As a Vampire 3Crickets 5Day of ReckoningFirst AnniversaryFrom Shadowed PlacesNightmare at 20000 Feet 5Finger Prints 2The Likeness of JulieMuteDeus Ex MachinaGirl of My DreamsThe Jazz MachineShock WaveTis the Season To Be JellyInterestA Drink of WaterTheresePrey 5Button Button 5By Appointment OnlyThe Finishing TouchesTill Death Do Us PartThe Near DepartedBuried TalentsDuel 4

  6. Jessie Jessie says:

    Interesting collection of stories Would recommend to those who like oldie or classic mystery? Horror? A mix This author has a mixed bag of goodiesI skipped and skimmed a few I will admit but only because it was on and on talking rather than getting right to it I did enjoy uite a few of these though so I can't complain

  7. j_ay j_ay says:

    Big Surprise ooThe Creeping Terror ooDeadline ooMantage ooNo Such Thing As a Vampire ooCrickets ooDay of Reckoning ooFirst Anniversary ooFrom Shadowed Places ooNightmare at 20000 Feet oFinger Prints ooThe Likeness of Julie ooMute ooDues Ex Machina ooGirl of My Dreams ooThe Jazz Machine ooShock Wave ooTis the Season to be Jelly ooInterest ooA Drink of Water ooTherese ooPrey ooButton Button ooBy Appointment Only ooThe Finishing Touches ooTill Death Do Us Part ooThe Near Death Departed ooBuried Talents ooDuel oo

  8. Laura Leilani Laura Leilani says:

    What a fun collection These stories are mostly normal people who have something extraordinary happen They are well paced and so creative Where does a person get such bizarre ideas? Some stories may be familiar to you; there is Steven Spielberg's Duel probably the best road rage story written to date and there are all three stories from Trilogy Of Terror a great old movie collection from the 1970's Most people still remember that creepy witch doctor doll If you enjoy bizarre stories and unexpected happenings give this book a try

  9. Debra Debra says:

    Stephen King tribute to Matheson included in collection of 3 books Author discussed in chapter 9 of Danse Macabre published in 1981

  10. Slytheringirl Slytheringirl says:

    This is an excellent collection of some of Matheson's best and lesser known stories and I loved them all even the not so great ones A must have for any Matheson fan Can't wait to track down the first two volumes so I can read some of the master's works

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