Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Reading Report

 I did a good bit of reading over the weekend, mostly in the form of short stories. Still enjoying the adventures of Sexton Blake in various collections. Have a couple more volumes of Blake stories on the way. I'll try to do a post soon on some of my favorites so far.
   I also read Peter Brandvold's novella The Canyon (written under his pen name, Frank Leslie) which is a horror Western that features series character Yakima Henry. I've read a couple of Brandvold's other 'weird westerns' Bad Wind Blowing and Ghost Colts, and found him to be a good horror writer. The Canyon is another strong entry, though the ending may surprise fans of Yakima Henry.
   I picked up a collection of short stories by Charles Beaumont, who wrote one of my favorite episodes of the original Twilight Zone, The Howling Man. That story gives this collection its title, but there are many other gems in the book. Beaumont was one of those writers who, like Joseph Payne Brennan, seemed to be a fountain of original ideas. Writers like Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and Richard Matheson all praise Beaumont's abilities. Having read about half the stories in the book now, I can see why. Amazing stuff.
   Still not finding much on the novel front to hold my attention, so short stories and non fiction are filling the reading maw for now. I've got a couple of books that I'm holding onto for a rainy day, and that day may come soon.


Paul R. McNamee said...

I just added that Beaumont collection to my wishlist after reading one of his tales last month!

Keith said...

Paul and Charles, I can't recommend Beaumont enough. He was one of the masters of the short fantasy form and deserves to be better remembered. I managed to track down all of his original collections when I was in high school and college after reading The Best of Beaumont when it was published in the early 80s. For what it's worth, The Howling Man is probably a better selection of his work, but both are great collections.

I'd been planning to spend a great deal of the holidays immersing myself in some great short fiction, namely Kuttner and Bradbury. The two of you mentioning Beaumont in your posts reminded me of how long it's been since I've read him. Got to put his name on the reading list.