The Horror Honeys: Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub ~ Blue World

Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub ~ Blue World

A Book of the Week Review by Jocelyn

Blue World – Robert McCammon 

Truly one of the pleasures of adulthood is being able to buy your lost childhood favorites all over again.  Although I have a stack of much loved paperbacks with Robert McCammon well represented, somehow I had misplaced this particular title, so when I saw “Blue World” on the shelf at Bucket O’Blood Books in Chicago on a recent visit, it called to me.

McCammon has always been of interest to me because I never understood (and still don’t) why his work seemed to be so much less recognized and popular than, say, a Stephen King.  Their styles are similar and their ideas often equally creepy.  Is it luck?  Publishing issues?  A lack of marketing?  Whatever it is, it’s a crying shame, because “Swan Song” certainly rivals “The Stand” in apocalyptic fiction and re-readability, and several of the short stories in this week’s Hardcover Honey Book of the Week would stand up to any of King’s best stories as well.  Yet on Twitter, King boasts 570,000 followers while McCammon has fewer than 3,000.  And some of his books are out of print while King’s remain easily available.  How can we rectify this situation?  Maybe a good start would be for me to tell you why you should read “Blue World” (and then move on to his other works).  This creepy collection will take you back to your days in front of “Tales from the Crypt” or “The Twilight Zone” – several of them are ridiculously cinematic even now, and would be terrifically tight 90 minute features if optioned by the right party.  I mean, take a look at some of these stories!

In Yellowjacket Summer, a road-tripping mom and her two kids stumble upon a hick town where the bees are thick this year – and where everybody seems to be scared of a small boy with some…..quirks.

Makeup introduces us to a petty thief who mistakenly steals the wrong makeup case from a museum of Hollywood memorabilia, and when it comes to the special effects, he and his friends pay the price.

Young husband Brad wakes up in bed next to his dead wife Sarah after a night of nightmares in Doom City.  And upon waking, he finds his nightmares are just beginning.  This one had that dreamlike eerie quality I so love in my reading.  Hard to find, hard to do, but when it works, boy howdy does it make your skin crawl!

We are back in a small town for Nightcrawlers in which a veteran soldier brings his trauma home to roost.  I can’t for the life of me understand why this one was never an episode of, say, Tales from the Crypt or Tales from the Darkside.

Pin is the story I remembered best from my childhood and once you read it, you won’t forget it either.  I don’t want to spoil this one for you.  I think this was actually made into a movie starring the original Stepfather, Terry O’Quinn, but I have been unable to find it on DVD or streaming as of yet.  And do I really want to??

In He’ll Come Knocking at Your Door, McCammon gives any of Stephen King’s Maine towns a run for their money, as the happy and #blessed (haha) residents must pay a very specific price every Halloween for their happiness.  What happens when the new neighbors don’t know the tradition?

Night Calls the Green Falcon would have made a very parental advisory episode of Amazing Stories, as washed-up serial star Cray Flint puts his old Green Falcon costume on in order to avenge the murder of a friend.  This one reminded me of being in middle school and staring fascinated at “Angel” (“she’s a schoolgirl by day, hooker by night!”) – tons of memorable characters and a great cliffhanger feel.

In Something Passed By, gasoline is drinkable, water makes people explode, and everything is about as off-kilter as it can possibly be.  How do people live in this new world??

The final portion of the book is taken up by the novella Blue World, in which Father John Lancaster finds himself obsessed with porn star Debra Rocks and gets involved in her life in all kinds of non-priestly ways. Unfortunately, he is not the only one obsessed with Debra.  In this one, McCammon has Big Things to say about faith, humanity, and obsession.  It would make a kick-ass David Fincher movie.
Author, Robert R McCammon

If you haven’t read any Robert McCammon yet, well, first off, shame on you – and second, what are you waiting for?  Pick up a copy of Blue World today and discover a new old favorite!

The verdict: 4 out of 5 sharp little pins for this collection