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Book review: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet 
3rd-Sep-2011 03:32 pm
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My "to-read" pile isn't exactly in a particular order, but I have a vague idea of when I want to get round to something. Richard Matheson's Nightmare at 20,000 Feet was due about six weeks ago but reading a story about a gremlin on an aeroplane wing while I was flying across the Atlantic didn't appeal too much so I left it for a while. I've read a lot of Matheson's novels but this is the first collection of his short stories I've tried. The title story is probably his most famous from its two Twilight Zone adaptations but there's a whole mix here, from ghost stories to dystopian futures, and ending with another story known from its TV adaptation, "Prey" (a woman is stalked through her house by a possessed doll.) I enjoyed most of them but the psychological ones are the ones I found most disturbing, like "Disappearing Act" where the narrator finds all traces of his life gradually vanishing, "Old Haunts" where a man revisits the town where he went to University 20 years earlier, "The Distributor" where a neighbourhood is turned against each other without supernatural means and "First Anniversary" where a man suddenly finds himself repulsed by his wife. "Witch War" is a particularly sinister little story while "The Children of Noah" feels like another one I must have seen adapted for the screen a number of times.
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