The Los Angeles Times has published a review of WOMAN the new book by Richard Matheson. It’s a thrller about a pyschologist who takes on a mysteirous, disturbed female patient named Ganine. According to critic Jonathan Kirsch, much of the book is an examination of sexual politics but that does’t distract from the mounting sense of danger exuded by the patient, who might be either an annoying mental case, a psychotic killer, or even (possibly) a demoness.
Matheson, of course, is one of the most important writers in the history of horror and fantasy fiction. He wrote many of the classic episodes of THE TWLIGHT ZONE. He adapted his own novel THE SHRINKING MAN into the classic 1957 science-fiction film THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN. He wrote many of the Edgar Allen Poe adaptations that starred Vincent Price in the 1960s (TALES OF TERROR is perhaps the best of these). He scripted the made-for-television film DUEL, which was directed by a very young Steven Spielberg back in the early 1970s. More recently, his books WHAT DREAMS MAY COME and A STIRE OF ECHOES were adapted into films in the 1990s.
The important thing about Matheson’s fiction (as Stephen King has often pointed out) is that it was contempoary, urban, and even sub-urban; that is, he is perhaps the first author to take horror out of the the graveyard, the haunted castle, the isolated village, or the old dark house — and set it in the house next door or right across the street. Matheson’s stories read as if they could take place in your neighborhood, not in some distant fantasy land.
Matheson has churned out a ton of great fiction and entertaining screenplays in his long career; and even though his output has slowed in the last decade or so, it’s nice to see that he is still writing. I can’t wait to read his newest novel.
NOTE: Matheson will be signing WOMAN at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, on Thursday, August 4 at 7:00pm. The address is 695 E. Colorado Blvd. Call 626-449-5320 for more information