Sunday, July 26, 2009

Halloweenland, (Cemetery Dance), Al Sarrantonio

For years, Ray Bradbury was the undisputed master of everything that was fine and good about that darkly magical month October and its climax, Halloween. His novel “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and his short story collection “The October County” were autumnal portraits of the mystery and magic of those smoky weeks before a traditional night of tricks, treats, and the celebration of all things fantastic, phantasmic, and otherworldly.

Recently, however, prolific author Al Sarrantonio has taken up the “pumpkin mantle”, so to speak, with his wonderfully atmospheric and imagery-filled Orangefield novels, “Horrorween”, “Hallow's Eve”, and “Halloweenland”. In Orangefield, Sarrantonio created a world where it was always October, always just before Halloween, where the tang of apple cider spiced the air, the leaves wove a tapestry of brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows, where the Jack O'Lanterns always grinned with manic glee...and ominous, dark and terrible things were always afoot.

Cemetery Dance's signed, limited hardcover edition of the final chapter in Sarrantonio's Orangefield odyssey, “Halloweenland”, is a worthy addition to any collector's stash. Hardcover, artistic interior design, the stirring art of Alan M. Clark gracing the cover, it's an attractive piece, indeed. As a tale, “Halloweenland” isn't quite as powerful as its predecessors, (however, novels in the falling action of a trilogy often aren't, by nature), but for the most part, he delivers the goods again. He pulls a neat trick with the reappearance of two protagonists from former tales, and – as always - his prose is a treat to read. Sarrantonio paints portraits with words and imagery as well as anyone writing today. “Halloweenland” pays a worthy homage to a season loved by many.

This edition is limited to 1250 signed copies. Visit and purchase one before supplies run out.

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