Reviews header
The Latest in Horror Entertainment
In this issue: 9 pages of reviews, covering Film Reviews • including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Wisdom of Crocodiles Book Reviews • including Graham Masterton's anthology Manitou Man (below), The Art of Nasty, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror and Kingdom of the Blind Video Reviews • New horrors on DVD including Quatermass and the Pitand Evil Dead II TV Reviews • the first three episodes of Season 6 The X-Files
Book Review
Manitou Man: The Worlds of Graham Masterton
by Graham Masterton, Ray Clark and Matt Williams

Published by the British Fantasy Society
240 pp £7.99 p/b (+ £1.50 p+p, BFS, 2 Harwood Street, Stockport, SK4 1JJ)

selected and edited from Shivers #61

ManitoumanI must admit to being slightly reticent when asked to review Manitou Man, after remembering who Graham Masterton was. I had only ever read part of one of his books, his 1994 shocker Flesh & Blood, which was quickly set aside after an early description of a man sacrificially murdering his children proved too much for me. For someone who likes their Horror inferred rather than full 'in your face', Masterton's writing was a little hard to stomach.

However after reading Spirit Jump, the first story in this new anthology, it was the said prose which encouraged me to read on. His vivid descriptions not just of horror but of everyday scenes - like, for example, a country pub in Heroine or an antiques auction in Fairy Story - are engrossing and his unerring ability to transport the reader to the heart of the story makes for a fulfilling read.

Manitou Man is an ideal guide to Masterton's work. Although horror is perhaps what this prolific writer - who has sometimes turned out three novels a year - is best known for, he is equally at home writing Fantasy or thrillers. The collection is split into five sections, each dealing with an aspect of Masterton's writing: we have 'Myths and Legends' and 'Brutality' amongst others. Each section contains a lengthy introduction describing and exploring how Masterton has dealt with the aspect through his work, giving in-depth examples from his novels. This is followed by two short stories which illustrate the aspect being discussed. For anyone who has never read any of Mas-terton's work before these introductions give just enough to entice you to explore further, whilst the selected stories perfectly encapsulate his approach to the subjects. There's also a new interview with the man himself, and a complete bibliography of all editions of his books ever published worldwide.

Though Masterton's work never loses its power to shock, The Secret Shih-Tan is a good example and is likely to make even the most hardened reader squirm, you never feel that he uses Horror unnecessarily. After Manitou Man I am temp-ted to try reading Masterton again - perhaps I'll just skip the gory bits!

Manitou Man is available from the British Fantasy Society as a limited edition (300) signed and numbered paperback edition. The edition is signed by Masterton, Clark and Williams, as well as Bob Covington (internal illustrations), Les Edwards (cover), Peter James (introduction) and David J Howe (editor).

Cleaver Patterson