Monday, October 20, 2008

Reader's Diary #404: Robert R. McCammon: Nightcrawlers

Short Story Monday

Last Halloween I read Robert R. McCammon's "Eat Me." Until then I hadn't heard of McCammon, but I was pleasantly surprised by the little cannibalistic zombie tale. So, since Halloween is almost upon us once again, I figured I'd revisit McCammon.

This time it's Nightcrawlers, the story of Vietnam vet whose nightmares drag everyone into the horror. It would be easy to see this as an anti-war message: maybe we wouldn't be so gung-ho to send soldiers off to war if we all felt the consequences.

But, as with "Eat Me," I don't know if McCammon cares to be taken that seriously. Just in case, the narrator and probable hero, is a flag-waving patriot. So if people want to find an anti-war message, they'd best not confuse it with an anti-American one.

Yes, the flag-waving patriot is a stereotype. So is the hippie waitress. So is the cocky trooper. And to top it all off, the story takes place at a diner during a thunderstorm. Cheesy? Yes. Clichéd? Absolutely. But, like my Christmas decorations, I sometimes like cheese. It's seems to be part of the tradition.

I didn't enjoy "Nightcrawlers" as much as "Eat Me" (which was original), but it was pleasant horrific fun, like a good B movie.


Anonymous said...

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John Mutford said...

Justareadingfool: I'll probably be looking for something of McCammon's again next Halloween as well.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Oh thanks, I am heading off to read this, as I really liked Eat Me!