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Madman Stan and Other Stories

by Richard Laymon

      The estate of the late, great Richard Laymon gives you just what you would expect in this collection of 20 short stories: suspense, violence, sexual duress, savagery; and an unexpected twist in every story. Laymon has an indomitable sense of humor and perfect timing for his plot twists. He knows just how to raise goose-bumps. The setting and atmosphere vary from story to story, as does the pace and style of writing. The characters are well rounded and easy to identify with. Several of the stories involve adolescents and teens, and Laymon has been a master of the adolescent psyche...he lets us feel their callousness, hypersensitiveness, their sexual obsessions, and the way they interact with each other.

Some of these stories appeared earlier, but several have never been published before. The lead-off tale, The Hunt, is an intense story of a woman selected as a hunter's prey. A smart victim that does the right things. The title story, Madman Stan, is first-rate Laymon; the horrible babysitter at odds with the devious child. I was laughing out loud as I checked to make sure my door was locked. In the introduction, Laymon explains how he named the madman "Stan." It really shows you his devilish sense of humor.

As with most Laymon books, I couldn't put this one down. I kept telling myself, "Just one more story." But it didn't work that way...I just kept reading. If you aren't a Laymon fan now, this book would be a good one to start with. It will leave you wanting more.

The Book

Cemetery Dance
Hardback/Limited Edition
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The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2005
© 2005