Books by Stephen James O’Meara

Released: April 1, 2009

Squeamish readers beware. With great gusto and unwavering focus on the gory details, O'Meara kicks up his explanation of the causes and physiological effects of fear with an array of bugaboos, from vampires and ghosts to the guillotine ("SWIIISH!…A basket every time!") and the Ebola virus. Though he does claim to have seen a ghost, in general he displays a skeptical attitude toward supernatural phenomena, and his rational explanations of night noises around the house, for instance, may offer at least a crumb of comfort to timorous sorts. Kaposy illustrates several of the author's references to films and literature with black-and-white comics-style panels—breaking down Ichabod Crane's physical reactions to facing the headless horseman, showing Edgar Allen Poe gravely sticking a finger up his nose to demonstrate how embalmers in ancient Egypt removed a corpse's brains—and depicts the author himself as an eerily lipless narrator. Hilarious, informative and attractively creepy bait, particularly for reluctant readers. (Nonfiction. 10-12) Read full book review >