ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS: THE MASTER'S CHOICE by Alfred--Ed. Hitchcock

ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS: THE MASTER'S CHOICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Variety, rather than topnotch quality, is the hallmark here, with stories of voodoo, ghostly hounds, soul-exchange, time-travel, Caribbean smuggling, melodramatic revenge, visitors from outer space, domestic murder--and none of them more than barely competent, many quite dated. There are a few famous names, however--a gruesome tittle crime-anecdote from John D. MacDonald, Ross Macdonald's much-anthologized ""Gone Girl,"" and a long swatch of straight kidnap-suspense from Charlotte Armstrong. Plus: one story that actually does read like a classic Hitchcock half-hour TV-er (John Collier's ""De Mortuis""); an anti-Soviet horror short by Michael Gilbert; so-so cleverness from Lawrence Block; the usual spate of psycho-crime diaries; and, for those who like Rosemary's-Baby-style horror, a zesty treatment by Richard Matheson (featuring that memorable line: ""Ann has a Martian in her womb""). But out of 27, the only real winners here are two comic tours de force, Warner Law's ""The Alarming Letters from Scottsdale"" (mystery writer surrenders Ms typewriter to his remarkable dog) and Ray Russell's ""Evil Star,"" which has absolutely no connection to crime, mystery, or the supernatural; it's merely one of the funniest send-ups of literary warfare ever written, cast in the form of a lawyer's warning letter to a writer about to publish a hatchet job on a rival writer. (""To add, as you do, that Bream is 'a conceited pig' not fit to 'empty the bedpans' of Tolstoy, et al., is painting the lily, as well as flirting with litigation."") A generous but lackluster serving, with a couple of worth-the-price delights.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Random House