MIDNIGHT SPECIALS: An Anthology for Train Buffs and Suspense Aficionados by Bill--Ed. Pronzini
Kirkus Star

MIDNIGHT SPECIALS: An Anthology for Train Buffs and Suspense Aficionados

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Toughie Pronzini turns out to be a softie in his warm, enthusing prefaces, but--more importantly--he's a great anthologist, and this, from engine to caboose, is a great anthology. A pinch of the classics--Dickens' ""The Signal-Man,"" Wm. P. McGivern's ""Sound of Murder,"" and Simenon's ""Maigret Deduces"" (the latter two on European expresses)--clears the way for less expected runs. Twain, Wharton, Alfred Noyes: non-suspense folks in deliciously dark frames of mind. A vanishing train from Ellery Queen, a hell-bound one from Robert Bloch, a locked caboose from Edward D. Hoch, and, best of all (though Cornell Woolrich might not be ""the acknowledged king of suspense fiction""), ""The Phantom of the Subway."" Nine others almost as fine cover over a hundred years of railroad history and the gamut of sub-genres. Hobohemia from James M. Cain and Harold Schoenfeld seem least satisfactory, along with hand-me-down Ambler from Harold Lamb. Added treat: an utterly unnecessary, now-indispensable bibliography of trainsuspense stories, novels, nonfiction, and films, with asterisks marking Pronzini favorites. Clear all tracks for the Midnight Specials.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1977
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill