Tales from the Other Side
Age Range: 9 & up
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 Instead of grisly horror stories, McDonald (The Chilling Hour, 1992, etc.) specializes in psychological suspense with a supernatural twist. The eight short stories in this, his third collection, follow a similar pattern: Ordinary adolescents' mundane preoccupations lead them gradually but inevitably into some eerie dilemma from which they just barely escape by an act of will. Sometimes, overactive imagination propels the plot: School band members fixate on rumors about their band teacher; girls at a slumber party become fascinated with a long-ago scandal; a boy at a cowboy museum imagines himself into the gunfight at the O.K. Corral; a young swimmer becomes obsessed with the plight of hunted whales; a young boy dreams of being a gangster. In other stories, evil emanates from some inanimate object--a soda machine, a roadside souvenir stand, a rented tuxedo--Ö la Stephen King. The writing is competent, if a trifle pat and prissy; the protagonists have white-bread personalities, but they serve their functions as vessels for horror. The very sketchiness of the stories, in fact, gives them a kind of old- fashioned Twilight Zone quality, which is oddly appealing. Kids with an appetite for spooky stories will breeze right through this inoffensive volume. (Fiction. 9+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-525-65184-5
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 1994