FLIGHTS OF FEAR by Graham Masterton


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 Following Fortnight of Fear (not reviewed), a second volume of 14 horror stories, few distinguished, by Britain's Masterton, who has 25 horror novels to his name. Each tale here takes the reader to a different city in Europe or the US, and each has a gripping germ that too often grows into nothing of great interest. ``Egg'' has a fabulous premise: A reclusive young Londoner finds a squeaking, fully formed human baby in the shell of his boiled breakfast egg. But from this wonderful thought (what Swift or Lewis Carroll would have done with it!), Masterton can wring only clichÇs. An American widower, in ``The Gray Madonna,'' revisits Bruges, where his wife was thrown into a canal by a nun in a gray habit. The reader soon figures out that the gray nun was actually a vengeful statue come to life, and that, unsurprisingly, she will now turn her attention to the widower. In ``J.R.E. Ponsford,'' a boy at Harrow is bullied constantly until the school's great cricket hero returns from the dead to avenge the lad. In ``Voodoo Child,'' the zombie of Jimi Hendrix returns 20 years after his death to the flat he died in, in Sussex, to recover his lost inspirational voodoo doll. Meanwhile, a Boston surgeon who specializes in organ transplants is hired by an immensely wealthy young wife to swell her sexuality with several extra vaginas (``Sex Object''); a Cliveden surgeon assembles for himself a new wife from six different women, updating her as the decades require (``Mother of Invention''); a Connecticut woman has an erectile bed that has absorbed 17 men and can service her (``Bridal Suite''); and the erotic Moroccan story ``The Jajouka Scarab'' follows the fate of a couple who discover that blistering orgasms can be gained by inserting a beetle up the male urethra during sex. A story set in San Francisco, puffed on the jacket, is not here. Too bad, since it sounds like the best.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-7278-4741-4
Page count: 309pp
Publisher: Severn House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1996


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