THE TIGHTWAD'S CURSE by Margaret Rettich


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Twenty very short, not very scary stories, in which the menace is usually in the characters' foolish imagination. Rettich takes an amused, indulgent view of her characters, who include a little girl certain that there's a witch in the basement, a group of housewives who mistake a little boy hiding in the woods for a dangerous criminal, a grandmother spooked by night noises in her new apartment, and a phobic mother who flips out on elevators. Just as childish is a grandfather who insists on riding in the younger folks' house trailer, then gets left on the road in his nightshirt. And Rettich drives various women (mostly silly) to various states of hysteria by turning loose in their apartments a parrot, a cat, a pigeon, and a pair of rats respectively. The title story is a spooker of the camp-fire joke variety; two are mere two-page anecdotes that are even feebler jokes; and none are developed short stories. Some might provide pleasant spots of light relief between more hair-raising chillers; but as packaged there are too few shivers and too many weak jokes at the characters' expense.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1979
Publisher: Morrow