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This classic horror collection showcases the early career of one of the field's most influential and innovative writers. Much of Richard Matheson's work has found its way into pop culture: the title story became a memorable episode of television's The Twilight Zone, and horror aficionados reading "Prey" will immediately visualize Trilogy of Terror's Karen Black hunkered down with a butcher knife. But this collection's power lies in its wide-ranging exploration of style and subject and the literary skill that Matheson demonstrated right from the start of his career. Many of his stories were decidedly unconventional when published (most in the 1950s and early 1960s), and still have the power to shock or to satisfy with their graceful inevitability. Matheson is not primarily a monster writer: rather, he examines how we create monsters from our own fears and frailties, and sometimes become the monsters ourselves. Nightmare at 20,000 Feet is a must-have collection for Matheson fans and readers who like their horror spare, precise, and chilling. --Roz Genessee
Although Matheson (I Am Legend; Hell House; etc.) needs no introduction to most horror fans, Stephen King provides one for this collection of classic weird tales in which he appreciatively remembers his mentor's "gut-bucket short stories that were like shots of white lightning." Spanning almost half a century, the influential contents are as much a roadmap to the direction horror fiction has taken since the 1950s as to Matheson's own legacy of spare, scary chillers. In lieu of pedantic priers into the Unknown, he offers sympathetic everymen, like the husband in "First Anniversary," who finds hints of the unearthly suddenly seeping through his comfortably complacent marriage. Matheson strips away horror's traditional gothic clutter to expose ordinary landscapes that perfectly take the imprint of his characters' paranoid fixations: that life's petty annoyances are part of a universal conspiracy to drive a person mad in "Legion of Plotters," and that dangerously malfunctioning household items are channels for a man's self-destructive anger in "Mad House." The agents of horror in these stories are less often the usual supernatural bogies than malignantly endowed everyday objects, like telephones, television sets and home appliances that are all the more frightening for their ubiquity. The well-known title tale about a nervous air traveler is a showcase for the author's trademark less-is-more prose style, which suspensefully delineates a psychological tug-of-war between man and a monster that may be purely imagined. Timeless in their simplicity, these stories are also relentless in their approach to basic fears. (Feb. 9)Lifetime Achievement, Matheson has also won Edgar and Hugo awards.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
Anyone who loves scary short stories will surely enjoy this book. There are a wide variety of notable authors and quite a few stories that I will never forget.Published on May 21 2013 by Samantha K Krewulak
a great collection. matheson has a way of writing. he shows you how you can express more and be more intense with a simplistic style. Read morePublished on April 8 2003 by jan erik storebø
As I child I was a huge fan of anything scary. Twilight Zone, Night Gallery, and the "movie of the week" were my childhood thrills. Read morePublished on Jan. 23 2003 by J. Fercho
Included in this collection are twenty of Richard Matheson's best tales of horror. These stories were written some forty-fifty years ago and the fact that they still manage to... Read morePublished on April 11 2002 by K. H. ZAINAL
After reading Matheson's "I Am Legend", I picked this book up considering the awe I felt with "I Am Legend". Read morePublished on March 8 2002 by Brian Nagele
'Nightmare at 20,000 feet' intro by Stephen King is a collection of classic weird tales in which King remembers his mentor, Richard Matheson's spine tingling short stories spanning... Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2002 by Victoria Taylor Murray
This anthology belongs on the bookself of any self-proclaimed fan of horror fiction. Using a spartan writing style free of the usual tepid writing conventions that mar most of the... Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2002
Good storytelling involves a complex interplay between style and subject matter. As a writer, Richard Matheson often plays down stylistic considerations, telling his stories in a... Read morePublished on Feb. 12 2002