Tuesday, October 31, 2006

More Halloween Reading - Contemporary - Ash Wednesday

Note: Ash Wednesday is now available in a new e-book edition from Crossroad Press

It's hard to imagine an eerier, more imaginative story for the Halloween season than Chet Williamson's Ash Wednesday.

I don't know why I didn't buy this book when it came out in the '80s, but somehow I passed. My bad.

I've actually wanted to read it for a while, and I've had trouble finding a copy.

A couple of years ago, while my buddy Wayne was visiting, we dropped in one of my favorite used bookstores and while we browsed horror titles -- we were in the Ws so I was probably, vainly, checking to see what they had of mine--he noticed some Chet Williamson books.

"They don't seem to have Ash Wednesday," he said. "That's a good book."

"What's it about?"

"In this small town, one day all of the people who've been killed suddenly reappear, glowing and blue, in the spot where they died."

Strange and certainly original.

I didn't go searching on ebay, but I probably should have. I've checked for it frequently in used bookstores. Hopefully it's hard to find because everyone plucks it up as soon as they see it.

I certainly did when I spotted it at last on a trip recently.

Not only is it a great ghost story, it's filled with richly drawn characters that trace the life in its fictional small town.

Look it up if you can and read it tonight between doorbell chimes.


Charles Gramlich said...

I haven't read this book but I have it. Now I'll have to dig it out. Did you ever read Williamson's "Yore Skin's jes' so soft and purty?" in Razored Saddles? Wow. A horrible story, in the absolutely best sense of the word.

cube said...

Thanks for the heads up! I'm always on the lookout for spooky stories.

Sidney said...

You're right about "Yore Skin's jes' soft and purty."

Brutal and brilliant and not the typical Chet Williamson story for sure.

Robert "Bayou Bob" Petitt shoved that book into my hands on an airplane flight once and ordered me to read that story, and I did -- my hands trembling and my face going white and not from the air travel.

Sidney said...

Cube, thanks for dropping by and hope you find a copy and enjoy what you read.

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