Well, Tor.com has actually formalized the whole “Wednesday is Prince Spaghetti Day” thing, noting today that, “Every Tuesday, Matthew R. Bradley takes us through the career of Richard Matheson,” and sure enough, there’s my latest post, devoted to Hell House. The funny thing is, it didn’t start out to be that formal; it was just going to be, as I called it, “A Series of Irregular (Sometimes Highly Irregular) Posts,” with no particular scheme or structure. Yet I’ve spent so many years trying to explicate Richard’s film and television oeuvre within the context of his overall career that I think my mind just naturally works that way, and structure came unbidden.
When I started the “Richard Matheson—Storyteller” series, my main concern initially was that I not simply regurgitate big chunks of the book, and only partly because I feared that McFarland might object. I don’t mind if the posts seem like a great big ad for the book, yet I’d like to feel that those who will read the book might enjoy them in their own right, so without reinventing the wheel, I have tried to write each one mostly from scratch, to use a somewhat less academic tone, and to throw in some tidbits that didn’t make it into the book. Meanwhile, as noted, John Scoleri has been writing a series of parallel posts for the bare•bones e-zine, and in his latest installment of “Richard Matheson—The Original Stories,” he calls my book “exhaustive and indispensable.”
But, in the immortal words of Al Jolson, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet, because the first honest-to-God review of Richard Matheson on Screen, promised a few weeks ago by John Kenneth Muir, is in, and if I may say so myself, it’s a humdinger. Man, I’m not even gonna TRY to appear cool and professional about this, because I am so stoked it’s not even funny, not only because he liked the book (obviously), but also because he so completely got what I was going for, letting Richard tell as much of the story as possible in his own words, preferably (but not necessarily) said to me. Tempting as it is to quote the whole damn thing in its entirety, I’ll restrict myself to a few gems:
“Bradley is resolutely the right man for this task. Without relying on hyperbole, without resorting to blind praise, Bradley carefully and patiently charts [Matheson’s] multi-decade film and television contributions…Because of Bradley’s attention to detail and straight-forward, informative writing style, [this] is a work of solid scholarship, and more than that, a compelling window on a one-in-a-million career….Bradley is excellent with words and with organizing his material, but he never makes the book about him [Hey, there’s a switch!]; or how he turns a sentence. He willfully keeps out of the limelight and at the same time weaves an extremely thoroughly [sic], extremely involving narrative. His writing is crisp and clear. He’s a good guide.”
Well, that’s enough. You can read the rest for yourself. STOKED! Bradley out…on Cloud 9.