OFFBEAT by Richard Matheson. Book review

OFFBEAT by Richard Matheson, Valancourt Books 2017

Reviewed by Mario Guslandi

No introduction is necessary for Richard Matheson, a legendary author whose work has delighted millions of readers and influenced scores of writers. But when you think you have read everything by a certain author, then you suddenly realise you’re wrong. Here’s a bunch of “strange” stories penned by Matheson, previously appeared in a long forgotten, out of print collection, made again available, courtesy of American excellent small imprint Valancourt Books.

Among the thirteen stories included ( all well worth reading) I’ll choose five real gems.

“Relics” is an excellent SF tale with a touch of bitter humour, where a teacher takes her class to a
peculiar museum…with a nice surprise for the reader.

Phone Call from Across the Street” is an unusual, gripping piece based on the dialogue between a
man engaged in a shooting with the police and a mysterious, well informed caller.

“Mirror”, a sort of fairy tale for adults, features a vain woman obsessed with her look and
worried by what her mirror may display.

In the Kafkaesque “The Prisoner” a man condemned to be execute tries to prove his true identity, while the masterfully crafted ” Always Before Your Voice” portrays a spinster working in a small town post office, falling in love with a recently relocated writer with dire consequences.

Just a wonderful book. Try it.