Robert McCammon is one of my favorite authors. In fact, he is tied with Stephen King as my favorite author of all time. Over the years, he has consistently pleased, terrified and wowed me with his terrific writing. The genre of the story makes no difference, (he has written horror novels, mysteries, thrillers and historical fiction among others), the novels, short stories and novellas like I Travel by Night are all fantastic and feature complicated characters that you really care about.
One of his publishers said: "Think Robert R. McCammon is simply out to scare the living daylights out of you? Think again. "'I want to tell a human story about a person's journey through a forbidding or threatening world," says McCammon. In other words, while gore and horror might weigh heavily in his work, the real story, the one that is always in desperate need of telling, is a personal one. McCammon wants readers to connect with the inner lives of his characters. ' " (Credit: Open Road Integrated Media, http://www.openroadmedia.com/robert-mccammon)
My favorite Robert McCammon book is Boy's Life. This is not a horror book at all. It's a coming of age tale that will make you feel young again. My favorite quote of all time comes directly from this book:
“See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God's sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they'd allowed to wither in themselves.”
If you're not reading Robert McCammon because you think he writes scary, gory books, (and he does, but he's so much more than that), you could try one of his historical fiction novels featuring his character Matthew Corbett. The first one is Speaks the Nightbird. This series takes place starting in 1699 and it continues on into the early 1700's and the new state of New York. There are currently 4 books in this series and the next book in the series, River of Souls is due out this year.
Another contemporary novel you might be interested in is The Five. This story follows a band on the road (The Five), for what looks like what will be their last tour together. There are some horrific elements to this novel, but its spirit is uniquely its own. If you love music and have any interest in how bands write songs and most importantly, how those songs affect people, this is the book for you. (We are reading The Five this month in the Robert McCammon group at Goodreads. If you are interested in joining us we would be ecstatic to have you, just click here to join: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/67667 )
Lastly, if you do enjoy horror, and I have to imagine some of you do if you're following this blog, you have a plethora of books to choose from. The Wolf's Hour is a great place to start. This book features a werewolf spy during WWII, named Michael Gallatin. The movie rights have recently been purchased and it will be exciting to see something from Robert McCammon on the big screen, if everything works out. And if you like The Wolf's Hour, you can then move on to Hunter From the Woods, which contains short stories and novellas concerning Michael Gallatin's time with his "pack" and also his time after the events in The Wolf's Hour.
If you like Edgar Allan Poe then Usher's Passing might be the book for you. Based and building on E.A. Poe's story The Fall of the House of Usher. Creating an entire family, from the insufferable patriarch down to the model/drug addict daughter, Mr. McCammon sucks you in and is full of surprises from start to finish.
To wind this up I'm just trying to say that Robert McCammon has something for everyone. Even crossing genre lines, Mr. McCammon is reliable as a writer that creates wonderful, memorable characters that will never leave you. Be they from a horror novel like Stinger, a coming of age novel like Boy's Life or an historical fiction novel like Speaks the Nightbird, it doesn't matter..the characters are fantastic. Cory Mackenson from Boy's Life will always be a part of my life. Let him become a part of your life too!