Friday, November 16, 2012

In the Tall Grass - by Stephen King and Joe Hill - Scary doings in the middle of Kansas

4 of 5 Stars

Stephen King, certainly knows a thing or two about writing a horror story and his son, Joe Hill, is rapidly making a name for himself in the horror genre.

The first time father and son worked together, the result was Throttle, inspired by Richard Matheson's classic Duel, which also went on to be Road Rage, a graphic novel series from IDW.

This time the two writers united for In the Tall Grass.  Cal and Becky DeMuth were born nineteen months apart and were so close, their parents called them Irish Twins.  While in her freshman year at college, Becky winds up pregnant and the two set off on a cross country trip to their parents on the West Coast.

Crossing Kansas, they go through an area where the grass is higher than an elephant's thigh.  As high as seven feet.  When they hear the voice of a young child crying, "Help! Please help me!" And: "I'm lost!", they decide to stop and investigate.  Worst. Decision. Ever.

By now the reader has a pretty good idea where this is headed.  To bad Cal and Becky don't.  There are clues like the name of the roadside church, Black Rock of the Redeemer, the fact that there are a number of dusty cars in the church's parking lot, and the voice of the child's mother warning them not to attempt a rescue, but in they go and what follows is terrifying fun for the reader.

Along with a nice, original story, you get one very good limerick and for me, I actually learned a new word. "illimitable", which means "incapable of being limited or bounded." 

In the Tall Grass was originally published in two parts in the June/July and August 2012 issues of Esquire magazine and is available now as an e-book from a variety of sources. 

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