Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Last Night of October - by Greg Chapman - A fresh Halloween

4 of 5 Stars

I am a fan of Halloween.  If you know me, or have ever read this blog before, this should really come as no surprise.  I think a big part of my affinity for the holiday is the chance to be someone or something else, if only for a few hours.

Then there's the dark side of Halloween.  One night a year when it's acceptable to revel in scaring and being scared.  Yep, I love Halloween.

Enter Greg Chapman, an Austalian artist and Horror writer, who grew up in a world without Halloween.  It's true, in Australia, Halloween just never caught on. No trick-or-treating, no costumes, no Halloween.  But, Greg's a horror writer and since Halloween is nearly synonymous with Horror, he's done his homework and the result is this gem of a novella about events that took place and continue to take place on The Last Night of October.

As with all good stories, this one starts with an opening line that draws you right in.  "Every Halloween, Gerald Forsyth's worst fear would come a-knocking."  The Last Night of October  is about friendship, survival, making choices and living with the consequences of those choices.

For someone who didn't grow up with the Halloween traditions, the author does an exceptional job of capturing the feel of the holiday. "Through the lace curtains over the front windows Gerald could see children, dressed as ghosts, zombies and princesses.  Pumpkins, mutilated, yet smiling, sat on porches; gatekeepers to the underworld.  People were laughing and frolicking, filling the children's baskets and bags with sugary junk, while others waited gleefully for the chance to open their doors to complete strangers."

The Last Night of October is available as a Trade Paperback and as an e-book from Bad Moon Books.

Highly recommended.

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