Read This!: Closing Time

Closing Time
By Jack Ketchum

Ketchum is probably my favorite writer today, so news that he had a new short story collection on the way was fantastic.  While the $50 price tag is far too much for the casual reader, this is a good collection.  Ketchum has written an all too brief afterword for each story.  Maybe someday we’ll see a mass market edition hit the stands.

Normally, a Ketchum collection would be full of terror and barely contained chaos.  Closing Time is a different matter, however.  The stories in this one deal with sadness and despair for the most part.  The characters feel lonely, and the hopelessness of life damn near drips off the page.  There are a few glimpses of the madness and horror in there, but they’re few and far between.  It sure doesn’t hurt that Ketchum’s prose is some of the best out there, and it shines in these stories!

Ketchum wears his heart on his sleeve for this collection.  You can sense his deep love of animals, smoking, and Greek food.  And there’s a lot of greek food in there.  AT least three stories take place in Greek restaurants.  It can be a little distracting, but still enjoyable.

Recommendation: High.  You might want to wait for a more affordable edition, but this is an excellent read.