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Night Terrors Jim  Murphy

Night Terrors

Jim Murphy

ISBN : 9780590453417
177 pages
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 About the Book 

NIGHT TERRORS was very Are You Afraid of the Dark? to me, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I’m sure sure it worked less when translated into words.Digger is an old gravedigger who’s collected stories over the years, except the stories he tells are all rather modern despite the fact that his personal story starts during the Great Depression and, as far as I could tell, only one story (aside from his own current story) could be called recent. I don’t know if I’d use anachronistic so much as a lack of attention to detail. Or a lack of caring about detail. It didn’t directly affect the stories themselves but it made me go uh . . . because you end up with him telling stories from what was rightly the 50s through 70s and some of what happened in them was just too modern. I don’t know. From that perspective it didn’t work.The stories themselves were okay. The one about vampires was not what I like to see in vampires (basically just humans who drink blood) and didn’t have a creepy ending at all. Actually it was fairly happy and just not a well-written vampire story in any regard. The one with the mummy was okay. Anything Egypt immediately gets my attention but I did like the way it was set-up with the son trying to one-up on his father only to have it backfire. That added an element of scare to the story. The one about being buried alive, always creepy. It’s kind of hard to mess those up because I think anyone who reads them immediately assumes getting buried alive is awful and terrifying so it really requires little work from the author to make a story like that scary. How scary it comes off and how much work the author leaves to the reader varies. The one with the time travel and witches was the most interesting, I think, and had the creepiest ending. Crazy cat lady indeed with that one. I think it was pulled off the best out of all of them.What I wasn’t too thrilled with was Digger’s portion of the stories. Most of his interludes were just personal travel stories until it got closer to the end and the dogs come into play. Or wolves. Canines. They end up killing a woman he works for and thus starts his own transformation and enter the werewolf portion of the story. Again, not thrilled with the way werewolves were handled here, just all rather light and there’s nothing to the transformation itself and he can basically flit back and forth between werewolf and human. Sure, he kills some people but only as a wolf and with no repercussions so it’s really a non-issue. I didn’t like how the book wrapped up with that. It made the ending weak.NIGHT TERRORS has a certain nostalgia about it. I could definitely see my younger self curling up with this book and reading it by the light of a pale lamp after dark but I’m not sure how much even that younger self would get out of these stories in terms of scare factor. Overall they’re rather weak and while they’re good scary story fodder that’s pretty much all they are.2.5