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Matinee at the Flame Paperback – October 3, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Connection Press (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892950731
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892950734
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,727,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Fahy's One Day in the Short Happy Life of Anna Banana and Other Maine Stories (1988) demonstrated that Mainer fiction could be outstanding in more modes than horror, the staple of the state's foremost litterateur, Stephen King. Not, the 22 tales in this book argue, that Fahy can't also write a good creepshow. He writes rather old-fashioned horror, though with up-to-date and even futuristic detail as needed. He prefers third-person omniscience (only three tales here have first-person narrators) and a careful buildup to a pay-off scene or event. His omniscient narrators tend to be humorously condescending toward generally less-than-sympathetic characters. No matter how gruesome the ending, each story (with one exception) evokes a satisfied smile, as a good old Weird Tales yarn or original Twilight Zone episode did. Fittingly, the title story debuted in volume 1 of Twilight Zone Magazine; such others as "Randall Rodgers Reinvented," "The Real Thing," and "Carnival," with their reversal endings, are prime TZ stuff, too. Pretty marvelous entertainment. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


I was absolutely enchanted by the stories in the book. This mix of modern fantasy and ironic, EC Comic-style horror is a masterpiece. My highest recommendation! -- Horror Review, on Matinee at the Flame

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tim Janson HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Matinee at the Flame from Overlook Connection Press was my first exposure to the work of Christopher Fahy and I certainly hope it will not be the last. It's been awhile since a collection of stories from a single writer has thrilled me as much as this book certainly did. I honestly believe that Christopher must have channeled the spirit of Rod Serling as many of these stories read like classic episodes of the Twilight Zone; Ordinary people experiencing extraordinary things, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad, but always entertaining.

The title story Matinee at the Flame is a perfect example. A story of redemption and second chances to make up for one's mistakes in life. An old man named Elmer Hutchins is hired to remove the junk from an old burlesque theatre called The Flame, that he frequented when he was a young man. Upon entering he is shocked to find the place still running but terrified when the stage managers thrusts him on stage before a packed house. As Elmer relates the bitter trials of his life, the crowd roars in amusement, laughing at him and then jeering him. What payment awaits Elmer for his humiliation? A chance to make amends. A truly heartfelt modern fantasy!

Blumberg Variations finds a Jewish man named Hymen attending an antique auction where he buys an old Ku Klux Klan robe with the intention of burning it. Yet, when he gets the robe home and tries it on, he finds it has a strange effect on a certain male organ...and organ that has been giving poor Hy and his wife trouble for some time.

The real Vlad Dracula shows up at a horror convention in Convention, intent on putting the bite on a group of female editors and their long-standing disrespect of Vlad and his kind. Hilarious!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Horror Nut on November 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm a big fan of Fahy's work. This is an excellent collection of 22 short stories.

They're very short. The 22 stories fill only 253 pages. (The limited edition hardcover has an extra story, bringing the total to 23 and adding an extra ten or so pages.)

Ten of the stories are reprints from other anthologies. The other twelve are exclusive to this collection.

The book was published by Overlook Connection. You may be able to read the title story at their website.

Also, check out the cover art by clicking on Amazon's thumbnail image at the top of this page.

There's a "Twilight Zone" or "Tales from the Crypt" feel in some of the stories. One or two of them have a touch of Harlan Ellison in them. (Fahy's "Dream Box", for me, had the feel of Ellison's "Djinn, No Chaser", though the storylines are not similar.)

Some standout stories: "Trolls", "Dream Box", "Night Watch", "The Real Thing" (from 'Santa Clues'), "Want" (from "The King is Dead: Tales of Elvis Post-mortem"), "Transformations" (from an anthology edited by Isaac Asimov), and "Randall Rodgers Reinvented" (about a man who involuntarily returns from the dead).

All of the stories are pretty good, but "Carnival", "The Man in Black", and "The Pharoah's Crown" are probably the stories I liked -least-.

I didn't fully understand "Pharoah's Crown"; "Carnival" seemed to be too long (it has an SF element but that didn't bother me); and in "The Man in Black" Fahy wrote in a style that's much different from his other writing. It's a first-person story told from the point of view of Mary Shelley, author of "Frankenstein."

If you like Fahy's collection of horror stories, you might want to try his story collections "Limerock" and "Greendgroundtown" (w/o horror stories), his horror novels "Dream House" and "Nightflyer", his thrillers "The Lyssa Syndrome" and "Breaking Point", and his mainstream novels "Chasing the Sun" and "Fever 42".
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More About the Author

Christopher Fahy is the author of collections of short stories and poetry, and
eight novels. He won the 1987 Maine Arts Commission Fiction
Competition, judged by Mary McCarthy, with his chapbook of stories, One
Day in the Short Life of Anna Banana. In 1999 he won a Grand Prize in the
International Poetry Competition sponsored by Atlanta Review. Also in
1999 he published Limerock: Maine Stories. Fever 42, a novel, was
published in 2002, and the novel Breaking Point in 2004. Fahy lives with his
wife, children's book author Davene Fahy, on the coast of Maine.

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Matinee at the Flame
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