Vintage Treasures: Mystery Walk by Robert R. McCammon
I’m still making my way through a collection of vintage paperbacks I bought a few weeks ago, which included several delightful finds, including Bruce Fergusson’s The Mace of Souls and John Deakins’s Barrow. But it was neither of those that caused me to pull the trigger on the online auction. It was the 1989 Ballantine paperback of Robert R. McCammon’s fifth novel, Mystery Walk.
I read McCammon’s 1991 novel Boy’s Life (which Bob Byrne reviewed for us here), and I loved it. It won both the Bram Stoker and World Fantasy Awards, and deservedly so. But I never went back and read any of McCammon’s earlier horror novels, including The Night Boat (1980), They Thirst (1981), or the Stoker and World Fantasy Award nominee Swan Song (1987). Or Mystery Walk, the first of McCammon’s novels to be published in hardcover.
Yeah, I know. That was an oversight. I’m trying to rectify it now. And in particular, I’m enjoying tracking down the 80s paperback editions, with their delightfully macabre covers. They’re not expensive, or particularly hard to find, and they also pack a fine dose of 80s nostalgia, especially for anyone who used to hang around the horror section at the supermarket rack.
Mystery Walk was published by Ballantine Books in October 1989. It is 419 pages, priced at $4.95. The cover is by J. Thiessen. It has been reprinted multiple times, most recently in trade paperback by Pocket Books in 2010. It is still in print.
I enjoyed those Robert McCammon novels from the 1980s. STINGER brings back fond memories.
SUBTERRANEAN PRESS has been reprinting several of McCammon’s book in nice editions.
I also envy your book scores! You got a lot of great books for a great price!
There are lots of great paperback collections that go unsold on places like eBay (and are probably then thrown out… *shudder*). If you’re interested, don’t be shy about buying a few yourself!
I’ve seen a few of the Subterranean editions, and I will definitely have to check them out. I did a brief article on THE BORDER back in 2015:
I seem to recall recommending this one to you not too long ago. Though I recommend McCammon ebooks every time I see one on sale. The premise of this one was just about as good as any of his books.
I sort of stumbled on this one while I was browsing vintage paperback lots on eBay, and couldn’t resist it.
But the one I really want to read next is SWAN SONG. Have you read that one?
Swan Song – Oh yes, I read it. Standout post-apocalyptic novel. Probably his best known work – except possibly for Boy’s Life (his best).
I think it’s also his longest book.