The poems range in size from a three-line ditty to one long poem that goes on for more than twenty pages. Most poems take up a single page and are loosely grouped by topic: Trick or Treat, Pumpkins, The Season, Ghoulies, Ghosties, etc. They range in tone from light and full of whimsy to dark and bloody. Most, I would say, lean slightly toward the lighter end of the spectrum.
I don’t want to systematically go through all the poems and deconstruct them in this review, so I’ll simply say that the half-dozen by Lansdale clearly stand out head and shoulders above most of the rest (the man truly has a gift for words), so these are my favorites along with the one long poem, “Cap’n Hook,” by Bradley Denton.
I can see myself returning to this one during the Halloween season, so I heartily recommend it to those who love Halloween as a holiday as well as those who would enjoy a lyrical (and slightly whimsical) treatment of horror. Good stuff. I give it 4 stars out of 5.
Full disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program in exchange for a review. This has not influenced my review in any way.
Review copyright 2010 J. Andrew Byers