Thursday, July 30, 2009


Triage is three novellas built around a single premise: A woman receives a phone call at her place of work “I’m coming to get you” and then a man comes in and starts shooting everyone. Each story has a different, top-of-the-line author, the late Richard Laymon, Edward Lee, and Jack Ketchum. Any one of those names is good enough to persuade me to buy a book, so all three together had me very eager to read it, even though the reviews I had read were mostly negative.

The first story, Laymon’s, was the most straight-forward in its execution. I would call it good, solid Laymon, nothing spectacular by his standards, but certainly well worth reading, with a typical Laymon twist in the middle.

The longest story was Edward Lee’s, which surprisingly used a science fiction setting, which also made it the widest deviation of the three from what is expected. I started out irritated at this. I was looking to read a horror story, not science fiction, but I was won over by the end. Edward Lee is an inventive writer, and uses the science fiction milieu for a bit of social commentary, well in keeping with science fiction traditions. The reveal at the end will probably delight some readers and annoy others, but I liked it.

Jack Ketchum’s story is the last and shortest, and he, too plays around with the format somewhat. This is one of his Stroup stories, and adventure of his hard-to-like recurring character. I thought the story was more of a character vignette than a full-fledged story, but Ketchum’s gift is characterization, and this is a good example of his talents.

So my verdict is to ignore any harsh reviews, and if you like Ketchum, Lee or Laymon (and who doesn’t?) pick up Triage.


Jim Mcleod said...

I watched this a while back when it first came out on DVD over here. Didn't get to the end of it, really disappointed with it

KentAllard said...

Unless you guys are getting your books on DVD in the UK, I think you commented on the wrong post. :-)