Friday, September 4, 2009

The Last Rakosh

WARNING: Spoilers to follow for the end of Rakoshi/The Tomb, so you are forewarned.

At the end of Rakoshi (known in an earlier version as The Tomb), Repairman Jack had torched the ship carrying all the rakoshi in the world – except one. The Rakosh he called Scarlip was seen heading out to sea, apparently to die with the rest of its kind. However, as we know, only iron and fire can hurt a rakosh, and water just doesn’t do the trick. I imagine most readers expected to see him turn up again.

As the story begins, Jack takes his girlfriend Gia, and her daughter Vicky to see a decrepit yet sinister travelling circus. There, Vicky is frightened by something kept in a cage, and when Jack investigates it, he sees that it is his old enemy, Scarlip, now a featured attraction of the circus. Jack realizes top ensure Vicky’s safety he must destroy the Rakosh. But his attempt to do so is thwarted by the mysterious proprietor of the circus and his other “freaks”. Before he can try again, the rakosh escapes into the wilderness of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and Jack is forced to track the rakosh through the dense forest. Soon, it becomes somewhat uncertain who is the hunter and who the hunted.

This story makes a nice little follow-up to Rakoshi, but potential purchasers should be aware of a couple of facts. First of all, you will pay hardback prices for an extremely short story, possibly too short to be called a novella. Secondly, most of the story appears in a different form as part of Wilson’s novel All The Rage, so if you’ve read that, it will seem very familiar.

Still, it is a handsome little volume, courtesy of Overlook Press, and an interesting tale. This is probably a must-have for avid Wilson/Repairman Jack fans, although the brevity at this price will disappoint many.

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