BOOK REVIEW - BLOCH, ROBERT – THE BOGEYMAN WILL GET YOU in THE SKULL OF THE MARQUIS DE SADE. 1965 Pyramid Books.
A well brought up polite decent mid west American girl has taken a fancy to a young man who she has a crush on. She flutters her eyes at him, and he decides that he wants to date her. He seems a good decent sort. He even comes to ask permission from her parents to take her out. They agree that he may as long as he brings her home before midnight. He promises to do so. So far, this seems like a straightforward romantic mush tale, but things go wrong from the start. The girl puts her prettiest dress on and waits for her date. He arrives on time, but only to tell her that he can’t take her out. She is offered no explanation for why he has jilted her, and she is naturally upset. As he walks away, a giant bat flies close to the girl. She frets about his sudden hate for her and starts to think about him. The bat was strange, and she has only ever seen him after dark. She decides to break into his house to investigate further. She finds the house devoid of mirrors. She concludes that the boy is actually a vampire. She confides the information to her best friend, who unfortunately finds it funny, and tells the boy all about it. The girl comes home one evening to find the boy laughing with her parents as he tells them about their daughter’s absurd theories about vampires. He even shows them a mirror and that his reflection is plainly visible. She runs away in considerable distress, feeling betrayed and also foolish. After all, he clearly can’t be a vampire. She agrees to tale a walk with the boy, to explain her and offer apologies, and hopefully rekindle a relationship. Only now does she realise her mistake as he begins to change into something inhuman. He isn’t a vampire, but he is a werewolf…. The ending isn’t too much of a surprise. Few would doubt that he would be some kind of monster, but it is nevertheless well written. The vampire bat is something of a red herring though.
© Copyright. Arthur Chappell
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