Robert R. McCammon

Usher's Passing

Usher's Passing an excellent novel taking Poe's short story as its genesis and expanding it into something else entirely, with a member of the Usher family being drawn back under the wing of his family and trying to discover the secrets behind its existence. The family runs successful munitions company and is ruled over by the fading Whalen Usher, the owner of a mysterious sceptre passed down through the family for generations, and his death brings the children together in a clash over who takes over. All the while the story of the Pumpkin Man runs in the background, a fiend who steals children from the nearby settlements, and his giant panther Greediguts. The opening chapters of the novel are confusing, but the plot threads are soon drawn together and weave into a far greater tapestry. There is a real thread of tension that carries all the way to the exceptional ending, where the real truth, rather than the partial truths revealed up until then, are exposed.

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