Baltimore: Cemetery Dance Publications, 2000. Limited Edfition. Octavo. Item #027108
534 pages. Limited to 1000 signed copies. The winner previously of three Bram Stoker awards. The author's successful run in the 1980s was due to several factors, including his writerly predilection toward excess sex and violence. Many mainstream publishers did not wish to publish his books but here Cemetery Dance Publications has bitten the bullet and produced a handsome copy of an important book. Here, Laymon takes those elements in hand, not so much abjuring them as putting them to artful use as he tells a wickedly involving story of three 16-year-olds and their life-changing encounter with the road show of the title. Unusual for Laymon, the emphasis is on atmosphere rather than action, and he sustains a note of anticipatory dread throughout, made particularly resonant through his expert handling of the social, particularly sexual, tensions among the three teens. Surely Laymon's best work in years, it has his trademark squeaky-clean yet sensual prose, high narrative drive and pitch-dark sense of humor has crafted a horror tale that's not only emotionally true but also scary but also able to bring a smile at many points. A fine bright copy bound in dark blue cloth, spine lettering silver, in fine unclipped pictorial dust jacket.