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Month in review

Reviews:
Alphabet Adventure by Audrey Wood
The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr
Angels of Interstate 29 by Donald James Parker
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
Beyond Another Door by Sonia Levitin
The Boy Who Would Live Forever by Frederik Pohl
Chiggers by Hope Larson
Choosing to Be by Kat Tansey
The Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
The Curandero and the Swede: A Tale from the 1001 American Nights by Daniel Abraham
Doctor Who and the War Games by Malcolm Hulke
Dragons, Dragons by Eric Carle
Epitaph for a Peach by David Mas Masumoto
Feng Shui in Your Garden by Roni Jay
Glad Monster, Sad Monster by Anne Mirand and Ed Emberley
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
That Hell-Bound Train by Robert Bloch
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Jellaby Volume 1 by Kean Soo
Kosher by Design Lightens Up by Susie Fishbein
The Last Valentine by James Michael Pratt
Life Sucks by Jessica Abel, Gabe Soria and Warren Pleece
Jesus Swept by James Protzman
Overexposed: The Price of Fame by Eliot Tiegel
Quickstone by Marc Laidlaw
Rich Brother, Rich Sister by Robert and Emi Kiyosaki
The Secrets of a Fire King by Kim Edwards
Unstrung Zither by Yoon Ha Lee
A Very Hairy Scary Story by Rick Walton
The View from on High by Steven R. Boyett

Ulysses:
Episode 6: Hades: Agent Caitlin 'Kate' Todd
Episode 7: Aeolus: J. Jonah Jameson
Episode 8: The Laestrygonians: Earl's Court to Islington
Episode 9: Scylla and Charybdis: If I Had a Hammer

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for That Hell-Bound Train

FSFThat Hell-Bound Train: 04/18/09

My favorite part of this year's issues of Fantasy & Science Fiction has been the classic reprints. March's reprint is "That Hell-Bound Train" by Robert Bloch who I only know for writing Psycho. The story appeared originally in the September 1958 issue and won a Hugo in 1959.

Martin is abandoned by his mother after his drunken father is killed by a train. He escape the orphanage and grows up doing odd jobs and crimes to stay alive. One night he meets the devil, here identified as "The Conductor" of the Hell-Bound train. He is given a watch which he can use to stop time at his perfect moment of happiness.

Mostly the story is that of Martin's life, where each year brings something new and interesting. He gets older and fatter but more successful and finds many different ways of being happy. He never though does find the perfect moment of happiness in life.

That's not to say Martin doesn't get his moment to one up the devil. He does in a true train-lover's way. It was a delightfully funny story and character driven. It holds up all these years later. I can see why it won the Hugo.

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