Matheson's first published novel, Someone Is Bleeding (1953), follows novelist and former infantryman David Newton in his efforts to court the leggy albeit emotionally disconnected Peggy Lister. The author's inability to navigate complex characters is certainly laid to bare for all to see, and Matheson is on much safer ground in the lengthy chase scene in which Newton outruns a former mob hitman working as a chauffeur; yet this remains one of the novel's few saving graces. Fury On Sunday (1953), Matheson's sophomore effort, covers one evening in the life of an escaped lunatic/former concert pianist as he makes an unsanctioned departure from his locked cell and takes hostage two hard-partying couples in a revenge-fueled rampage. Although Noir provides a nostalgic look at a bygone writing style that embodied '50s fiction, however the suspense in these tales of crime, corruption, and cold-blooded murder is infrequent and Matheson's melodramatic and uneven writing style coupled with one-dimensional characters makes these works feel stiff, insubstantial, and anything but top-notch.
You have to go into this book realizing this was written in the 50s so it's a little dated (although surprisingly it doesn't feel as dated as I thought it would).
If aliens showed up and wanted to know what noir is, I would hand them this book. Maybe you're Vince from Fury on Sunday. READ THIS BOOK.
Richard Matheson, who just turned 87, is now a veteran author with dozens of screenplays, novels and short stories to his credit; mostly in SF, fantasy and horror genres.
The three novels compiled in Noir are: Someone is Bleeding, Fury on a Sunday, and Ride the Nightmare. Although Someone is Bleeding was just exactly the sort of story I was expecting in this genre, Fury on a Sunday was significantly more intense. The point-of-view shifts in Ride the Nightmare. The husband keeps seeking resolution on many levels, but many of his solutions end up having threatening loose ends (It is, after all, a noir story!). The antagonists who threaten the lives of the young couple and their daughter express trust issues. Ride the Nightmare has the familiar trope of the character who is well-advised to stay away from somewhere, but has such an independent streak that said character ends up escalating the trouble with her/his presence.
Scritto agli inizi della carriera di Matheson, ad appena ventitre anni, il libro tratta di David Newton, giovane scrittore trasferitosi a Los Angeles, che si ritrova il mondo sconvolto da Peggy, bellissima e ingenua ragazza dal passato oscuro. Inoltre, questo senso di immaturità è percepito proprio nella psicologia dei personaggi (da sempre cavallo di battaglia di Matheson), soprattutto per quato riguarda il taglio psicologico del protagonista che a volte risulta piatto o cambia personalità in funzione della trama, non risultando quindi molto lineare. Per essere stato scritto agli inizi degli anni '50, i temi trattati attraverso il personaggio di Peggy sono incredibilmente attuali e questo fa davvero riflettere su come Matheson sia sempre stato all'avanguardia nelle sue opere. Secondo romanzo della "Trilogia in nero", "Tre ore di pura follia" è il viaggio nella pazzia di un giovane pianista, Vince, ed il suo tentativo di riprendere il controllo della sua vita, tramite la vendetta. In "Noir" porta la traduzione del suo titolo originale: "Una domenica di rabbia".
three stories read in three days, one each day. *rolls eyes* the next two stories was suspense-filled to the brim and got me sweatin'.
His first short story, "Born of Man and Woman," appeared in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1950. Between 1950 and 1971, Matheson produced dozens of stories, frequently blending elements of the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres. He wrote a number of episodes for the American TV series The Twilight Zone, including "Steel," mentioned above and the famous "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"; adapted the works of Edgar Allan Poe for Roger Corman and Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out for Hammer Films; and scripted Steven Spielberg's first feature, the TV movie Duel, from his own short story. Other Matheson novels turned into notable films include What Dreams May Come, Stir of Echoes, Bid Time Return (as Somewhere in Time), and Hell House (as The Legend of Hell House) and the aforementioned Duel, the last three adapted and scripted by Matheson himself.