Author: Christopher Golden
Published By: Bantam
Reviewed by Justine Manzano
Iím going to go out on a crazy limb and say that, in my humble opinion, Christopher Golden is the newest Horror/Supernatural master! Okay, now that Iíve gotten that out of my system I can explain that I have just completed Wildwood Road by Christopher Golden, and if thatís not a review in itself, I donít know what is. I could probably stop typing right now, but what kind of article would that make? Wildwood Road isnít the first book of Goldenís that Iíve read and hopefully it wonít be the last. His supernatural thriller, The Boys Are Back In Town, was reviewed by me in an early edition of G-POP and, naturally, it got raves. So why did I love Wildwood Road? Let me count the waysÖ
The story follows Michael Dansky, the art director of an advertising firm in New England. Michael has the perfect lifeóhe has a job he loves, a house in a great community, and a marriage that couldnít be happier. Michael loves his wife, Jillian, and she is his guiding light. When she passes out drunk after a surprisingly indulgent night at a masquerade ball, Michael drives her home, sure he hasnít drank too much. On the road, he becomes sleepy and when he nearly veers off the road, he almost hits a little girl. The little girl, who calls herself Scooter, is okay and Michael decides to give her a ride home. Before she runs out of his car, she makes him promise that he will come find her. Without Jillian conscious to offer her advice, Michael foolishly follows the girl into her home when he feels that she may not be safe. What he finds there is a disorienting experience that he canít even remember right away when he wakes up.
After the incident, Michael begins to see little Scooter everywhere, along with the smell of homemade popcorn. As her very presence begins to possess him, he begins to search everywhere for where she, or the house he had followed her into, can possibly be. His search raises the ire of ďthe hollow womenĒ, misshapen colorless women who are stalking him at every turn. Michael soon realizes that he has gotten close to uncovering the truth when the hollow women attack him at home, stealing something valuable away from his wife and making her a cold, heartless woman. They wanted to throw him off of their scentówhat they didnít realize was that hurting his wife wouldnít scare him away from anything. It could only make him more determined to uncover the truth.
The most important thing that Christopher Golden does with his horror is to always go for the truth of the moment. The disfigured faces of the scary hollow women are not nearly as scary as the idea of waking up one morning and discovering that the person you love has gone completely insane, you may be mad yourself, and the rules of the world are nothing like what you thought they were. It is in these truths that Golden excelsóthe fears of the real world. Never mind the fact that his pure horror knocks the wind out of you just as well.
Wildwood Road, like every other Christopher Golden novel Iíve read, will knock your socks off with itís brilliant dialogue, truthful characters, and itís plotówhich always leads you exactly where you would never think you were headed. Itís a good read and I promise you, I didnít feel too comfortable turning off the lights at night when I was reading this oneóa true sign of a new horror classic!