The Black Carousel

by Charles Grant

Something is amiss in the small town of Oxford Station... something having to do with a traveling carnival that sometimes stays for just a few days, sometimes for an entire summer. That's about the only thing definite that I got from this book. I have read a different book by Charles Grant and enjoyed it very much. His writing style is darkly beautiful, poetic, detailed, and flowing. In short, it reveals the self-proclaimed "Big Mac and Fries" writing of Stephen King to be just that. Grant shows how good horror writing can be. However, in this book, which contains three or four novellas based around this town and the carnival, was very inconclusive. At the end of each story, I was left wondering at the unexplained incidents. It was unsatisfying. There is an Oxford Station series that I have not read so perhaps had I read all those, this book would have made sense. But I didn't and it didn't and that's that. A disappointing two gristles.