Review: Makeup by Robert McCammon

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A helluva feast, like ordering a sirloin and getting a filet mignon…

 

This is one of those stories that’s such a simple concept you have to ask yourself—if you’re a writer like me—why you didn’t think of it. Simple in concept, but masterful in execution. This is an amazingly well done short story.
The writing harkens back to something one might have read in Amzaing Stories or an Isaac Asimov mystery mag in the 1950’s. I was immediately taken back to my childhod, although it’s not a children’s story. It’s about a bottom feeder who steels a makeup case, quite possibly the wrongest makeup case ever made.
The setting is perfect, the characters evoked with a fidelity that had me both seeing and hearing them so thoroughly it was as if I was in the scene myself. When the author told me Marco was three hundred pounds, I already knew it. Not because he had alluded to it, but because I had seen it, because of course a man like him had to be three hundred pounds. Marvelous writing. Simply marvelous.

There are many, many memorable lines in this tale, like “the towering height of him came up like a released spring” and “Marco’s face was the color of spoiled cheese.” You’ll have to read the story to see the others, of which there are so many. When I bought this I thought I was sitting down at the buffet, as it turned out I was seated at a full fledged feast. Delicious.
If you have never read McCammon, this is a great intro. Great writing always leaves you wanting more and after this, you’ll want more, no doubt.
Highly recommended. Five stars. An awesome and fun read.

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