Usher’s Passing – by Robert R. McCammon

Robert R. McCammon has got to be one of the greatest storytellers I’ve ever had the pleasure of being introduced to. The quality of his work never ceases to amaze me … the way he can just draw you right in and create such realistic characters and sweeping dramas that don’t feel like it’s taking as long to get through as the book actually is (especially when you’re listening to the audiobook version). It’s amazing to me. As a writer, I’m humbled, astounded with admiration, and intimidated by this man’s talent.

Usher’s Passing tells the tale of the famous Usher family from Edgar Allen Poe’s work, except it’s even better than what Poe generated. The story centers around the Usher family living in the mountains of North Carolina in ‘modern’ time (the book came out in the 80s, but it doesn’t feel all that dated) and follows several different characters, primarily focusing on one of the Usher children (as an adult), a newspaper reporter, and a young (teen) mountain boy. Their paths intermingle as the creepy plot drives forward. McCammon pulls everything together so effectively (and totally surprising me with his various ‘reveals’ at the end) that I was sorry when the book finally ended.


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