The Thing on the Wing
On the way home from attending the Public Library Association Conference in Portland, Oregon, it was my distinct pleasure to spend the time on the flight towards Paducah reading a collection of Richard Matteson’s short stories entitled, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. I found a used copy at Powell’s bookstore. As a biblioholic, that is the penultimate store which sits on a whole city block and is three stories of used and new books carefully color coded. Oh, my. In fact, I purchased that one the second trip I made to the store. My first trip I went a little bazinga in the literature section having found a prime 1st addition James Thurber and a collection of William Cowper poetry that I did not own (the Thurber replaces one in my bookshelf that is not as prime- look for it at the Friends book sale in July).
‘Tis the season for chasing rabbits. I digress, Richard Matheson wrote many of the original Twilight Zone scripts and is a favorite of mine for the sheer terror he produces. Reading the original Nightmare on a four-five hour flight from Portland to Chicago is a supreme pleasure that I can highly recommend to anyone and especially those who associate William Shatner or John Lithgow with the story. They were wonderful, but the story is even better.
The flight to Portland was spent with Hamish McBeth, a Scottish constable brought to us by M. C. Beaton and eventually in a series on BBC. The book was being read to me by my Ranger on the way to the airport so I checked the book out in order to find out what happens next. The library book was mailed back home. I finished it before de-planing. Hamish is brilliant but wants to stay under the radar because he refuses to accept a promotion, loving the Scottish countryside and his bizarre animals more than the idea of fortune or fame. No one gets knocked off in M. C. Beaton unless they “had it comin'”. If Hamish delights you, also check out Agatha Raisin. They are both in series that will seduce you to read them all and still starve for more.