The Amulet Author:Michael McDowell "[O]ne of the best writers of horror in this or any other country." - Peter Straub — "One of the genre's most underrated writers . . . enjoyably nasty." - Poppy Z. Brite — "A must-read for horror fiction fans. . . . Obtain The Amulet by any means necessary." - Too Much Horror Fiction — "McDowell has a flair for the gruesome." - Washington Post — Whe... more »n a rifle range accident leaves Dean Howell disfigured and in a vegetative state, his wife Sarah finds her dreary life in Pine Cone, Alabama made even worse. After long and tedious days on the assembly line, she returns home to care for her corpselike husband while enduring her loathsome and hateful mother-in-law, Jo. Jo blames the entire town for her son's mishap, and when she gives a strange piece of jewelry to the man she believes most responsible, a series of gruesome deaths is set in motion. Sarah believes the amulet has something to do with the rising body count, but no one will believe her. As the inexplicable murders continue, Sarah and her friend Becca Blair have no choice but to track down the amulet themselves, before it's too late . . .
Michael McDowell (1950-1999) is best known for his screenplays to the films Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, but he was also the author of several excellent and underrated Southern Gothic horror novels, of which The Amulet (1979) was the first. Originally published as a pulp paperback, now scarce and long out-of-print, McDowell's grimly humorous and delightfully horrific novel returns to print in this edition, which features a new introduction by Poppy Z. Brite.« less
McDowell's writing style is so fluid and pleasing that even a far-fetched, drawn out plot such as is found in Amulet is satisfying. I did find the increasingly grotesque deaths getting tiresome, but still enjoyed the book very much. It's a shame this writer died so young and with such a sparse body of work; his later horror novels are among the best written.