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DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

A Walking Tour of the Shambles: Little Walks for Sightseers #16
by Gene Wolfe & Neil Gaiman
Illustrations by Randy Broecker and Earl Geier; Cover by Gahan Wilson
Tadepaper/ $15/ $57 pages
ISBN: 0-961035-26-9
American Fantasy Press

Cover American Fantasy's publication of A Walking Tour of the Shambles by Gene Wolfe and Neil Gaiman is the most hilarious small offering I've seen since Kim Newman's Quetzalcon Programme Booklet (designed by Michael Marshall Smith and published by Stephen Jones.) Quetzalcon was produced in conjunction with the 1997 World Fantasy Convention and American Fantasy brought the whimsical Walking Tour out for World Horror 2002 in Chicago.

The authors take the reader on a visit to a very odd historic Chicago neighborhood, the Shambles, a place Fodor would fear to tread. Despite the fact that more rational types claim the area doesn't exist, Mssrs. Wolfe and Gaiman provide a thorough guide to a neighborhood where both Sweeney Todd and the Addams family would feel right at home. They're chock-full of handy advice of what not to miss as well as what to avoid at all costs on your excursion into the eerie environs. Written with punnish glee and an eye for the most demented details of travel tomes (even to the inclusion of recipes and "Further Reading"), this one is a little gem. With illustrations by Randy Broecker and Earl Geier and a cover by the incomparably weird Gahan Wilson, it's all done up in a well-designed tradepaper. Do buy a copy, but first promise not to divulge the existence of #16 or the whereabouts of anyone involved with it to any law enforcement agencies, the Chicago Tourist Commission, or the Brotherhood of Meatworkers. Otherwise there's no hope we'll ever see Little Walks for Sightseers #17 or possibly anything else other than the bottom of Lake Michigan. -- Paula Guran (Orginally appeared in CEMETERY DANCE #40)

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Copyright © 2002 Paula Guran. All Rights Reserved.