Books: Djinn & Bitters

THE OCTOBER COUNTRY (306 pp.)—Ray Bradbury—Ballantine Books ($3.50; paperback, $.35).

Among readers who fancy vampires, succubi, werewolves and other monsters, a young (35) Californian named Ray Bradbury is regarded as the arrived monster-monger, fit replacement for August Derleth, eldritch statesman of the well-informed witchlover. Author Bradbury may owe even more to John Collier, another veteran djinn-and-bitters addict. Like Mary Wollstonecraft (Frankenstein) Shelley and Bram (Dracula) Stoker, these writers appeal to the middle or relatively uncorrugated brow, rather than the highbrow, who finds more than enough to bite his nails over in the Age of Anxiety without faking up a little more. The...

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