Blackwater: The Complete Caskey Family Saga by Michael McDowell


Blackwater: The Complete Caskey Family Saga, Michael McDowell, 1983

My favorite quote: “All deaths are sudden, no matter how gradual the dying may be.”

Notable characters: Elinor (Dammert) Caskey, the mysterious stranger who shows up in Perdido, Alabama, in 1919 … and many, many more. Definitely too many to mention … but don’t let that scare you. Every character here is well-drawn, memorable, and imperative

Most memorable scene: Elinor throwing her baby into the Perdido River (it’s not what you think)

Greatest strengths: A seamless ability to bounce from literature to horror to family drama to historical fiction and back again without losing the slightest bit of steam

Standout achievements: For a saga as long as this one, every segment, every chapter, every scene, every page is pure gold

Fun Facts: Michael McDowell was the author of several other horror novels and Southern gothics, as well as the screenwriter for Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas. He is also responsible for the novelization of Clue, which boasts a fourth ending not included in the movie. And this rare little treasure is famous for something else, too: it’s price. The current going rate for a mass market paperback copy is $499.99, and for a mere $1,053.55 you can get a used one on Amazon

Other media: N/A

What it taught me: That really good books can never be too long

How it inspired me: This is one of the books that made me want to create my own fictional monsters — which I did with the Black Wasp character in book 3 of my Vampires of Crimson Cove series. As much as I love vampires, werewolves, and ghosts, there are endless possibilities when it comes to villains and monsters, and what Michael McDowell did with the river creatures in Blackwater (whatever they were) reminded me of that 

Additional thoughts: Blackwater was originally published in six parts, equalling a total of 1,200 written pages or about 30 hours on audio … and I loved every minute of it. I’m convinced there’s nothing Michael McDowell couldn’t do … and well. It’s a shame he’s no longer with us. I would have loved to have met him 

My rating: 4.5 of 5

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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