Okay, you’re a sci-fi or horror fan. Maybe you are into ‘cult classics.’ Maybe, you just like reading the novels that movies are based on. It almost doesn’t matter. If you’re considering this novella, by all means read it. Matheson does a lot with this story and does it well. Every I is dotted, every T is crossed. Any “what about…” question is answered and every “why don’t…” is spoken to. He does everything you could hope for, except create characters you can care about. Don’t misunderstand, he creates characters you’re quite likely to remember (a form of caring, I suppose) but empathy seems unlikely.
I have to rate this novella highly, largely because the author did so much correctly. For a novella/short story, there’s little extraneous—little to fault. I won’t spoil the ending; it’s unnecessary when reviewing. I will say, “Alas, poor Fortunato, I knew him.”
The title—its relation to the story—is exquisite. Inspired.