Before I Wake is David Morrell's third short-story collection and his first since the 2004 publication of Nightscape. It's been a long wait between these volumes, but the wait has now ended in spectacular fashion.
Morrell, of course, has long been an acknowledged master of the authentic, edge-of-your-seat action thriller, and that aspect of his talent is on full display in such stories as "My Name Is Legion" and "The Interrogator". But there are other types of stories here as well. Some, such as "Time Was" and "The Companions", reflect the early influence of such seminal writers as Rod Serling and Ray Bradbury. An assortment of literary figures, among them J. D. Salinger ("The Architecture of Snow"), Arthur Conan Doyle ("The Spiritualist"), and Laura Ingalls Wilder ("They") make vivid, often surprising appearances in this volume.
Before I Wake is a thriller fan's dream, a rich, resonant collection that reminds us, once again, of its author's enduring and unmistakable importance. This is popular fiction as it should be written. It doesn't get better than this.
Note: Due to licensing conflicts, the stories "The Abelard Sanction" and "The Opium-Eater" do not appear in this audio recording.