“The Funeral”

July 21, 2009

What I found most useful in this story is the sense of perspective, and how the POV character needn’t necessarily be the main character.  The story is told from Morton Silkline’s perspective - the Director of a little cut-rate funeral home.  While the story is his, I would argue that he doesn’t really experience any change and isn’t really the main character.  It’s the vampire Ludwig Asper who is looking for a change, and ultimately receives it in the form of the funeral he never had.

There’s a good sense of humor in this story as well, a gather of undead to give one of their own a proper burial.  I think Matheson does well at portraying each of these individuals - a witch, a mad scientist, Ygor - with their own personalities beyond the stock characters they’re derived from.  The brief interactions we see during the funeral get the reader beyond the standard images.

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