Richard Matheson's novel is one great adventure yarn. At times, it is a too in-your-face existential allegory (what with Scott Carey's, the main character, constant doubts on why he keeps on hanging to life?), and the tale never really points to the direction it takes in the ending. Yet, it left me satisfied to have followed it up through the whole journey.
The story of Scott's gradual descent into oblivion is framed by the events in what he expects to be his last week on Earth, before he shrinks to nothing. His cat-and-mouse game with a black widow bent on devouring him is an involving thriller. And in holding the tension of this hunt is where Matheson's prose shines.
The 9 stories included go from the darkly comic to the thrilling. Here are the titles of these stories:
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
The Holiday Man
By Appointment only
Most of these share one of the basic topics of the novel: a man looking for a meaning to his actions, his life, a reason to go on. These ones, together with "The Shrinking Man", show the preocupations Matheson reflects about through his whole work.