This is my second book by Freeman. I have read "The Painted Darkness" which I consider to be a very good example of "literary" horror yet with the added emotional impact so often missing in literary horror novels. Freeman not only writes beautiful prose, about subjects as deep as the dark source of artistic inspiration, but his stories pack an emotional punch as well.
Blue November Storms is a more straight-forward, plot driven tale than The Painted Darkness but I enjoyed it for what it was. And what it was is a well written story with well drawn characters and more than one plot twist that I did not see coming.
That in itself would make this a solid 4 star effort; but this volume contains much more than that. The illustrations of Glenn Chadbourne grace this novella at the end of every chapter and add another level of enjoyment. I read this on a high resolution tab and the illustrations were beautiful. I can only imagine how good they look in one of Cemetery Dance's high quality print editions. Seriously, the artwork is so good it is like another story unto itself. Chadbourne's illustrations are so dense and interesting that I found myself spending a good deal of time at the end of every chapter exploring the illustrations, searching for the hidden pictures within the pictures. Anyone familiar with Cemetery Dance editions is familiar with Chadbourne's great work and it is on full display here. And it gets better because we not only have the artwork but an interview with Chadbourne that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Finally, anyone who has been reading horror at all is familiar with Ray Garton, who in his introduction provides both an interesting topical discussion of the elements of horror as well as hilarious memories of his negative experiences while camping as a child.
This book was fun to read, and the stellar artwork and other extras just made it that much better.