1st US paperback edition
"The Land of Laughs was lit by eyes that saw the lights that no one's seen." To Thomas Abbey, lonely child of a famous movie actor, grown into a restive prep school teacher, this is one of the most memorable lines ever written. It is by Marshall France, the legendary author of children's books who wrote The Land of Laughs, Pool of Stars, Green Dog's Sorrow, and other haunting classics, hid himself away in tiny Galen, Missouri, and died of a heart attack at age 44.
This brilliantly imaginative and frightening novel is set in motion when Tom Abbey and his spirited girlfriend, Saxony Gardner, determine to write France's biography. They arrive in Galen on a slow, cloud-still summer day, both of them expectant and delighted and also a little scared of what they will find. France's enigmatic and reclusive shadow lingers on, and his lovely and mysterious daughter Anna is known to act as a fiercely protective keeper of the flame.
But to their deep surprise, Anna and Galen had been waiting for them--almost too eagerly. Slowly they begin to apprehend not only that this idyllic small Midwestern town and its inhabitants, human and animal, are not what they seem, but that the magic of Marshall France had extended far beyond the printed page.
Chilling possibilities begin to dawn on Tom and Saxony, and on the reader, who will at once revel in the grand tradition of horror stories and in the discovery of a wholly new talent.