Conversations with the Father: A Memoir About Richard Matheson, My Dad and God

Pitchstone. Jul. 2022. 200p. ISBN 9781634312325. $24. MEMOIR
Matheson, a novelist (The Story of God) and screenwriter (the Bill & Ted movies), offers a unique case study of his relationship with his late father, the famed horror and science fiction writer Richard Matheson (author of I Am Legend). The once loving relationship between the Mathesons strained over time as Chris grew into his own person and his father developed a strong, unwavering bond with his religious beliefs. Divided into two very different sections, this book evolves from a memoir focused on just a sliver of the Mathesons’ lives together, filled with debates about religion and life into a science fiction short story highly influenced by Chris Matheson’s debates with his father and the grief felt after losing him. The two halves of the book feel strikingly different at first when jumping genres. But this book is ultimately an ode to the late Matheson, allowing readers to understand the famous author at his best and worst. Fans of the Mathesons and science fiction will easily be drawn in, but the memoir will also appeal to readers interested in questioning the meaning of life and uncovering how a person’s beliefs influence their life and art.
VERDICT An enjoyable and creative snapshot of an uneasy relationship between father and son.
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