The Train of Terror

The Train of Terror (1982) is a Twistaplot gamebook written by Louise Munro Foley. Before I get to the contents of this gamebook, I’m addressing a curious dedication in the opening pages:

This book is affectionately dedicated to Don Foley, who made a choice a few years back and has been riding a train of terror ever since.

At first I assume that Louise is jokingly referring to getting and being married. However, Don and Louise married in 1957 then divorced sometime around 1976. So she is perhaps poking a stick at Don for his misery after choosing to divorce her. I already like Louise.

Even though “Terror” is in the title of this book and there is a creepy as heck guy with a knife on the cover, The Train of Terror is more in the spy genre. There are some horror elements but these only succeed in making the book feel uneven. When the author sticks to the mysteries surrounding double agents, this book is at its best.

There are some fun fake choices:

If you have a red dress, turn to PAGE 34.

If you wouldn’t be caught dead in a red dress, turn to PAGE 34 anyway.

And silly opportunities to opt out:

If you decide to go with your wits instead of his gun, turn to PAGE 82.

If you decide you’d prefer a nap to a shootout, close this book, shut your eyes, and wait until you hear the conductor announce “Twin Falls!”

The Train of Terror abounds in humor and folksy comments like “curiosity kills more than cats” but, it’s the psychotic image on the cover that sells tickets. All aboard! Rating: 503