Monday, November 5, 2012
Review: A Night in the Lonesome October
A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Info: Genre: Lovecraftian fiction
Reading Level: 18+
Recommended for: Fans of Lovecraftian/Cthulhuian tales, monster mash-ups
Disclosure: I purchased this book after hearing about it in the Lovecraft eZine. All opinions are my own.
Synopsis: Snuff, a guard dog who performs thaumaturgical calculations, accompanies his master, Jack, on collecting expeditions into the Whitechapel slums of nineteenth-century London.
Zelazny manages to cleverly combine Jack (the Ripper), Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Frankenstein, and Dracula together with witches, werewolves, druids and many others in this amusing tale of an approaching confrontation that, on the Halloween of a full-moon, will change the cosmic balance of power between good and evil. Told through the eyes of Snuff, Jack's guard dog, who performs magical calculations in addition to accompanying his master on collecting expeditions into 19th century London. Twists and turns of magical espionage and adventure unfold as this unforgettable tale plays out over the course of 31 lonesome nights in October.
My Thoughts: This is a classic piece of Lovecraftian Literature; if you enjoy Lovecraft, Lovecraftian or Cthulhuian stories, be sure to sign up for the Lovecraft eZine (link where links are permitted), where each month an edition is released containing a number of new stories. Recently an issue was released that related directly to this book, so be sure to check out this link (where links are permitted) if you’re interested in reading that.
There are a lot of great bits of dialogue, clever and funny, through this book. Snuff and Larry Talbot, upon witnessing what appears to be a church service, notice that the cross is upside down. Larry says, “Do you know what this means?, to which Snuff replies, “Religious distress signal?” The scene in the graveyard on the night of the 17th October where everyone was trading body parts made me snort with laughter. And, of course, my favorite quote: “Cats are never around when you really need one.”
Zelazny very cleverly includes all sorts of different characters and legends in this book and does so in a way that is highly readable and enjoyable. There are a number of illustrations in the book done by Gahan Wilson, of which I was not terribly fond as I don’t care for the caricature-like style, but I did love the front cover illustration.
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