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arrakiswitch

A Reciprocal Love Affair With Books

Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.

Review: A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny

A Night in the Lonesome October - Gahan Wilson, James Warhola, Roger Zelazny

There aren't a lot of books that I would call both macabre and good-hearted; as a matter of fact, I can think of only one: This one. With a dry wit that never attempts to talk over your head, genuine ghoulishness, this loving tribute to the works of all the great horror master, and in particular H.P. Lovecraft, sat on my shelf for twenty years in between reads, and now that I have picked it up again, I think it'll become a seasonal favorite.

 

When I first read it, as a teenager, I had just the most basic knowledge of Lovecraft's work, so while I didn't quite understand the references in the plot, I still found the story to be sincerely entertaining and easily graspable, once its mild twists are revealed. The prose is so simple that it might even be moving towards YA-level material--and, in this case, I mean that as a compliment, as it means that the writing is extremely accessible, while still being strongly lyrical in a non-florid way. The narrator, Jack the Ripper's canine familiar Snuff, is an unpretentious and unassuming hero with a pleasant attitude and sense of humor that directly reflects the tome of the entire book.

 

This was Zelazny's last work, published shortly before he passed; I've never read any of his other work, but this makes me very interested to try! A Halloween classic!