Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Night in the Lonesome October

Just finished a re-read of Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. This is such a fun book to read. Our narrator is Snuff, a watchdog, and the events are set out in journal format for each day of October. See, Snuff and his owner Jack are Players in the Game. Figuring out who or what the other Players are and what the Game is about is half the fun of the novel. There are nods to pretty much every classic of horror literature, from the old man with the sickle who weaves wicker baskets (perhaps to form a man from them?) to the Good Doctor in his lightning rod-like mansion and the master of disguise (except to a dog) Great Detective. Illustrations are by Gahan Wilson, and are quirkily odd, if not necessarily how I picture them. A brief warning: while for the most part you could give this to a kid (even if they didn't get all the references to Elder Gods and such), there is a scene in which animal cruelty (vivisectionists) is described. People who can't take animal harm may want to skip that particular entry. The human bloodshed is described very little, and a lot of the deaths are simply implied.

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