A Night in the Lonesome October PDF à in the MOBI

Review first posted on Fantasy LiteratureDuring the entire month of October in the late 1800s in a year when the full moon falls on Halloween strange forces gather in a village outside of London Various iconic characters ― who will be familiar to fans of Victorian literature and classic horror movies ― create shifting alliances gather herbs instruments of power and the odd eyeball and femur and prepare for a mystery shrouded event that will take place on Halloween night A Night in the Lonesome October published in 1993 is narrated by the aptly named Snuff a dog who is the familiar of a man named Jack Snuff is than just a dog; at the beginning of the novel he comments cryptically “I like being a watchdog better than what I was before he summoned me and gave me this job” Snuff helps Jack gather ingredients for Halloween night keeps an watchful eye on various cursed Things trapped in Jack’s house and draws lines between the houses of the various players to create a diagram that will help him and Jack in their planning for whatever it is that will happen on HalloweenSnuff also cautiously communicates with other animals in the neighborhood uicklime a black snake belonging to a mad monk named Rastov; Graymalk the cat who is the familiar of a witch called Crazy Jill; a rat named Bubo who lives with a man called the “Good Doctor”; Needle a bat who associates with the Count; and others Snuff explains that it’s complicated at the beginning of the month because he has no way of knowing whether these people and their familiars are “openers” or “closers” What openers and closers are remains mysterious until much later in the story but it’s clear it’s at the root of the great Game they are playing and the ultimate contest to occur between the players on Halloween night Meanwhile the Great Detective lurks about the area with his companion occasionally donning disguises in the course of his investigation which don’t fool Snuff of courseA Night in the Lonesome October is creepy yet humorous gruesome and witty at the same time One of the highlights is a grave robbing scene in which several players spend an evening gathering ingredients with various bodily parts flying through the air in a macabre game of catch“Eyeballs anyone?” came a call“Over here” said someone with a Russian accent “One of them please”“I’ll have the other” came an aristocratic voice from the opposite direction“Either of you got a couple of floating ribs or a pair of kidneys?”“Down here on the kidneys” came a new voice “And I’m in need of a patella”“What’s that?”“Knee bone” “Oh? No problem”Roger Zelazny cheerfully hides identities and key plot points from his readers during the early part of the Game allowing us to work out for ourselves who and what they are whether they’re working for good or evil and what exactly is going down on Halloween night The Count and the Great Detective are fairly easy Jack and the Good Doctor probably won’t take a whole lot longer and Larry Talbot reveals himself fairly early on even if you’re not already familiar with his name But most of the others will take puzzling out Fans of A Night in the Lonesome October which has developed a cult following devote entire web pages to analyzing the identities of and inspirations for various minor characters you should check these pages out only after you’ve finished the book as they’re riddled with spoilers It was delightful to read and unpack all the layers of meaning hidden in the text Any book that reveals and layers and depth and connections as you reread and analyze it gets a large rating boost from me I’ll freely admit that it brought back the best of my memories of deep discussions in college English lit coursesThe characterization is excellent Minor characters like the Count and the Great Detective shine in their limited but key scenes surprising us at key turns Snuff despite his intelligence and sense of humor remains clearly a dog in his nature and concerns His gradually developing alliance and even friendship with the cat Graymalk reminded me of the relationship between my own family’s Siamese mix cat and Labrador retriever Snuff’s master Jack is intelligent and kind but is also Snuff explains “under a curse from long ago and must do much of his work at night to keep worse things from happening” Jack and Snuff get along very wellI took Jack his slippers this evening and lay at his feet before a roaring fire while he smoked his pipe sipped sherry and read the newspaper He read aloud everything involving killings arsons mutilations grave robberies church desecrations and unusual thefts It is very pleasant just being domestic sometimesThere’s a longstanding rumor which as far as I can tell has never been confirmed that A Night in the Lonesome October arose out of a bet someone made with Zelazny that he couldn’t write a story where readers would root for Jack the Ripper I think you would be hard pressed to find a reader who would claim Zelazny lost that betThere are 31 chapters in A Night in the Lonesome October one for each day in October It’s great pulpy fun but with an underlying intelligence and dry humor I can see why reading A Night in the Lonesome October has become an annual October ritual for so many fansThanks to Evgeny and the 2017 AND 2018 buddy reads with the Roger Zelazny Newbie group Zelazny is a genius although I have a sneaking suspicion his genius may be drug related Where else would you come up with the idea of telling a Victorian mystery humor horror story from the point of view of a dog?The first clue of the kind of upcoming weirdness comes from the dedication which is to Shelley Poe Stoker Doyle Lovecraft Bradbury Bloch and Terhune dog breeder and writer The the cast of characters include the watchdog Snuff and his master Jack a man who is particularly talented with a knife but a host of horror and mystery classics The Great Detective and his sidekick are in the vicinity investigating the sudden uptick in activity and maybe solve a murder or two The Count drops by in his flowing dark glory The Good Doctor has moved into a nearby farmhouse looking for some uiet space in which to conduct various experiments using lightening Is it any surprise he has a misshapen dwarf sidekick and an experiment man? And perhaps in the vein of Bloch there's a bad pun or two really Zelazny really??The structure is the daily dairy of a mathematically talented watchdog Snuff as he and Jack prepare for a final confrontation on October 31 between those who would open a door to other worlds and those who would keep it closed Spell and geographical preparations need to be made while strategizing against the other participants I have to admire how Zelazny takes simple sentence structure to initially build believability in a dog narrator although to be fair there are hints he might be than canine but by story end he is at his usual level of sophistication and imagery Actually the sense world of the canine rather lends itself to Zelazny's imageryUnderneath the spell preparing shenanigans is the building of a serious conflict Preparations make for strange bedfellows and Snuff finds himself relying on Ms Greymalk the cat He also interacts with a variety of other animal companions to the main human? playersZelazny must have had a blast writing this There's amusing variations on a theme wandering through the month Notable are the many disguises of the Great Detective and the variety of injuries his companion displays There's a particularly fun ongoing riff using the Things that Jack and Snuff guard The Things in the Mirror Thing in the Wardrobe the Thing in the Steamer Trunk and the Thing in the Circle downstairs are always trying to escape but are kept under control by Snuff's ferociousness The Thing in the Circle has settled for deception as its escape strategy and daily turns into some type of dog hoping to tempt SnuffDown in the cellar the Thing in the Circle had become a Pekingese'You like little ladies?' it asked Come and get it big fella'It still smelled of Thing rather than dog'You're not really very bright' I saidThe Peke gave me the paw as I departed and it's hard to turn your leg that wayWhy not five stars? Well a section where Zelazny indulges in an ode to a Lovecraft short 'The Cats of Ulthar' didn't seem to be particularly germane to the narrative and only connected if you knew the short While great at times it just didn't hit '5' on my 'must own now' scale but I'd rate it at 4 and a half stars However it is a lot of fun definitely worth a read or two and I'd certainly give it space if a cheap copy came my way it could nestle up to the Amber series and his short story books I already ownThanks to EvgenyRe read 102019 I'm a bit ambivalent about the illustrations by Gahan Wilson However when I did a little researching on this book it turns out that Zelazny envisioned the book with Wilson's illustrations since 1979 source but was only able to complete it in 1993 at the end of his life As such I suppose they belong together but I far prefer the words to the textCross posted at Well shit I was going to start my reread of the book as the chapters are each day in October I’m going to play catch up and I will probably uote the first paragraph of each day just for shits n giggles October 1 MADE THE CIRCUITS THE THING IN THE CIRCLE changed shape finally making itself look like a lady dog of attractive person and very friendly disposition But I was not fooled into breaking the Circle It didn’t have the smell part down yet October 2 WE TOOK A WALK LAST NIGHT ACUIRING mandrake root in a field far from here at the place of a killing by somebody else The master wrapped it in silk and took it to his work space direct I could hear him engage in good natured banter with the Thing in the Circle Jack has a long list of ingredients and things must be done properly on schedule October 3 WE WALKER AGAIN LAST NIGHT AND THE master was hunting He had donned his cloak and said to me Snuff fetch And from the way he said it I knew that it was the blade he reuired I took it to him and we went out Our luck was varied That is he obtained the ingredients he was after but only with considerable turmoil and an inordinate passage of time We were discovered near the end I gave warning and we had to flee It was a long chase till finally I hung back and nipped the other on the leg We made good our escape with the ingredients As he was washing up later Jack told me I was an excellent watchdog I was very proud October 4 RAINY DAY WINDY TOO I MADE MY ROUNDS Up yours curSame to youHi thingsSlither slither How’s about letting me out?NopeMy day will comeNot todayThe usual Everything seemed in order How’s about a collie? You like redheads?You still haven’t got it right S'longSon of a bitch October 5 I BREAKFASTED IN THE DARK AND MADE MY rounds of the house Everything was in good order The master was asleep so I let myself out and prowled the vicinity The day would not begin for some time yet October 6 EXCITEMENT I HEARD THE MIRROR CRACK this morning and I ran and raised holy hell before it keeping the slithers inside Jack heard the fuss and fetched the mundane wand and transferred them all to another mirror just like the Yellow Emperor This one was much smaller which may teach them a lesson but probably not We’re not sure how they did it Continued pressure on some flaw most likely Good thing they are afraid of me October 7 WE WERE OUT AGAIN LAST NIGHT IN PURSUIT of ingredients for the Great Work It was very foggy and there were many patrolman about This did not stop us but it made things difficult The master's blade flashed the woman screamed and there was a rending of garments We passed the Great Detective in our flight and I inadvertently tripped his companion whose limp had lessened his ability to avoid onrushing canines October 8 I DREW MORE LINES IN MY HEAD LAST NIGHT and this morning but before I’d created a satisfactory picture we had a caller October 9 LAST NIGHT WE OBTAINED MORE INGREDIENTS for the master's spell As we paused on a corner in Soho the Great Detective and his companion came out of the fog and approached us •••••••••••••••Thank you to my friends Tadiana and Evgeny for turning me on to this book and this author I will be rereading this for October as each chapter is a day in October I might summarize my feelings during the whole process Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾 Carpe baculum Seize the stickYou know the feeling when you finish the book and with a uiet satisfied and slightly smug smile realize that it was just perfect as though it was written just for you? Sometimes I get lucky like that Roger Zelazny has a uniue uirkiness in his narration that speaks directly to me and A Night in the Lonesome October which I read in one breath over the wee hours of a late October night is no exceptionZelazny is a genius when it comes to telling a story The trick here is the narration the wonderful clever narration that gives you zero exposition but instead throws you into the thick of events to let you sink or swim and once you decide to swim you get a slow trickle of hints and clues along the way until you reach a point where you no longer remember how exactly you figured out all the goings on or rather not all but some as even after the wrap up there remain the unexplored paths and corners that make you realize that you just barely scratched the surface under which there are tantalizing depths All of this is infused with clever wry and sometimes dark humor and peppered with smart allusions that feel organic and not as in the hands of a less skilled writer they could be pretentious And eventually a vivid picture full of Zelazny's sophisticated and crisp imagery emerges a much bigger and fuller picture than anything initially suggested and it's lovely and menacing and dark and light at the same time And I love itIt's a light and clever tale with Lovecraftian overtones set in the whereabouts of London in the late Victorian era and featuring a mishmash of the beloved and not so beloved characters of that time Jack the Ripper Larry Talbot The Wolfman the Great Detective Sherlock Holmes the Count Dracula the Good Doctor Frankenstein and such all gathered with their familiars for a Game played a few times a century when full moon falls on October 31st a Game which can decide the fate of the world a Game full of bizarre rituals and lunatic scavenger hunts a Game which may or may not open the way into our world to the Elder Gods In the Game it is a well kept secret which player is on which side and the location of the grand showdown needs to be figured out uickly but keeps shifting depending on which players choose to join And sometimes there just may be a hilarious body parts exchange during frantic digging in the cemetery that made me choke with laughter sometime around 3 am “Damn I need a left femur and this one ain't got oneLeft femur you say? came an ancient croaking voice from nearby which could have been Owen's I've one right here I ain't usin' Have you a liver though? That's my needEasily done came the reply Bide a moment There Trade?You have it CatchSomething flashed through the air to rattle farther down the hill followed by scurrying soundsFair enough Here's yer liverThere came a splap from higher up and a muttered Got itHey came a lady's voice then from off to the left While you're about it have you a skull?Indeed I do said the second man What'll you give?What do you need?FingerbonesDone I'll tie 'em together with a piece of twineHere's your skullGot it Yours'll be along shortlyHas anyone the broken vertebrae of a hanged man? came a deep masculine voice with a Hungarian accent from somewhere far to the right” And who is better to figure out the plot threads than our narrator a gifted thaumaturgical calculator also known as Snuff Jack Ripper's dog or perhaps a tad than your usual canine the spy the plotter and the only one to keep in check the menaces of “the Thing in the Circle the Thing in the Wardrobe and the Thing in the Steamer Trunk not to mention the Things in the Mirror” Snuff whose keen sense for animal politics and a knack for knowing when to form alliances with the other familiars Bubo the rat making me laugh and when to strategically share information may be the deciding factor in the battle for the fate of this world Snuff whom I love dearly even though I'm decidedly not a dog person Hi I'm a watchdogMe tooI've been watching youAnd I've been watching youWhy is your person digging a big hole?There are some things down there that he needsOh I don't think he's supposed to be doing thatMay I see your teeth?Yes Here May I see yours?Of coursePerhaps it's all right Do you think you might leave a large bone somewhere nearby? Yes Roger Zelazny is indeed a genius who clearly had such a great time writing this story that the fun is infectious Whichever genre this little gem of a book falls in comedy or Gothic horror or detective mystery there is no doubt that it's the work of a confident master and a delight to read especially on a dark and lonesome late October night “I took Jack his slippers this evening and lay at his feet before a roaring fire while he smoked his pipe sipped sherry and read the newspaper He read aloud everything involving killings arsons mutilations grave robberies church desecrations and unusual thefts It is very pleasant just being domestic sometimes” The bestselling author of the Amber series creates a delightful and dramatic period fantasy populated by talking dogs and characters from popular legend Accompanying and amplifying the text are a series of 31 full page illustrations by one of the masters of bizarre and horrific art Soooooooooooooooooo this was a group read I forced upon my nearest and dearest I looooove my GR gals even if you hated or loved every minute of it ladieeeeeees I am a watchdog My name is Snuff I live with my master Jack outside of London now I like Soho very much at night with its smelly fogs and dark streets It is silent then and we go for long walksThe story of A NIGHT IN LONESOME OCTOBER is told in a prologue and thirty one chapters one for each day in October I read it in threesometimes you just can't waitEvery once in a while when the moon is full on a Halloween night a group gathers and a game beginsThe game of saving the world from evil and destruction who is on the right side and who is on the wrong one??? I guess you will have to read it to find out Hi I'm a watchdogMe tooI've been watching youAnd I've been watching youWhy is your person digging a big hole?There are some things down there that he needsOh I don't think he's supposed to be doing thatMay I see your teeth?Yes Here May I see yours?Of course October 1887 a small English village finds itself host to a strange group of visitors They are players in The Game and on the final night they will declare their allegiances in a contest that will determine the future of the world Until then there are mystic artifacts to track down rituals to complete and allies to makebut appearances can be deceiving and who they might think of as friendscould be their enemiesIf I can recommend only one book to read in October this would be it It may not be for everyonebut it certainly was for me So much fuuuuuuuuuunHappy almost Halloween ➽ And the moral of this rereread is pack rats named after the bubonic plague underestimate thou shalt not ➽ And the other moral of this rereread is pack rats named after the bubonic plague and that are friends with dogs that are friends with cats Super Extra Especially Wary Of SE²WO™ thou shalt be and stuffPS Jack and Jill did NOT go up the hill I repeat Jack and Jill did NOT go up the hill Just so you know You are uite welcomeOctober 2018🎃 Impromptu and Not So Lonesome October Buddy Reread IaNSLBR™ with Tadiana Evgeny and OhWell 🎃Original rating 3 stars New rating 5 stars Does that mean there might be hope for me yet? Oh dear We are all doomed methinks➽ And the moral of this reread is hallelujah to our Lord Shrimp and stuff I finally saw the light And read the book right Yes I know it rhymes Yes I know I’m a poet The Evil Russians™ Someone should give me a lifetime achievement award or something Okay well yeah that’s very nice and stuff but I was thinking along the lines of a um you know liuid amber colored “or something” from Scotland you know➽ And the other moral of this reread is I’m doing the Poof Gone Harem™ on Snuff and he will be joining the rest of the scary creepy as fish fluffy cuddly creatures mongrels in my Most Wondrous If Slightly Freakish High Security Petting Zoo MWISFHSPZ™ pronto So yay and stuff➽ And the other other moral of this reread is this book features the mostest bestest and wittiest animal familiar dialogues in the history of Mostest Bestest and Wittiest Animal Familiar Dialogues MBaWAFD™ And that is a scientifically proven fact See even Gertrude agrees with me on that one And Gertrude knows loads about scientifically proven facts LOADS PS I do stand by what I said the first time around body part transactions FTWPPS Only 334 days to go until we ritually rereread this book and stuff The countdown has begun and stuff Not that I look forward to it and stuff Just stating a fact and stuff Obviously and stuffOctober 2017• Everyone Luuuuurved It But Me Now that's a Surprise Buddy Read ELIBMNtaSBR™ with Evgeny aka The Culprit Tadiana Choko Layla Maria and Robin •So this was me while I was reading this book Shrimpless Needless to say I wasn't in the best of dispositions to read this classic Halloween read By the way worry not for I am not going to explain again how slightly pointless the whole Halloween read thing is to me because been there done that and all that crap Anyway Halloween Evgeny's disastrous influence on my reading life here we are First off I should mention that I've had too much whisky I usually have a very low tolerance for animals in books view spoiler except for IA beasts and creatures But as we all know IA doesn't count Because whatever it is IA does it better hide spoiler Imagine a brave Scooby Doo at WorkI rarely get chance to read a highly admired book A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny is my first review read from Netgalley Whether you call the genre humour or horror or lovecraftian or mystery but I am not able to put it into single genre confidently Unlike my other review reads this book shows clear cut difference between debut author and veteran authorI think one has to read the book to understand what the story is all about And many reviewers mentioned that it takes half the novel read to get the idea of the story I would like to correct it it took me than two third of the book to understand what is happening Story is written from watchdog's point of view In a certain area of London during Halloween of 1880's a group of people with special powers gathered to perform a particular ceremony They call it the Game Each player has their own companion animals who help them during the Game Players are divided into two groups the Openers and the Closers This year's Game became dangerous because of the death of players from both the sides Snuff watchdog and Gray cat venture their own adventures during Game to find out truth behind various strange events You will find all type of characters in story a magician a witch a vampire a warewolf a psychopath a Frankenstein and many There were some illustration given at appropriate places to clear readers doubt For an example from an illustration I understood that one player was a vampire otherwise I would have kept thinking how a person sleeps in coffin under debris You need a good amount of patience to finish this book For some it may be nail biting journey and for some it may be sure shot DNFs Its good that I sustained first 100 pages otherwise I would have put it under DNFs 5 A buddy read with the Roger Zelazny Newbies Group since we wanted to start with a bangWhere do I start??? Let's begin with my thanks to Evgeny who had the good sense to invite several of us for the Halloween Read and made us read it Thank you I had no idea what I was getting myself into After all I am not a horror reading type of a gal However I believe Horror is the last thing I would associate A Night in Lonesome October with The first would be smart and second funny It is like a Halloween Scavenger Hunt of Classic Characters all of them counting the days from the First of October to The Night the Thirty First I am a watchdog My name is Snuff I fetch things for Jack on occasion—his wand his big knife with the old writing on the sides I always know just when he needs them because it is my job to watch and to know I like being a watchdog better than what I was before he summoned me and gave me this job We are told the story happening in Victorian London from the POV of Snuff the watch dog familiar to Jack of dubious fame from that time period As I said the book is loaded with clues and connections which are a delight to decipher and I have to say doing it in a group is much fun because if you missed something your buddy reader might have figured it out and it truly feels like a game You start from no knowledge at all and then you get pieces little by little with every chapter covering a day in October and giving us some players and clues to go with It becomes obvious pretty uickly that teams of openers or closers are being created but no one knows who is on which team I addressed the suirrel through a hedge“Are you in the Game?”It scurried to the man’s nearer shoulder and peered“Who asks?” it chattered“Call me Snuff” I answered“Call me Cheeter” it replied “Yes I suppose we are Last minute thing—rush rush”“Opener or closer?”“Impolite Impolite to ask You know that”“Just thought I’d try You could be novices”“Not new enough to be giving anything away Leave it at that”“I will”“Stay Is there a black snake in it?”“You ask me to give something away But yes there is uicklime Beware His master is mad”“Aren’t they all?”We chuckled and I faded away Needless to say the familiars were the main characters since we saw everything from the point of view of a dog This is what made the story even enchanting than it already would have been given the brilliant way the author lets us in on it Snuff is not only a great watch dog and assistant to Jack he is also a mathematical genius who sees and deciphers patterns and even knows when to act like a lovable goof of a dog too I am in love with this character and if Jack and Jill don't work out I can take on the care for Snuff and Graymalk the cat at any time voluntarily this is how willing I am to work for the greater good “The crazy witch’s companion may be running out of steam about now”“What do you mean?”“‘Ding dong dell’”“I don’t follow you”“Literally Pussy’s in the well”“Who threw her in?”“MacCab full of sin”“Where is it?”“By the outhouse full of shit Back of Crazy Jill’s place Keeps it from going dry I guess” The banter is almost as awesome as the structure and simplicity of the storytelling I think half of the book is uotable but to truly experience it I would recommend you to get several friends together and read it preferably some time in October You will enjoy the way the characters gather their needed materials which are supposed to be acuired in some very specific ways and times Zelazny exhibits a particular talent in knowing when less is and makes our imaginations work overtime with the hints he gives here and there I am not sure I can find a weakness in the whole thing at all and I am not even going to look for it I just enjoyed it and the way it made me always look for the second meaning of every word and hint making my brain feel full of champagne bubbles and kept me slightly buzzed throughout Evgeny you recruited me into the Legions of RZ's fans Thank you once again “I took Jack his slippers this evening and lay at his feet before a roaring fire while he smoked his pipe sipped sherry and read the newspaper He read aloud everything involving killings arsons mutilations grave robberies church desecrations and unusual thefts It is very pleasant just being domestic sometimes” Now I wish you all Happy Reading and many wonderful books to come A Night in the Lonesome October is about a gateway to a dimension of Lovecraftian horrors and the two opposing forces dedicated to opening the gate or making sure it stays closed The story is told from the point of view of Jack the Ripper's dog Snuff Yeah you read that rightI was hooked right away around the time Snuff and the graveyard dog had a funny conversation and asked to see one another's teeth One of the characters calls The Game as it is known a lunatic scavenger hunt That's pretty much what it is Snuff spends most of the book calculating where the gateway will appear having to recalculate every time a player turns up deadOne of the best parts of A Night in the Lonsesome October is trying to figure out which characters are actually participants in The Game and which side they are onI enjoyed seeing classic horror characters like Count Dracula Larry Talbot and Frankenstein's monster in the same story as Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper Through in the Cthulhu mythos and you have a ripping good yarn A Night in the Lonesome October

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