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A Night in the Lonesome October

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  3,377 ratings  ·  389 reviews
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.
Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 1st 1994 by Avon Books (Mm) (first published August 1993)
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Lord of Light by Roger ZelaznyNine Princes in Amber by Roger ZelaznyThe Great Book of Amber by Roger ZelaznyA Night in the Lonesome October by Roger ZelaznyCreatures of Light and Darkness by Roger Zelazny
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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!!

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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 walks....

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The 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 three.
"Carpe baculum!" (Seize the stick!)
You know the feeling when you finish the book and with a quiet 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 unique quirkiness 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 exception.

Zelazny is a genius when it comes to telling a story. Th
Half of the fun in most of Zelazny's books is to figure out what is going on. For this reason I have to be as obscure as possible. Imagine Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes, Count Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein, Rasputin, Larry Talbot (if you do not know who he is, I am not giving a spoiler), and some other well-known and interesting characters gather in one place waiting for the Halloween night when they are supposed to do something. The tale is told from a dog's POV. Are you confused? Sorry, this is ...more
Dan Schwent
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 right.

I 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 pr
Sep 21, 2012 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: genre-defiers, October fans
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). That means not only does the cast of characters include the watchdog Snuff, and his master, Jack, a
An entertaining, interesting story on the face, the understory is even better. Zelazny's sheer number of allusions and amount of sources truly make it a lunatic scavenger hunt that lead to research in some very dark & dusty corners of history, film, myth, & writing.

2012: Re-reading yet again with the Beyond Reality group.
By Day:
Cover & other Art:
Both of these topics contain spoilers.

I'm armed with 20 p
Ivonne Rovira
How many times have I read Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October? I literally can’t remember if it’s four or five or six. And it never loses its freshness or excitement.

And how do I write a review for this book that will do it justice? So cleverly written, and readers will delight in figuring out one by one who each of the “players” in the game are — many of which are characters from Victorian literature. Even though this was my fourth or more go-round with these characters, I stayed u
Oct2011: I made up a set of notes this year from discussions over the past couple of years in the Roger Zelazny group here:

This year we discussed the cover art & I even traded some emails with James Warhola. Hopefully he'll remember to look up his notes & fill me in on who is who. While some of the characters are obvious, several are not. Here's the full picture, much of which is cut out on the cover:

As alway
Oct 30, 2011 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: Jim
A very enjoyable read from Roger Zelazny, consistent with other material I've read by him.

The tone is light, although the subject matter is grim. It seems that on Halloween night, unimaginable horrors will attempt to enter this world. A gathering of powers has come together, some to hold it back, and some to try to help it along.

Throughout the month, these opposing forces are playing a game of positioning, alliances, and grabs for talismans to help their cause or hinder the opposition.

The story
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I read this because it is October and Zelazny is on my reading goals for the year. It is a clever tale from Snuff the dog in the month of October, and his pal Jack. There are talking animals and all the science fiction and fantasy tropes of classic literature, and some conclusions the reader needs to draw on his or her own. It was a light read with great drawings and I enjoyed it.

It was very Octoberish with bits like this:
"I breathed the smells of woodsmoke, loam, and rotting windfall apples, st
Oct 29, 2009 Miriam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: for Halloween
This amalgamation of Victorian gothic and penny dreadful cliches is the best example of Zelazny's tongue-in-cheek humor. Without taking itself too seriously, the book avoids the campiness of the author's Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming and manages to be exciting and plot-driven without losing its sense of whimsy. Zelazny also succeeds in capturing the requisite dark-and-shadowed-Victorian-London atmosphere without becoming unbearably heavy or going to extremes of nastiness, as many recent u ...more
This is a magical and unusual read where animals and their humans play a 'game' to save / destroy the world as we know it.

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I loved the relationships between the different animals and the cosmic dimensions introduced.
The game is a challenge to follow but this is aided by the adventures of the animals which make you hang in there when things are not making sense.
This is the kind of book I will re-read (and I don't say that very often) because there are so many levels and it's just so different.
Oh what a fast, fun adventure for us lovers of mystery, fantasy and horror......Narrated by Jack the Ripper's faithful (door opening) guard dog Snuff (with his best pal Graymalk the cat by his side) Roger Zelazny dedicates his last book to some of the GREATS.....Shelley, Poe, Stoker, Doyle, Lovecraft, Bradbury, Bloch, Tenhune and makers of old movies.

The wild and crazy romp with the supernatural begins on October 1 and ends....fittingly....on All Hallows Eve, and besides the thrashing Jack, you'


I read A Night in the Lonesome October with some of my favorite gal pals on goodreads. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but what I got was not at all what I had imagined.

The story is told in 31 chapters- each one is a day in October. You are following around Snuff, a watchdog who tells you all about his adventures for the day. There are other animals that are in the story as well working with their human companion to collect items and information for what they refer to as “The Game”.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Goodness gracious, I am super late writing this review. My schedule just exploded after the middle of October, and I had no time. Because it's been nearly a month, I don't have the best memory of all the plotlines. But I promised I would write a review for every book I read, so better late than never, and my review will be of the more general sort.

I was fortunate to find this at my library and it fit very well thematically into my October Scare Fest reading. I enjoyed it overall. It's an odd lit
This was my second attempt at reading Zelazny, and although I enjoyed this one more than the last one, I am beginning to think that Zelazny's style just doesn't agree with me.

The best way that I can think to describe it is that I feel like I'm seeing the events of the story out of the corner of my eye, that I can never quite get the full picture. We're given hints, references to puzzle out, dialogue that both reveals and obscures, and a narration that is restrained and secretive. Everything is
Amy Sturgis
While this would be ideal reading for October, I'm glad I didn't wait until then to read it. This book has been recommended to me several times, and I now understand why. It's a perfect storm of Lovecraftian Victoriana: figures such as Jack the Ripper, Count Dracula, the Wolfman, Victor Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, and other identifiable "types" (a mad monk, a witch, a druid, occultists, etc.), most with animal familiars, draw together to either open or close the door that will ...more
Oct 07, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of Lovecraft, Cthulhu, monster mash-ups
Recommended to Katy by: Lovecraft ezine
Book Info: Genre: Lovecraftian fiction
Reading Level: 18+
Recommended for: Fans of Lovecraftian/Cthulhuian tales, monster mash-ups

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 thi
Allie Chickie
What a fantastic book. A great mix of creepy, mysterious, funny, and charming.

It is rumored that this book was written on a bet: that Zelazny could not write a book in which the reader rooted for Jack the Ripper. If that isn't encouragement enough to read this, I don't know what will be. Snuff is a dog and the narrator of this story. Snuff's owner/companion? You guessed it, Jack the Ripper.

Each chapter chronicles one day in the month of October, ending on Halloween with the climax of the book.
I could recommend this book to anyone from 9 to 90...well, at least, a mature, sophisticated 9. Actually a 9 year old that loves animals would probably like it without understanding some of the dicier concepts. I pretty obviously do not have children so perhaps those with children can set me straight if they would read it to their child or let them read it themselves. All I'm trying to say is that I think all ages could enjoy this on different levels. I, myself, am very childlike when I'm not fa ...more
A delightful tale. True, some of the participants come to not-so-good ends, but this book is delightful nonetheless. After all, there's Sherlock Holmes! And a vampire, a werewolf, Frankenstein's monster, gypsies - it just gets better and better.

The story, progressing day by day through the month of October, is narrated by Jack's dog Snuff. He has at first an uneasy truce with the cat Graymalk, the "crazy witch" Jill's familiar, but they develop into good friends as the book progresses. They are
I'm not sure how to describe this book, although the phrase "a fun romp" pops into my head. I'm not sure why, since I'd never use "a fun romp" in a verbal conversation, but I can't think of anything more appropriate. The story starts off vague as we follow a dog through the days of October as his companion, Jack the Ripper, participates in a sort of scavenger hunt for reasons not revealed until much later. Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and other classic horror creatures join in as well ...more
Gotta love Roger Zelazny. I can just see him getting totally baked one day and bolting up out of his thought stew and going, "Fuck all y'all, I'm writing Sherlock Holmes/Frankenstein/Dracula/poe crossover fanfic from the point of view of Jack the Ripper's dog! Suck it!"

And then he did. This is the deceptively adorable diary of a dog, chronicling his efforts and the efforts of his master as opposing forces gather to keep the demons out, or let them in. Silly, punny – there's this bit about an owl
4.0 stars. A fun, whimsical story narrated by a dog featuring all of your favorite monster characters (Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, Jack the Ripper) as they battle to prevent (or allow) the Elder Gods of Lovecraft's universe to enter our world on Halloween. A great read.

Nominee: Nebula Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1995)
Jon Recluse
An entertaining dark fantasy that combines Lovecraftian menace with the horror icons of Universal Pictures, along with the film versions of Sherlock Holmes, Rasputin and Jack the Ripper. Throw in a smattering of local color, including angry villagers, a creepy vicar, and some traveling gypsies. Season with a sense of humor that reads more like Gahan Wilson (who illustrated the hardcover) than Zelazny.
Then let Jack's dog, Snuff tell the tale.

Trust me. This book will put a smile on the face of any
(3.5 stars) A Night in the Lonesome October is an odd little book. It’s a mashup of H.P. Lovecraft, Sherlock Holmes, Victorian horror, monster movies, and dry humor, from the point of view of a dog. It’s definitely worth the read if you like pastiche-style horror. It’s written in a weird style and it won’t be for everyone — I’m not even sure it’s exactly for me! But I did have fun reading it and found its style unique and intriguing.

The best way I can think of to describe A Night in the Lonesome
[Originally read May 1-May 2, 2010]

I'll start by saying that I came upon this book largely by accident, and it turned out to be one of the greatest accidents of my life -- WAY better than that time I soiled myself on stage during my first-grade performance of the Nativity story ("Three wise men?" More like "Two wise men and their dumpy friend with no control over his bladder").

Anyway, I'd gotten on ye olde Internet before heading to the library so I could figure out what they had checked in tha
A wonderful classic that has some of the most original characters ever, even if they are animals. It is definitely one to read every October, I'm sure I will pick up new information every time I read it.

Semi-humans and magic animals are all preparing to play a game that will have an epic outcome. The game will be played on October 31st, however, the preparation for the game is the real start of the game and without complete ready- ness and a lot of study, you don't stand a chance.

Thanks to all
A Night in the Lonesome October is so fun to read. Loved all the references to Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Frankenstein and so on, without specifically calling them by name -- almost as archetypes, I suppose: "The Great Detective", "The Count", "The Good Doctor"...

I loved that it was narrated by a dog, too. There was something of a doggish mindset about it, somehow: it rang true, for me. Loved the interactions between Greymalk and Snuff, and the grey area in which their interactions existed. I lik
This is possibly the most fun book I have ever read. I enjoyed every minute of it and I re-read it frequently. I think most anyone with an appreciation for literature will enjoy Zelazny's delightful puns and amusing literary jokes and references.
It's good fantasy and great fun.
Also, I should add that I cannot tolerate any of Zelazny's other works because of his overwhelming sexism, even though he is most definitely a brilliant storyteller of terrific wit and humor. (Or was, I should say, since
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Beyond Reality: Lonesome October - Finished! 19 39 Dec 30, 2012 10:29PM  
Beyond Reality: Lonesome October - By the Day 149 79 Oct 31, 2012 05:22PM  
Beyond Reality: Lonesome October Artwork; Cover & Chapter 38 99 Oct 31, 2012 07:29AM  
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Roger Zelazny made his name with a group of novellas which demonstrated just how intense an emotional charge could be generated by the stock imagery of sf; the most famous of these is 'A Rose for Ecclesiastes' in which a poet struggles to convince dying and sterile Martians that life is worth continuing. Zelazny continued to write excellent short stories throughout his career. Most of his novels d ...more
More about Roger Zelazny...
Nine Princes in Amber The Great Book of Amber (The Chronicles of Amber, #1-10) Lord of Light The Courts of Chaos The Guns of Avalon (Amber Chronicles, #2)

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