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Night Things

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  36 reviews

A sprawling Adirondack "great camp" with 160 rooms, each carpeted in evil and painted with human blood.


Explore the miles of dark, twisting hallways, reeking with the stench of death. Journey through a bizarre labyrinth into chambers of unearthly proportions, up creaking stairways leading nowhere. But never...never...venture into
Paperback, 274 pages
Published July 1st 1988 by William Morrow & Company
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  302 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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mark monday
a nerdy 12-year-old and his parents move into a bizarre mansion in the Adirondacks. he makes a new friend: a shadowy darkness in the shape of a man. unpleasant adventures ensue. key phrase: honey trap - except the bait is not a lovely lass or strapping lad, it is the house itself. but who is this trap for exactly?

stories about strange houses are the best! really I think they are my favorite sort of horror novel (or gothic novel. or, in the case of Bellefleur, literary novel). I should make a she
Lake House is like some dark amalgamation of the Winchester House and Hill House. The angles are all off, there seems to be more room on the inside than the outside indicates, and Lake House has its own dark history. Unfortunately, most of the family staying over the summer are not aware of it.

I won't delve into the story description too much, since the synopsis already does that. I will say that I thought this was an extremely well written, fast paced story. It doesn't have the literary impact
Evans Light
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book had quite a different feel than most horror that I've read. The prose was clean and clear, with simultaneous childlike simplicity and literary sophistication - hard to explain.
With only a few restrained sexual references and limited violence contained within its pages, I think this could easily be a book early teens would enjoy.
The author was quite adept at skipping around various characters POVs in third person omniscient. The only confusion I experienced was at the beginning at the
Horace Derwent
I wish I could built a fucking time machine to send me back to the era of late 70's 'til late 80's(in America of course) just for some awesome horror paperbacks

I had no other choice so I had to buy this expensive reissue by Valancourt Books

I'm really a stubborn motherfucker with a hard ass to crack


Did I ever punish you for dreaming? Did I ever lock you in your own cocoon which you'd woven by yourself?

I gave you my soul and you left me dying...My paralyzed heart is bleeding like
NIGHT THINGS, by Michael Talbot, is a "haunted house" book that in some parts reminded me of Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, but without the evocative prose. That isn't to say that this wasn't a good story in its own right, it just wasn't "as" potent in building that subtle sense of unease throughout.

Lake House, itself, has a sordid reputation. With its odd architectural design, stairs that lead nowhere, and odd-demensioned rooms, this particular house is a character in its own rig
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The best thing about this one was the narration by Eric Bryan Moore who nailed the pacing ad tone of the story. The premise itself was not completely unfortunate, it just did not really work for me. It felt like a Goosebumps tale and skirted around the more interesting concepts of the story and never realized them as I would have liked. Ended up as a just ok story with above average narration.
Jon Recluse
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Mixing the mad geometry of Winchester House with the madder mythologies of the pre-biblical Lost Book of Enoch, Talbot creates a fast paced, creepy haunted house tale that is a prime example of the best of 80s style weirdness.

Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
A real classic with reference to Lovecraft! I love the story around Lakehouse and its role to keep the evil out. Fantastic showdown in the end. What a mysterious character of June. This pageturner is an absolute recommendation who's in for a thrilling horror story! ...more
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This had some great creepy house atmosphere. I did become invested in our characters Lauren and her son Garrett. I was quite irritated with Lauren in the beginning, but she came to her senses by the end of the novel and I am good with that. She actually became very brave, kudos Lauren. I felt bad for Garrett and not sure if I completely buy his relationship with the house. But I got over it. I did appreciate the ending and am glad that Rocker Ransom came to his own terms with the house. I am sur ...more
Rob Twinem
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: valancourtbooks
Lauren Montgomery, her son Garrett and her "I love myself so much" rock star husband Stephen Ransom have rented a large palatial mansion in the Adirondacks in North Eastern New York. It soon becomes apparent that something terrible is going to happen in "Lake House" which has a reputation for murder and bloodshed. Garrett becomes attuned to the sounds and ghostly apparitions that frequent the house, Lauren becomes more and more concerned about the welfare of herself and her son, and the lovely S ...more
Nancy Oakes
I just can't help myself -- I seriously cannot resist a good haunted house story. I have no clue why, it just is what it is. Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House is at the top of my list, followed by Nazareth Hill by Ramsey Campbell, with many, many more books lining up after these two. For me, it's all about the atmosphere, the creepiness, and the surprises that the characters discover inside, all of which are part and parcel of Night Things, which has the added bonus of an eerie, bizar ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Engaging and well done. I will be reading more from the author.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book may start out slow--though not boring; Talbot isn't capable of that--but where it takes you is incomprehensible and unable to be conjured up in your imagination. Plenty of creepy moments, too. Stay with it!

RIP Michael Talbot, who died in 1992 at 38. Leukemia.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Night Things is a perfect summer read. I loved Talbot's clinical, scientific prose. His characterization of Garret, the 11 year-old boy, was brilliant. Excellent prose, and the storyline and plot mechanisms represent vintage 80's horror in all the right ways. The exploration of the supernatural coupled with the real-life issues experienced by the characters, especially Garret, make for an irresistible, suspenseful haunted house/summer vacation read. Highly recommended to all. ...more
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
4.5 Stars

Recommended if you like light horror with a twist of the supernatural.
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
I found this on a list of '50 best horror novels' as part of my yearly Halloween observance, and I'm sorry to say it does not remotely merit inclusion.

My major complaints:
1) The two main characters are a charmingly weird 12-year old boy, and his mother, a 'investigative journalist' who sleeps with a rock star she was sent to interview (do investigative journalists typically write celebrity puff pieces?) and marries him four weeks later. The guy hates her kid, of course, but she's a dodo, and doe
Warren Fournier
Great Idea, Clumsy Execution

This novel is a kind of spiritual ancestor to "House of Leaves," about a old dwelling bigger on the inside than on the outside. The main themes concern trust and faith, and the labyrinthine journey to get to the truth of things. The author, Michael Talbot, had been very interested in the unseen reality behind appearances, and four years after publishing "Night Things," his speculative non-fiction work that postulates that the universe is a hologram appeared on shelve
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
As all fictional female reporters, Laurie is a terrible one who sleeps with her interviewee, "a famous recording star", right after the interview and then marries him despite her 11-year old son's misgivings. Blinded by his smooth hairless chest and superior lovemaking skills, she blissfully agrees to spend some time in his rented Adirondacks mansion full of horrors. Unlike his wanton mother and egomaniac stepfather, the kid is very sympatico. He's a science nerd but also into extraterrestrials, ...more
Erika Worley
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Aspects of this book were good, mainly during the first half. Then it all kind of went off the rails. What seemed like a creepy story of people staying in a big house turned into something with over complicated demons, over the top fights, out of place creatures, and a super preachy message. I have no idea who this book was written for, but the adult parts are very adult and the kid parts spend too much time explaining what lessons about trust you should take away from the story. The ending goes ...more
Jess reads more
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Night Blood - Michael Talbot

"Someday you'll want to trust someone and someone you know is going to warn you not to, and you're going to find out - it isn't always easy to know what to do"

First of all, I bought this book entirely based on the cover. I love the vivid contrast of colours and the whirring ghostlike man picture. These covers definitely hold a cult following! Valancourt books are really giving us horror nerds the books we dream of. Talbots other books are certainly on my TBR pile afte
Michael ONeill
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Three stars is probably a little harsh but for a horror story this was curiously un-scary. It's not badly written or even badly told, for the most part, and it has some good moments of suspense. But for a haunted house story (more or less), the house (clearly inspired by the Winchester Mystery House) seemed less scary and more kinda cool.

Two other larger issues: One of the characters is an ancient evil but when he talks, it's more like Dr. Evil. This is a hazard of having supernatural beings spe
Rick Charles
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Night Things is the second book by Michael Talbot I've picked up (the first being The Bog). While I initially didn't think Night Things would be my cup of tea, I was so impressed with The Bog that I was curious enough about Talbot's other works to give this one a try.

While I definitely don't think Night Things is as strong or deep a story as The Bog was, it is still excellent in its own right. What started out as a rudimentary haunted house story grew into so much more as the unpredictable story
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
I enjoyed the idea of the book more than the execution in most of it. The writing was good, but I didn't really like most of the characters. I even went back and forth on the protagonists.But maybe that is the point. I cannot imagine a real-life scenario where I like everyone and/or everyone's decisions all the time either.
I would have liked to have had some of the creepier venues and situations built out more. To me, this could have been a really good short story.
The audio version was
Robert Hudder
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting book in that in turns made me angry and surprised me. I was mad at some of the characterizations and shortcuts that seemed like tropes. Sometimes these turned around and felt right and other times they stood. Seems based on the Winchester house and that was quite fun. But the prologue seemed unnecessary.

This was a quick read and a compact book that kept moving and switching around. I was happy with it on the whole and could be convinced to read more of Michael Talbot`s h
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Audible:This was an awesome read!A newlywed mother of a young boy and her new husband go to a Lake House to spend the summer.Hubby isn't that into being a dad,he just wants to be a playboy.Things happen in the Lake House.There are halls that go to rooms that have not been lived in for ages.It is what is at the center of the house that is the important thing,besides learning who you can trust.Eric Bryan Moore was a great narrator.“I was given this free review copy audiobook and have voluntarily l ...more
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very good! I can see the influence on House of Leaves in here, and I love the concept of the house in general. It seems like some of the baddie's postulations at the end may have been an outlet for the author's theories about the supernatural, but it wasn't too heavy handed. The concept was cool and original, and I want more haunted houses with extra dimensions (they scare the hell out of me). ...more
Peter Phillips
Aug 21, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The epilogue was a better horror story than the rest of this book put together. Not scary, not original and not interesting. I picked up this book because of both the cover art and the fact that the setting was in the Adirondacks.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Part of me wishes I could have met Michael Talbot. That he wrote two books about real-world topics that have fascinated me for years (the bog bodies and the Winchester House) suggests that we might have had a lot to talk about, and it's no surprise that I would be excited to read those novels. It's just a shame that those two books were so disappointing.

Night Things is about a single mother and her son moving into a house modeled after the Winchester House, where staircases lead up to nowhere, d
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Valancourt Books: Night Things (1988) by Michael Talbot 14 23 Feb 07, 2015 01:08PM  

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Michael Talbot was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1953. As a young man, he moved to New York City, where he pursued a career as a freelance writer, publishing articles in Omni, The Village Voice, and others, often exploring the confluence between science and the spiritual.

Talbot published his first novel, The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life as an Avon paperback original in 1982

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