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Nightside #1

Something from the Nightside

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John Taylor is not a private detective per se, but he has a knack for finding lost things. That's why he's been hired to descend into the Nightside, an otherworldly realm in the center of London where fantasy and reality share renting space and the sun never shines.

230 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 2003

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About the author

Simon R. Green

283 books3,030 followers
Simon Richard Green is a British science fiction and fantasy-author. He holds a degree in Modern English and American Literature from the University of Leicester. His first publication was in 1979.

His Deathstalker series is partly a parody of the usual space-opera of the 1950s, told with sovereign disregard of the rules of probability, while being at the same time extremely bloodthirsty.

Excerpted from Wikipedia.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,509 reviews
Profile Image for Megan.
418 reviews386 followers
June 21, 2010
Our first mention of the Nightside is (in my paperback edition) on page's 10 and 11 where we learn that, "The Nightside is the secret, hidden, dark heart of the city. London's evil twin. It's where the really wild things are."

From that point on, Green continues to write the phrase the Nightside on nearly every single page, often accompanied by a lengthy description of the horrors one will find in the Nightside. For example,

p.12 I considered the matter. How much, to go back into the Nightside?

p.13 ...compared to what was waiting for me back in the Nightside, her anger, and implied threats were nothing.

p.14 You know the Nightside.

p.15 Let me tell you about the Nightside...
The Nightside is a square mile of city streets and back alleys in the centre of the city, linking slums and tenements that were old when the last century was new...
In practice, the Nightside is much bigger than that...there are those who say the Nightside is actually bigger than the city that surrounds it...
It's always night in the Nightside...
You can buy or sell anything in the Nightside...

p.16 You can find anything in the Nightside, if it doesn't find you first.

p.19 My name is John Taylor. Everyone in the Nightside knows that name...
so there I was, going back again, back to the Nightside...

p.20 I left the Nightside five years ago, fleeing imminent death and the betrayal of friends, and swore through blood-flecked lips that I'd never go back, no matter what.

p.21 I used to be a dangerous man, even for the Nightside...

p.22 My closest female friend is a bounty hunter, who operates exclusively in the Nightside...
I'm more than just another private detective, in the Nightside...
All routes lead to the Nightside.

p.27 Anyone can walk down the wrong street, open the wrong door, and end up in the Nightside. Most of them don't last long, though. London and the Nightside have rubbed up against each other for so long now that the barriers are getting dangerously thin. Someday they'll all come crashing down, and all the poison in the Nightside will come spilling out...

p.28 There are more worlds than we know, or would wish to know, and most of them send people through the Nightside sooner or later.

p.30 Something new has come into the Nightside

p.31 We have to travel through strange, harsh, places to reach the Nightside. Dangerous and unnatural places, that would blast the sight from your eyes and the reason from your mind.

p.34 There are a great many mysteries in the Nightside, and much against my will, I'm one of them

p.36 The only thing that moves faster than the speed of light is gossip in the Nightside.

p.37 Many of the sleek and gleaming vehicles darting through the Nightside had to be new to Joanna...Taxis that ran on debased holy water, limousines that ran on fresh blood, ambulances that ran on distilled suffering. You can turn a profit from anything, in the Nightside.

p.38 I've never been sure whether the moon really is bigger in the Nightside, or whether it's just closer...
There were wonders and marvels to be found in the Nightside, sights and glories to be savoured and clutched to your heart forever...
the Nightside is really just like...the city streets we walk in dreams and nightmares.

p.39 'Welcome to the Nightside,' I said, smiling. 'Abandon all taste, ye who enter here.'..
She gave me a hard look. 'I can never tell when you're joking.'
'Neither can I sometimes, in the Nightside. It's that kind of place. Life, death, and reality are all flexible concepts here.'

ENOUGH! I made it through 78 pages before giving up. Even if Simon Green didn't tell, rather than show... and even if his characters were well written... and even if this story is perhaps much spookier in his head than it is in the actual writing of it.... I am freaking sick to death of reading the phrase, THE NIGHTSIDE ~ let alone the multiple descriptions of it on every single page. Normally I am not an advocate of violence, but something really needs to be done about the person who let this book be published in its current state.

Even though the protagonist was frequently referred to by his full name, John Taylor ~ and even though that name (as always) brings me blissful images of my favorite sexy bass player ~ that still wasn't enough to rescue this horrid book. Ugh. Let me go listen to some Duran Duran, remember the good John Taylor and get this back to the library ASAP.
January 11, 2019
Actual rating: 2.5254896 stars. 2.224896 stars. My Nefarious Daughter Elena was kind enough to point out I had been overly generous with my original rating (must be the revoltingly disgusting Christmas Spirit getting to me), ergo I most obligingly lowered it and stuff.

You’d think that Noir + Urban Fantasy would = YUM, right? Wrong. As scrumptious as this could and should have been, it wasn’t. Why? Because:

It’s all clichéd as fish.
I love Noir Fiction (and happen to think all things Dashiell Hammett are slightly hot, just so you know) and don’t usually mind the delightfully delightful tropes that plague the genre, since they kinda sorta come with the territory and stuff. BUT. As cheerfully open-minded and nefariously resilient as I am, there’s only so much Ridiculously Ridiculous Stereotypes (RRS™) and Lame Noir Parody (LNP™) I can take. Also, a private eye who has a private eye that allows him to find Anything Anytime Anywhere (AAA™) ? Somebody kill me please. Or give me something to drink. Either would work, methinks. But I might perhaps possibly prefer some booze over dying a deadly death. Maybe.

One-dimensional everything.
Bloody stinking shrimp, it’s all so dullishly flat even my infamous herd of ironing boards has more depth than this world and the characters that evolve in it! And that’s saying something, if you ask me.

The Boredom Fest.
How can a book about the Delectably Delectable Underworld (DDU™) be as monotonously uninteresting as this, I wonder? I didn’t think such a feat was possible before reading this lovely tale. Goes to show you can be both nefarious as fish and naïve as shrimp. The plot is Super Extra Meh (SEM™) and the pace Super Extra Bleh (SEB™). There are endless descriptions of the Bloody Shrimping Nightside—and ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY SIX occurrences of the word. In a 230-page book—but do we learn anything even remotely interesting from them? Nope nope nope. How can you blabber away SO much but say SO little, anyway? It probably requires some Extra Special Talent (EST™) or something.

Insta-lurve of Doom and Oblivion.
Okay, so I get the whole “P.I.” falls for his Super Hot Client (SHC™) and stuff, but could he at least have waited until past the 100% mark a little bit to go all “we kissed and all of a sudden I felt warm and happy and more alive than I had felt in decades—it kinda sorta felt like waking up in a foreign country —and then we held each other and nothing else mattered I’m pretty sure the heavens are going to open any second now.”

Shrimpy subtitle: Such Noir. Much Badass.

Oh, since we’re spending some time in Lovey-Dovey Crap Territory (LDCT™), I should also mention that our “tall, dark and not particularly handsome” Private Eye of the Private Eye has all the chicks panting at him and crawling at his feet. Because he’s totally irresistible like that. I mean, he’s, you know, tall, dark and not particularly handsome. And a private eye with a private eye. So QED and stuff.

Sandman Slim has ruined me forever.
It really isn’t my fault if I somewhat didn’t enjoy this book very much. It’s all because of Richard Kadrey and Jimmy Stark. Urban Fantasy doesn’t get much better than my Maledictions-smoking boyfriend’s fun-filled adventures Downtown, if you ask me.

➽ And the moral of this Yes and Yeah and Yay I Just Got Another Series Off Of My TBR Shelf Go Me And Stuff Crappy Non Review (YAYAYIJGASOOMTSGMASCNR™) is: the only character I liked in this book was mercilessly killed dead. And died a slightly excruciating death as a result. I am not amused.

[ Pre-review nonsense]

Is it possible to OD on a word, I wonder? Probably not, because if that were the case I would have ended up in the ER halfway through this book. I swear, if I ever bloody shrimping read or hear the word “Nightside” just one more bloody shrimping time, I'm unleashing my homicidal children on this silly little planet and stuff.

Oh, and by the way, this book could have been fantastically fantastic, only that it wasn't. I think that Sandman Slim may have possibly ruined me forever. Maybe. This one’s on you, Richard Kadrey.

Please calm down, Helmut dear. Remember what the doctor said about your blood pressure and stuff.

➽ Full The Beginning Was Not Engaging The Middle Feeble And The Ending Wanting Crappy Non Review (TBWNETMFATEWCNR™) to come.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews34 followers
January 22, 2019
Something from the nightside (Nightside #1), 2003, Simon R. Green
The series is focused on John Taylor, a private investigator based in the fictional Nightside, a dark, hidden netherworld of London in which the supernatural and science fiction super-technology co-exist. Dark, cynical, and humorous, the books offer an adventure into the Nightside, where classic pulp PI novels blend with fantasy and science fiction.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز دهم ماه جولای سال 2014 میلادی
عنوان: نایت ساید جلد اول: فرستاده ای از نایت ساید؛ نویسنده: سیمون آر. گرین؛ مترجم: علی مصلح حیدرزاده؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، ویدا، چاپ نخست 1386، در 210 ص، اندازه 14 در 21 س.م، فروست: مجموعه نایت ساید، شابک جلد 1: 9789646807907؛ شابک دوره: 9789646807914؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده 21 م
چیزی از نایت ساید، کتاب نخست از سری دوازده جلدی رمان‌های فانتزی «نایت ساید» نوشتهٔ سیمون آر. گرین نویسنده ی بریتانیایی است که در سال 2003 میلادی منتشر شد. جان تایلور پنج سال است که نایت ساید را ترک کرده، تا اینکه بخاطر یک پرونده به نایت ساید برمی‌گردد. کتاب «چیزی از نایت ساید» در یازده فصل نگاشته شده‌ است: پول خودش وارد می‌شود؛ رفتن به آنجا؛ نئون نوار؛ همه اگر بدانند چه چیز برایشان خوب است، به استرنج فلوز می‌روند؛ جان آزارها؛ غوغا در دژ؛ مسکن وحشی‌ترین موجودات؛ وقت استراحت در بار و کبابی شاهین؛ خانه‌ ای در خیابان بلیستون؛ نقاب‌ها برداشته می‌شود؛ موخره
نقل از متن: من تیلور هستم، جان تیلور. روی کارت ویزیتم نوشته شده کاراگاه خصوصی هستم. اما در واقع تخصصم پیدا کردن هر چیز گمشده است. این استعدادی است که از زمان تولد در «نایت ساید»، در وجودم نهفته است. من «نایت ساید» را، مدت‌ها پیش ترک کردم. جانم در خطر بود. حالا در خیابان‌های روشن لندن زندگی می‌کنم. اما کار و کاسبی اخیرا کساد شده، به همین دلیل وقتی «جوانا برت»، که از ��و بوی پول به مشام می‌رسید،‌ در دفترم ظاهر شد، و از من خواست دختر نوجوان گمشده‌ اش را پیدا کنم، نتوانستم نه بگویم. خیلی زود فهمیدم، دختربچه کجا رفته: نایت ساید، آن شهر دوزخی، که زیر لندن واقع شده است. جایی که همیشه ساعت سه صبح است. جایی که می‌توانید در کنار اسطوره‌ ها قدم بزنید، و با هیولاها دم‌خور شوید. جایی که هیچ‌ چیز آنچه به نظر می‌رسد، نیست، و هر اتفاقی ممکن است بیفتد. من قسم خورده بودم هرگز به آنجا بازنگردم. اما یک دختربچه به خطر افتاده، و یک زن به من اعتماد کرده است،‌ پس هیچ انتخابی ندارم... من به خانه بازمی‌گردم. پایان نقل از متن. ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Chelsea.
148 reviews32 followers
October 31, 2011
This book came highly, highly recommended to me, by the same friend who bought me my first Dresden and Belgariad books. Never before have I doubted her judgement.

This book was the worst example of telling, not showing, I've ever read. There was a lot of dialogue that was only there to talk about the Nightside. You leave the book knowing what kind of person John Taylor is. It's not from experiencing him as a character, but from him telling you all about himself. To illustrate this point, the phrase "...in the Nightside" appears 69 times, according to my count. If I had just counted "the Nightside," it would have been probably upwards of 200.

The book had a humorous tone, but it didn't have any truly funny parts. This lent the entire book a feeling of insincerity which stuck with me until about page 180 or so.

"Anything can happen, here in the Nightside. You can watch baby angels being aborted here in the Nightside. All of your missing socks are here, in the Nightside. In the Nightside, no one checks their blind spots. No manufacturer coupons are doubled, in the Nightside. Only shitty lager is poured in the Nightside. Here in the Nightside, there is no Target, only Walmart."
June 17, 2009
If you like your urban fantasy/occult detective novel with a touch of the horrific, then The Nightside books are up your alley. John Taylor is very enigmatic. He has abilities. He can find things, usually things that don't want to be found. There are things that go bump in the night. And most of them live in The Nightside. It's a dark, scary place that is somewhere near London.

John Taylor is a wanted man in the Nightside, and has sworn not to go back. You know about good intentions. When a girl goes missing, he is asked to go there to help find her. Strapped for cash, he can hardly turn down the exorbitant fee he is offered And John feels the need to help people (although he'd hardly own up to it).

I became a fan of Simon R. Green when I read this book. He has a great sense of humor, on the wry side, often dark, but funny all the same. Yet there is a core of goodness even in the muck and yuck of what happens in this place where it's always 3 am. It's John Taylor. He's all hard-bitten exterior, but inside there is a hero hiding.

Taylor is an interesting protagonist. He has quite a legacy that he is running from, and doesn't fully understand. He doesn't know that much about his parents, except that his mother was/is a heavy hitter in the Nightside, and his father was fairly normal. As the books unfold we find out just how powerful his mom is. There is a prophecy that Taylor might bring about the end of the world if he succeeds in finding his long-lost mother. Taylor goes to the future long enough to see that it's not what any of us want, especially me (read the book and you'll find out why. Poor Razor Eddie).

This book is full of interesting and rather dark and scary, but often humorous at the same time secondary characters like Razor Eddie, Shotgun Suzie, the gun-happy, rather butch female friend and sometimes enemy of Taylor, and The Harrowing, very scary beings with no faces wearing suits and with hypodermic needles for hands, who are out for Taylor's blood, just to name a few. There are some strange and unsettling things happening in the Nightside, and for that reason I would warn a reader. Green tends to describe the violence in a very horrific way, but I feel the humor keeps the subject more light. I am a bit squeamish, and I love these books, so I think most interested readers could handle them. So if you are willing to take a walk on the darkside, come on down to the Nightside. John Taylor can tell you more than he cares to remember about this place.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
3,005 reviews10.6k followers
October 1, 2010
After five years in London, John Taylor gets drawn back into the machinations of the Nightside when Joanna Barrett hires him to find her daughter. The trail takes him all over the Nightside and nothing is ever as it first seems...

I've had this on my bookcase for over a year and I finally gave it a read on vacation. It's light and obviously the first in a long series but I dig it just the same.

The Nightside is a pocket dimension that lies in part of London populated will all kinds of nasties. John Taylor has a vaguely described gift that lets him find lost things. Pretty cool. I like that Taylor is far from being a superhero and actually not very brave. The supporting characters are good, not cardboard like many secondary characters in books of this type. Razor Eddie stands out in particular, as do the Harrowing.

Easter eggs about. The one that really stands out is a cameo by Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius.

Not a bad read. Fans of the Dresden Files and Glen Cook's Garrett books will enjoy it.
Profile Image for Lori Whitwam.
Author 6 books156 followers
December 30, 2007
This is the first book in Green's "Nightside" series.

"You can find anything in the Nightside-if it doesn't find you first. John Taylor is not a private detective per se, but he has a knack for finding lost things. That's why he's been hired to descend into the Nightside, an otherworldly realm in the center of London where fantasy and reality share renting space and the sun never shines"

I love this series. John Taylor is the relatively normal one (which isn't saying much) in a world filled with otherworldly creatures, where reality is ever-changing and magic abounds. There are so many bizarre characters, some you come to like, and some you definitely are wise to give a wide berth. No matter the scope of mystery or impending apocalypse, Taylor finds himself not only in the middle of it, but usually the pivotal character who will determine who rules the Nightside. And sooner or later, all roads lead to Goodfellows, the oldest bar in the universe. Deeds are done, favors called in or owed, and in the end, NOBODY messes with John Taylor, though some have tried.
Profile Image for Tammy.
312 reviews43 followers
June 30, 2012
Something from the Nightside was just an okay read in my opinion. Its starts off good-a detective with a gift for finding things takes on a case in which he must locate a rich lady's missing daughter. All the woman knows is that her daughter is in the Nightside.

My biggest problem is I don't like the descriptions of the Nightside, it seemed like the author tried way to hard to make it seem weird. I think it may have been creepier with subtle descriptions of the weirdness. Here's an example, when describing the Nightside John says this, "...you can pay to see a fallen angel forever burning inside a pentacle drawn in baby's blood. Or a decapitated goats head that can tell the future in enigmatic verses of perfect iambic pentameter. There's a room where silence is caged and colours are forbidden, and another where a dead nun will show you her stigmata." What!?

I was really dissatisfied with the way the mystery was solved too. I'll eventually read the next book because there is a part of the story that caught my interest.
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,144 reviews1,849 followers
February 7, 2010
While this is not "my" first Nightside book, it is "the" first Night Side book. (The statement almost sounds like something from the Nightside doesn't it?)

John who is "something special" in the Nightside, is just "John Taylor" in the mundane world.

What's the Nightside? Good question, it's the dark heart of London...except it has apparently existed longer than the city itself. It's where all the dark, dangerous, magic "stuff" goes and "lives" or "exists" as some of the things walking, working, and "functioning" there aren't actually, "alive". Somehow though it's a square mile in the heart of London, it seems to be bigger than entire city itself....

If you go there, watch yourself.

This is the story that introed John and the Nightside and it's a good story. I was told that if I liked Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden books, I'd like these. I do. I wouldn't quite say there "as good" but they're close.
Profile Image for Ami.
5,865 reviews496 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
March 27, 2013
DNF at 47%

With huge apology to my buddy read (Kate), I simply have to bail. I can't continue a book where all I want is gritting my teeth in annoyance when I read it

Strike One: Alien Abductees. ALIEN. ABDUCTEES. Look I don't know, if it's the true plot or not, but when I read this line, I have to stop. I might enjoying The X-Files back in 1990s but definitely not almost two decades later. Alien is so last decade. I'm truly sorry, but anything with alien abductees thingy is not my thing.

Strike Two: Our hero, John, is supposed to be well-known in the Nightside and his name scared some people's too. But when his first reaction to his greatest enemy is shaking in fear, and cannot really do anything except being saved by someone else ... well, I lose my respect to him entirely. Oh, and that first kiss with the damsel in distress? Again, ANNOYING. Not when the damsel mistaken John for her savior when all John does is cowering in fear.

Strike Three: All these words of in the Nightside/to the Nightside/the Nightside combination. GAH!! So distracting and frickin' annoying. Yes, yes, I know that the Nightside is scary and freaky, but darn telling me about it for gazillion times will not make me think it's scary. Show me!!

So maybe I will not know when the next book is better or not. I decide NOT to find out. Sorry John, you're not the hero I'd like to read more about...
Profile Image for Tina ➹ lives in Fandoms.
411 reviews417 followers
November 19, 2020
2 Stars

(P: Poor)

I didn’t expect this little book last this long, but I lost interest in it & now I just finished it because I wanted to get over it. I think I don’t like when Horror is the most part of the book without enough element of fantasy (in this case it was very few!) or the sweet excitements of the adventure which caused by something magical, because the world turned dull when I got used to it.

Humour (which became less & less through the book)
You shouldn’t read this at night!

🔽 But too much descriptions & scenes without any dialogue made me bored (It was disgusting sometimes) or the total opposite, the non-stop talking to explain who this new guy was.
🔽 I didn’t like the world.

🔼 I liked John Taylor & Joanna.
🔼 some inspirational quotes
🔼🔽 It had a good & satisfying ending, but not that much to continue with the series. (though the chapter title was kind of a spoiler)

Bye bye Nightside!
Profile Image for Elina.
76 reviews14 followers
April 19, 2021
نایت‌ساید برای من متفاوت بود
خیلی متفاوت
احتمالا قرار نبود همچین چیزی باشه
اما با شرایطِ فعلیِ من،تک‌تک جمله‌ها انگار آشنا بود.
حس متفاوتی باهاش تجربه کردم :)
توی کتاب انقدر هر لحظه هرچی به ذهنم رسید رو نوشتم که شبیه دفتر خاطرات شد😭😂(از من خیلییی بعید بود!)
نایت‌ساید تعریف جدیدی از اعتماد،عشق و امید بود برای من...
9:10 AM

*اینارو بیخیال،فروردین چرا تموم نمیشه؟ 😂
Profile Image for Kathryn Ford.
Author 1 book86 followers
May 30, 2015
For the full review click:

Phew, how to describe this book! First of all, let me tell you that it is amazing, no more than amazing – it is a true master piece! I have never read anything like it and doubt if I will. The Nightside series is sort of a mix of Terry Pratchett meets James Bond meets hell. Perhaps the best description I can come up with is that it is a black comedy action urban fantasy, and that still doesn’t quite cut it.

The book is told from a first person point of view, that of John Taylor who is nearing thirty years old. He is hiding out in downtown London, parading as a special investigator. You see, John Taylor can find anything and anyone, even if they don’t want to be found. He was forced to flee The Nightside, a pocket Dimention in the middle of London, five years ago, by monsters who had hunted him since he was a child. But, when Joanna Barrett turns up at his decrepit little office, begging for his help to find her lost daughter, Cathy, John Taylor decides it is time to go back to the Nightside. And so the adventure begins.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,103 followers
May 29, 2021
This isn't bad. I mean, it goes right from cliche to an all-out imagination fest in the OTHER, hidden London trope, but for all that, the cliche is both a familiar anchor and the other, wild London IS very interesting and all over the place with goodies.

No slow build-up here. We're just thrown into the big and weird right away and that is sometimes VERY fun.

That being said, I need some time in this series before I truly care for its main character. Other than his OP powers and his anger at being pulled back into Nightside, he's still kinda one-dimensional.

I can only hope that improves. The worldbuilding is quite fun.
March 12, 2013
London's underworld. Many different, strange characters, all of them dull. Including the main character, who is but a parody of the film noir detective. I love the supernatural, but this is just really boring, despite the strange new underworld it promises.
Profile Image for Anita.
2,328 reviews163 followers
March 20, 2009
This book is written like an old-school down-on-his-luck PI mystery, complete with the rich dame that waltzes into the private eye's life desparately seeking his help. There are plenty of bleak monologues, just like you'd expect in that genre. That said, it's a contemporary urban fantasy setting that the author calls the Nightside. The Nightside is like a parallel dimension connected to London through the subway system. All sorts of crazy creatures from various dimensions, times, and planets come and go through the Nightside. There's very little law - pretty much just survival of the fittest. The PI, John Taylor, was born and raised in the Nightside, but left for good 5 years ago to live in London. Joanne Barrett, a rich business woman, shows up desparately looking for her teen runaway daughter, who is in the Nightside. John is broke, so he takes the case (plus he's a sucker for a dame.) While in the Nightside, John has special powers - mostly psychic ones that involve finding things. The story takes the reader through a few death-defying scenarios and introduces the reader to many violent cartoon-ish characters during the quest for the daughter. The book comes off as a script for a movie more than a novel - it is visually interesting and action packed, but there is very little character development. I was frankly shocked to learn near the end of the story that John was developing romantic feelings for Joanna. I was also a little peaved that John suddenly had an extra power the reader didn't know anything about just in the nick of time at the end of the story - I found that conclusion lazy on the part of the writer. Despite all the violence and gore, the book wasn't disturbing - it came off as cartoonish, and the characters were so shallow, I never really cared enough about them to be scared. So, good enough, but not great. Maybe the rest of the series gets better.
Profile Image for Regina.
625 reviews394 followers
March 14, 2012
A friend of mine that reviewed this book said it well -- this might have been a great book if it had been written differently. Initially I should say upfront that I prefer character driven stories and if a story is plot driven, then it takes a very strong plot and complex world building for me to be a fan of the book Something from the Nightside is not a character driven book and it is not a book with a strong storyline or strong world building. I think I may have not been the right audience for this book and that there are others out there who would like it.

So here are the strengths:
Interesting world descriptions
Interesting take on the supernatural and the creepy
Plot driven (if you like this sort of think)
Would make a decent movie
The writing is descriptive in such a way that the reader can imagine the scenery. The writing is almost akin to describing a painting.

The book is short, I listened to the narration and it lasted just under 6 hours at regular speed. But I was bored, the narration was okay however, the story did not hold my attention. I ended up listening to it on 2X speed. There are some twists and turns throughout the storyline. There are a few number of funny one liners and observations. Ultimately, though, I felt like the story was strung together by witty observations and comments, detailed descriptions and some fight/flight scenes. I likely will not be reading the next book in the series.
Profile Image for Allison Hurd.
Author 3 books751 followers
February 18, 2023
I liked this quite a bit, but I doubt I'll continue as it lacked sufficient depth to make it stand out.


Things to like:

-Oughties UF fun. You want a PI who's starved for work who take a job that smells like money? Here you go!

-The weird. I liked the different inclusions!

The rest:

-The alpha crap. There's something about this era of masculine that likes manufacturing scenarios for the feminine to need their protection in order to survive, like telling someone with no context to follow you into what turns out to be a gun fight. Power fantasy? Dying ideal of toxic masculinity? I don't know. It's here, and I see it. I get the trope, I know it's "a thing" and all. Is it terribly masculine to know more about something than a feminine type and watch them not instantly get the scenario so the man can "protect" her? I don't know. Looks like abuse to me.

-Gary Stu. Classic Gary. The most badass, the most powerful, the most desired. But when push comes to shove? We see basically none of it. I did like the twist at the end though.

It was a fun, classic oughties UF romp. Not sure I'll continue, but I had a good time with it while reading.
Profile Image for Justin.
79 reviews29 followers
October 1, 2009
I liked this book. I enjoyed it for what it was. What it is though, might not be for everyone. Like many others I was pointed to this series because I like Jim Butcher, Butcher himself recommends this series. Something from the Nightside’s main character is John Taylor. John is a private detective with a gift for finding things. He takes a case about a missing girl that forces him to confront his past and enter the Nightside. John Taylor has a serious reputation in the Nightside and he thought he had left that world behind years ago. Now it seems he as to return, and he uses his old contacts and his dubious reputation to crack the case.

Something from the Nightside’s cast of violent, self loathing characters, although colorful do tend to get tiresome after awhile. Simon R. Green does a very good job of giving you the feel of the Nightside. I like the world he created. It's a creative mix of a lot of dark fantasy places we've seen before. Simon R. Green’s writing style in this novel is cliché to the point it starts to feel repetitive. I understand it is the private eye noir style he is going for, but at times I just want him to stop the constant reaffirmation of the Nightside’s weirdness. For example:

“"The Nightside is the secret, hidden, dark heart of the city. London's evil twin. It's where the really wild things are…”

"It's always night in the Nightside. It's always three o'clock in the morning, and the dawn never comes….”

“You can buy or sell anything in the Nightside, and no-one asks questions. No-one cares. There's a nightclub, where you can pay to see a fallen angel forever burning inside a pentacle drawn in baby's blood”

"Everything you ever feared or dreamed of is running loose somewhere in the shifting streets of the Nightside..”

“You can find anything in the Nightside, if it doesn't find you first. It's a sick, magical, dangerous place…”

That’s just from first half of chapter one, repeat similar descriptions ad nauseum through out the entire book. I get it, the Nightside is a creepy, weird and scary place, please move on with the story. Hopefully being the first in a series, the setting is now established and we can move on from having to say what's "in the Nightside" all the time.

Overall the story was fun and fast paced. The characters were unique hinted at more depth to come. This urban fantasy fits the genre well, and should provide fans of the genre a great way to spend their time. I am definitely looking forward to the next books.
Profile Image for Elena Rodríguez.
682 reviews307 followers
September 5, 2020

Esta ha sido la novela con la que he recomenzado a leer en inglés y la verdad es no me ha defraudado.
La historia nos narra la vida de John Taylor, un detective privado que tiene el don de encontrar objetos y personas perdidas. Un día, una misteriosa mujer le pide ayuda. Así comienza su aventura retornando al nightside ( nocturnia en su versión en español): un mundo oscuro que se encuentra debajo de Londres , donde no existen las leyes ni el tiempo y donde cualquier cosa por inexplicable que sea puede pasar.
A medida que vamos adentrándonos en la historia vamos conociendo un poco a más a John Taylor su manera de actuar y pensar pero sobre todo como se maneja por este extraño mundo. Conocemos así también a algunos de sus habitantes y algunas de las criaturas.
Desde un punto de vista del argumento, he de decir que no esta mal para lo que viene siendo una introducción, ya que " Something from the nightside" es el primero de una serie de novelas del detective John Taylor. Sin embargo, yo creo que el autor podría haber desarrollado más el mundo y del mismo modo que sus personajes porque no dejan de ser un poco planos.
Desde el punto de vista de la escritura, tengo alguna que otra objección. John Taylor nos cuenta todo desde su punto de vista, se repite mucho y hay incluso partes de la novela que no se ve una clara distinción entre sus pensamientos y lo que esta sucediendo alrededor suyo.
En fin, siendo sincera, esta sería una de las novelas que utilizaría para pasar una tarde " light" por así decirlo. No es una gran obra maestra, sino una de estas novelas de fantasía urbana bastante amena. Son solo 150 páginas y para aquellos que quieren retornar con el inglés es una buena opción.
Profile Image for David.
29 reviews
June 15, 2013
This book starts off as a poor man's Harry Dresden but ends up like a bad episode of Dr. Who. John Taylor, private eye, starts as the most stereotypical private eye ever. Rainy day? Check. Poor but principled anti hero? Check? Some genuine snark? Check.

Now, I like stereotypical private-eyes. However, Jon Taylor's flaw is not in his inability to separate himself from the pack. There are two major problems with this book. First, the world of the Nightside is so wild it is hard to invest in it. At some point their is a Nazi dwarf mentioned. That is a great idea. But the dwarf is just scenery. The Nightside is this weird wacky place filled with scenery that is plot hook worthy. But 99% of it is just fluff. It makes it hard to care about the 1% that the book is about.

Second, the book is repetitive. Did you know John Taylor left the Nightside 5 years ago? Did you know you can't trust anyone in the Nightside? If you read this book your answer will be "yes." It is yes because Simon Green mentions facts like these IN EVERY CHAPTER. He is not great at foreshadowing and the book often comes off feeling like it thinks that it is more clever than it actually is. That being said, there are like 20 of these books. So someone must like it. And I do enjoy an occasional Dr. Who episode even when it is bad.

Profile Image for LJ.
3,159 reviews311 followers
September 10, 2007
Simon R. Green – 1st in mystery/fantasy series
John Taylor, in search of a runaway girl, was born in Nightside, an area of London “where it’s always 3 a.m. Where you can walk beside myths and drink with monsters. Where nothing is what it seems and everything is possible.”

I loved this book. Green writes with a Raymond Chandler-esq voice while creating a dark world of unique characters.
Profile Image for The Flooze.
762 reviews249 followers
July 4, 2009
Something from the Nightside is the introduction to John Taylor, the man who can find anything and anyone. He's a native of the Nightside, the seedy yet vibrant underbelly of London, where nothing is what it seems.

Simon R. Green is adept at creating likable non-heroes. The men and women of the Nightside (including John Taylor) work within dark spaces, committing grey acts that are ultimately for the greater good. John is a rogue with enemies and a reputation for ruthlessness. Yet, his purpose in life is to help others when no one else will. He's reliable and honorable, in a world that panders to everyone's darkest desires. And when a hard yet vulnerable woman needs help finding her daughter, John's softer side can't help but respond.

The universe Green creates is unique, imaginative and twisted; the characters doubly so. The promised thrills and dangers lurking in the shadows will bring me back to the Nightside for more.
Profile Image for Mark.
490 reviews84 followers
September 22, 2017
Only thing wrong with this book is that it's a very quick read. The storytelling was expertly written engaging me interest all the way to the end.

I hadn't realised how quickly I had read it.

Going to read the others in this series.
Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
May 5, 2010
A solid read, but not overly impressive. It has potential, and I've heard good things about this series, so I'll probably try the next book and see what happens before I make up my mind.
Profile Image for Sarah Alirezaee.
78 reviews
September 15, 2015
Dreams can come true, in the Nightside. Everyone knows that.
But they still vanish when you wake up.

Brilliant! Don't miss it!
Profile Image for Holly (The GrimDragon).
1,051 reviews232 followers
December 24, 2018
“The harsh, unyielding reality of having to compromise your ideals bit by bit, day by day, just to achieve a few little victories in the face of the world’s malice, or indifference. Until sometimes you wonder if there’s nothing left of you but the shell of the man you intended to be, just going through the motions because you’ve nothing better to do.”

This is a series I've been wanting to sink into for years now. I've got the first 9 (!!!) books and finally, FINALLY decided to see what it was all about. I've been missing Miriam Black like crazy and wanting to get into more urban fantasy. They tend to be such delicious bite-sized morsels of storytelling. The equivalent of a fun blockbuster movie, essentially. I need that during the holidays! I've been devouring such massive fantasy novels and with the crazy busy month of December.. my reading pace has been fucking glacial.

In the first installment, we meet John Taylor, a detective. He was born in the Nightside, which is an absolutely bonkers city that is.. well.. it's a pretty fucked up place to live! The Nightside is the dark, secret underworld of London. It's always night there. In fact, it's always 3am. Dawn never comes. Life, death and reality are all flexible concepts in Nightside. Literally anything goes there. It's filled with bleak, strange, seedy characters.

John left the Nightside 5 years ago and is lured back for a dame.. er.. a job. A job for a client that intrigues him. Makes him a little hot under the collar, if you will. Her teenage daughter is missing and she wants him to track her down. You see, John has a gift. He is able to find lost or hidden things, things that don't necessarily want to be found. 

"The quiet was getting on my nerves. It just wasn't natural, to be so completely quiet. This was the quiet of the tomb. Of the grave. It had an almost anticipatory quality, as though somewhere off in the darkest and deepest of the shadows, something was watching, and waiting, and biding its time to attack. The city might be empty, but that didn't mean the night was."

This felt like the love child of Dick Tracy and Farscape.. which I AM SO HERE FOR!!

Part crime noir, part grim fantasy.. Something from the Nightside was unabashedly pulpy. Just an easy, enjoyable read. It's a worthy introduction to a series that has lasted a shit ton of years. I'm glad to have so many of the books to keep on with. It feels like a series that will continue to grow and expand on an interesting story. 
Profile Image for Lauren Stoolfire.
3,730 reviews260 followers
October 2, 2021
Something from the Nightside (Nightside #1) by Simon R. Green has been on my tbr for so long. I'm glad I've finally crossed it off because that was such a cool intro to John Taylor's world. I really got a kick out of this author's brand of urban fantasy and noir. I think this series could easily become and all time favorite. I can't wait to continue this series with Agents of Light and Darkness.
Profile Image for Gavin.
225 reviews35 followers
May 18, 2022
A crap book, by anyones metric, but what's really annoying is how incompetently average it is in it's craptitude.

Say what you like about Sandman Slim (and boy have I!), but there's a species of dreadful compulsion in there. It's that rare beast that is truly so awful that it's entertaining. So offensive that you find yourself flinging it from hither to thither, only to instantly scoop it back up and continue reading. Angrily.

This novel is simply mediocrity, distilled into a preserve and spread thick on each page. Green can't write prose for toffee, his characters are all of the same (tedious) voice, -squirting out exposition and clunky dialogue in equal measure as required- and he doesn't seem to even bother checking his own manuscript.

During a high stakes battle of wills, our protagonist goes numb, feels someone squeeze his hand, then doesn't feel them let go over the course of 10 lines. Everyone is introduced with a hefty spoken summation of their character points, and the world has no consistent set rules or internal logic.
Also it's set in London's hellish underworld, yet everyone uses the argot of a bad American writer courting Young Adult readers.

Bad books can provoke morbid curiosity, and the legitimately dreadful can haunt you for just as long as the revelatory, but Something From The Nightside just had my eyes sliding to the percentage read bar. And when it hit 100, it disappeared from my brain forever.

To plagiarise, and paraphrase, Woody Allen: "No, it's not even the worst book ever. That would have been an achievement".
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