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To Walk the Night

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  58 reviews
To Walk the Night unfolds like a mystery novel. Bark Jones has gone home to visit Dr. Lister, the father of his friend Jerry, and together they hope to lay the mystery that revolves around the deaths of Jerry, and before him Jerry’s mentor astronomer Professor LeNormand. The one key to both men’s deaths is LeNormand’s, and now Jerry’s widow, Selena.
Mass Market Paperback, 228 pages
Published January 12th 1980 by Del Rey (first published 1937)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  336 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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RJ - Slayer of Trolls
Sloane's most well-known work comprises the first half of the collection The Rim of Morning:Two Tales of Cosmic Horror, which is itself a summation of the total Science Fiction/Horror output of the author. The story moves slowly, with a very subtle buildup of small clues and minor happenings carefully crafted to build a sense of dread in the reader. Like the stories of "Weird" authors such as Lovecraft and Blackwood, the ultimate horror emerges from a suggestion that humanity's place within the ...more
Eddie Watkins
Years ago I read William Sloane’s second (and last) novel, The Edge of Running Water. I had copies of both of his novels, but I read the second one first because I liked its title better than the first’s, To Walk the Night. Or maybe I read it first because its pages weren’t as old and yellow and brittle. I guess I can’t remember, but I do remember that it didn’t make much of an impression, so I shelved both and forgot about them. Until I saw that NYRB was issuing both together in one volume. Thi ...more
Alex Bledsoe
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This novel travels Lovecraft territory, but features actual human interaction in place of Lovecraft's misanthropy. It was first published in 1937, but the prose has a very contemporary feel, and it's the first novel in a while that's gripped me so tightly that I lost track of time. ...more
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
If it weren't for James Cawthorn and Michael Moorcock's indispensable overview volume entitled "Fantasy: The 100 Best Books," I probably would never have heard of "To Walk the Night" (1937), and would thus have been deprived of a wonderful read. Having read it, though, it seems to me that this, William Sloane's first novel, could just as easily have gone on someone's Top 100 Horror, Mystery OR Sci-Fi list, as this terrific book has elements of all those categories mixed in.

The tale concerns two
This book has been on my to-read list for about 11 years now if I'm not mistaken.

Isn't it strange to know I've been on here that long?

To Walk the Night first earned its place on my to-read list by being a book recommended by one Stephen King on his list of Must Read horror at the back of Danse Macabre. Being ambitious, and slightly insane, I added all of those books to my to-read list. I've never really looked back.

I avoided all media concerning the book. No summaries. No read introduction a
Jan 05, 2009 rated it liked it
"To Walk the Night" by William Sloane was first published in 1937. It is a slowly building science fiction/horror story. In 1949 it was tied for 9th on the Arkham Survey of `Basic SF Titles'. The pace of the story is a bit slow. The story is told from the point of view of Berekley Jones, who is relating the circumstances that led up to the suicide of his friend (Jerry Lister) to Jerry's father. He starts the story with the discovery, by Jerry and himself, of the dead body of one of their former ...more
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
With its mix of science fiction and mystery genres, William Sloane’s little-known 1937 novel “To Walk the Night” could be called a cosmic mystery novel. The book is much better written than most science fiction then and now, and it kept my interest to the very end, but that end was disappointing. New York Review Books reissued this novel and “The Edge of Running Water” in one volume in 2015.
Sprinkled through the novel are fine bits of description, both of the exterior and interior worlds. Afte
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
My favorite stories, the ones that linger with me for years, are those with a strong sense of place. This is one of those stories. Cloud Mesa and it’s vast open loneliness, even if taking up less than 10% of the story, is frightening and made me feel it. Sloane shines when he describes it.

Sloane has a simplistic and very logical way of writing, but always has momentum. Every sentence moves the story closer to its end, albeit slowly. The story builds on you, but not with theatrical drama. While
Printable Tire
Impulsively grabbed from a library shelf as I walked by.

Great title, great chapter titles ("The Stars Are Fire"! "Beauty for Ashes"! "Sometime is Now"!), but a bit frustrating to read, as anyone who has read the back of the book / seen who's written the introduction* can pretty much surmise the inevitable identity of Selena.

It reads a little bit like the script for a 50's domestic science fiction flick along the lines of I Married a Monster From Outer Space (which this book is actually a litt
Tyson Mueller
Oct 19, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
What I enjoyed most about this story was the author’s writing style. The prose flows so nicely throughout.

The beginning was riveting and immediately drew me in. However, after a few chapters, the narrative became much less interesting. Furthermore, the outcome quickly became very predictable.

The finale is flat and expected, but does provide enough of closure.

This novel had a ton of potential. Overall, I am glad to have experienced it. I wish the science fiction elements were further developed i
Ryan McSwain
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Following an unexpected death, a man tries to understand the nature of a mysterious woman.

Reads like a whodunit with an undercurrent of existential dread. I enjoyed the tone and the sense of scene more than the plot itself. I found it difficult to know what was intentionally subversive and what simply felt that way due to the time it was written. You could read too much into every unhealthy relationship in this book, and I have no idea whether I should.

If you're intrigued by this book's reputa
Kevin Dixon
Mar 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Well written if very obviously 80 years old in terms of style (and also in terms of the social views of the narrator). The beginning and end of the novel are very well constructed, the middle kind of dragged even though it isn't a particularly long book. The horror and mystery are presented quite subtly and effectively. The real problem is that the central premise is now something of an sf/horror cliche which isn't really the book's fault but is going to influence the reader's enjoyment. ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting, pre-war SF/weird fiction.

Unfortunately, some of the ideas have become clichés, thus the denouement will not have the impact it surely did when it was written.

Still, it managed to be an engaging read and I will definitely read the writer's other book (which came with this one in an omnibus edition put out by NYRB).

Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every single bit as good as the late Robert Weinberg assured me it would be in the introduction. Remarkable shame that Sloane only wrote two novels in his lifetime as this one showed astonishing promise. I was riveted throughout and the story, surprisingly nuanced, was predictable only because I read it 80 years after publication. In its time, I suspect it was quite revelatory.
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sloan's tight prose and genre-bending storyline was unique for its time and still feels fresh 80 years later. I particularly enjoyed how smooth he kept his writing and the detail he put into his characters: each feels like a real person, which is a one-up on Lovecraft's staid or non-existent characters. ...more
Lauren Schumacher
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This was okay. The writing was good, but the plotting could've been stronger. When the "big reveal" comes at the end, my reaction was kinda like "yeah, I guessed as much from reading the dust jacket." Full of promise, but not very focused. ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The build is slow, but this is ultimately a chilling and rewarding science fiction-horror hybrid. It’s like an elegant black-and-white film chiller, think Val Lewton in print. Could this have been a Lewton influence? Worth a look if you like quiet horror.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ends with a little bit too much explanation but an excellent story.
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting, but quiet, little literary thriller.
Zebulon Whateley
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Better to read it in an afternoon or two, to not lose the intriguing atmosphere Sloane creates. Good novel, a kind of relaxed Lovecraft, sometimes even more suggesting.
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Atmospheric and at times very good though uneven overall.
Mário Gonçalves
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent, very well written, page-turner as well as sensible and flawlessly developped. Can't be read a second time, though, knowing the plot is fatal. ...more
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a flop
William Sedlack
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Classic horror/sci fi
Erik Wennermark
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots of character and style in this one, though it seems like it drags on a while too long after the reader gets the shape of things to come.
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Authentically gave me the willies at the end.
Fred Ayres
Jan 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best lifestyle books I've read, though Brazier never outlines why meat is a no-go. ...more
Mar 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Subtle and well written.
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