Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Night in the Lonesome October” as Want to Read:
A Night in the Lonesome October
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Night in the Lonesome October

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  7,915 ratings  ·  1,069 reviews
All is not what it seems…

In the murky London gloom, a knife-wielding gentleman named Jack prowls the midnight streets with his faithful watchdog Snuff – gathering together the grisly ingredients they will need for an upcoming ancient and unearthly rite. For soon after the death of the moon, black magic will summon the Elder Gods back into the world. And all manner of Playe
Paperback, 280 pages
Published September 1st 1994 by Avon Books (Mm) (first published 1993)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Night in the Lonesome October, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Stormcrow Hayes
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kathryn Weis Snuff (dog)- Jack (the Ripper)
Quicklime (snake) - Rastov (Raputin)
Graymalk (cat)- Crazy Jill (Witch)
Bubo (rat)- The Good Doctor (Victor Frankenstein)
Snuff (dog)- Jack (the Ripper)
Quicklime (snake) - Rastov (Raputin)
Graymalk (cat)- Crazy Jill (Witch)
Bubo (rat)- The Good Doctor (Victor Frankenstein)
Needle (bat)- The Count (Dracula)
Nightwind (owl) - Morris and McCab
Cheeter (squirrel) - Druid Owen
Tekela (white raven) - Vicar Roberts

The Great Detective (Sherlock) and "Companion" (Watson)
Larry Talbot (Wolf man, has plants)


Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,915 ratings  ·  1,069 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Night in the Lonesome October
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I will probably quote something for 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. ACQUIRING 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
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Review updated yet again (and again and again) on November 1, 2020

A group read with some of my greatest friends: Carol and Sarah.

First a disclaimer: I lost count to the number of times I read the book. Seriously. I still find something new with each reread. Just one example: only during my last reread I was able to see the connection between this book and Amber series (a shadow traveling bit).

The book is very quotable. In fact, we keep finding amusing quotes during our forth read we managed to
Jun 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 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 talente
"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
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ by: Evgeny
Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

During 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 L
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans) by: Evgeny
And the moral of this rerereread is : there ain't nothing like the Grand Graveyard Decaying Body Part Swap Thingie (GGDBPST™), if you ask me. Now let's dance and stuff.

[October 2019]

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 a
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!!

 photo 34363027-cdce-41e6-a820-9a7418c90cc9_zps9ffd7431.jpg

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....

 photo d0bcdcef-060b-4458-84b6-338a085beb4a_zpsa708a9f4.jpg

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.
Vishnu Chevli
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, english
Imagine a brave Scooby-Doo at Work

I 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 author.

I think one has to read the book to understand what the story is all about. And many re
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*** 5 +++ ***

A buddy read with the Roger Zelazny Newbies Group, since we wanted to start with a bang!!!

Where 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, funn
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
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.

2019: Read with SciFi and Fantasy Book Club, invited by Anna.

2017: Read with ? group?

2012: Re-reading yet again with the Beyond Reality group.
By Day:
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5000-2020
There are so many great reviews of this book and I just sat and read my way through most of them. I cannot compete so I will just say thankyou to the SciFi and Fantasy Book Club for introducing me to this author and for organising a wonderful way of reading the book - one chapter a day through the month of October (the book is arranged that way) culminating with the climax on Halloween.

A Night in the Lonesome October is a fun book, full of famous characters such as Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Hol
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
Recommended to Orient by: Evgeny
Evgeny, thanks again for a great recommendation :)

This book is a great blend of mystery spices, gripping suspense, funny dialogues and fabulous fantasy. Mr. Zelazny’s writing style just enchanted me: so straightforward, smooth and so compelling at the same time, with no difficult words or complex descriptions. The story simply is a page-turner.

What gripped me in A Night in the Lonesome October? Definitely the talking animals, the monsters (who entertained Snuff with their mad requests and danger
Robin (Bridge Four)
I used to watch How I Met Your Mother and loved all the various challenges that Barney took on because someone in the group said there was no way he could do it. Like picking up girls in overalls or licking the Liberty Bell. So in my head this is how Roger Zelazny responded when someone told him it would be impossible to make Jack the Ripper into a good guy.


I always try to read something for the Halloween season. Horror isn’t exactly my genre so I attempt to pick something more mysterious than s
Ivonne Rovira
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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'

Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oct2017: Reading yet again with Fantasy Book Club. Many thanks to Helen for inviting me to read along. It is in memory of Brenda who recently lost a battle to cancer & this was one of her favorite books. Mine too, obviously. Definitely a Halloween tradition. I must watch "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" tonight. The one with Tim Curry, of course.

It was a great read with a great bunch of people. I added some to my notes & we relabeled the characters on the front cover due to a great insight by Ann
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 3.5

I actually managed to stick to the one chapter a day format of this book, which made for a fun little adventure.

This is the second Zelazny novel I’ve read, having only dipped my toe into his Chronicles of Amber with the first book. Zelazny is a science fiction and fantasy forefather of the 1960s through the 1980s, having influenced the likes of Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin. He won 3 Nebula Awards and 6 Hugo Awards, and is most famous for his Chronicles of Amber. In other
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*

I'm a Universal Monster nut. I have the stuffed animal collection, the silver screen box, key chains, artwork for the poster of The Creature from the Black Lagoon signed by the artist (and autographs from Ricou Browning and Julie Adams from a convention on it years later), a few other collectables, the collector box set with statues of Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolf Man...I'd have much more but, you know, I'm poor.

This book gets brownie points just for including some of these characters.
Caro the Helmet Lady
Updated on November 1st, 2020.
So much fun again! And this time I was reading it day by day, as the story itself goes and it was so much better, even though I had to force myself not to hurry. And every time I discover something I didn't notice before, my my, talking about short attention spans and a general lack of attention. :((
Anyway, had fun, gonna repeat again, in two year or so. ;)

P.S. Oh, and there was a full moon on Haloween this time, just like in the book! Spooky!

[Name Redacted]
Originally read: October 1 - 31, 2013
Second reading: October 1 - 31, 2014
Third reading: October 1 - 31, 2015
Fourth reading: October 1 - 31, 2016
Fifth reading: October 1 - 31, 2017
Sixth reading: October 1 - 31, 2018
Seventh reading: October 1 - 31, 2019
Eighth reading: October 1 - 31, 2020
Juho Pohjalainen
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book throws you right in the middle of bizarre events full of wizards and talking animals and moon stuff, forced to scramble on your feet and pick up your bearings with little to no exposition, almost as if you were a part of the Game they were all playing as well. Gradually it sets up as a high-stakes crossover conflict involving well-known public domain characters fighting off (or helping out) eldritch abominations from beyond this earth. It's like trying to build a thousand-piece puzzle ...more
Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Layla ✷ Praise the sun ✷ by: Evgeny
Halloween buddy read with some of my awesome goodreads friends.

Growing moon. Angry cat. Feather in the wind.
Autumn comes. The grass dies.

"A Night in the Lonesome October" is a very different book in so many ways. In so many good ways .

It is written from a dog's point of view and consists of a prologue plus 31 chapters, one chapter for each day of October.

You have no idea what is going on in the major part of the book, but instead you come across all sorts of characters that you might
Dec 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Ivana Books Are Magic
Nov 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a brilliant and unique book! The writing is simple but at the same time poetical. Narrated by a watchdog Sniff whose owner is Jack (the Ripper), the story is extremely engaging. Snuff makes for a fantastic protagonist of the novel. Right from the start, we learn that Snuff was something else prior to being 'summoned' by Jack to perform the duty of a watchdog- exactly what Snuff was is somewhat of a mystery. A demon or a mythological creature of some kind? I think this little detail Zelazny ...more
Aug 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book in every sense of the word, and perfect October reading. Jack the Ripper, the Wolfman, Sherlock Holmes, Dr Frankenstein ( and his monster), Dracula, a witch, a mad monk, an evil vicar and many more, all attempting to perform a ritual to either allow Lovecraftian old ones through to our plane, or prevent it from happening. And all ably narrated by Snuff, Jack's faithful, and possibly immortal, dog companion. Zelazny was on top form here, a towering talent, taken far too early.

Trent Zelazny
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This books holds a special place in my heart, as it is the one book he shared with me as he wrote it. One of the best times I ever had with my father.
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Dark Harvest
  • The Kind Folk
  • A Choir of Ill Children
  • The Winter Box
  • Герой должен быть один (Ахейский цикл, #1)
  • The Halloween Tree
  • The Last Revelation Of Gla'aki
  • The Goblin Reservation
  • Forty Thousand in Gehenna (Unionside, #1)
  • Negative Space
  • The Champion of Garathorm (The Chronicles of Castle Brass, #2)
  • The Quest for Tanelorn (Chronicles of Castle Brass, #3)
  • The Tindalos Asset (Tinfoil Dossier, #3)
  • Piranesi
  • Unamerica
  • Finché morte non vi separi
  • The Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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 dea ...more

News & Interviews

These twelve books are so consistently adored, they have become regulars month after month in our data of most popular and most read books on...
105 likes · 41 comments
times are rare, such times are fleeting, but always bright when caught, measured, hung, and later regarded
in times of adversity, there in the kinder halls of memory, against the flapping of the flames.”
“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.” 5 likes
More quotes…