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A Night in the Lonesome October

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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 Players, both human and undead, are preparing to participate.

Some have come to open the gates. Some have come to slam them shut.

And now the dread night approaches – so let the Game begin.

280 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1993

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About the author

Roger Zelazny

689 books3,454 followers
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 deal, one way or another, with tricksters and mythology, often with rogues who become gods, like Sam in Lord of Light, who reinvents Buddhism as a vehicle for political subversion on a colony planet.

The fantasy sequence The Amber Chronicles, which started with Nine Princes in Amber, deals with the ruling family of a Platonic realm at the metaphysical heart of things, who can slide, trickster-like through realities, and their wars with each other and the related ruling house of Chaos. Zelazny never entirely fulfilled his early promise—who could?—but he and his work were much loved, and a potent influence on such younger writers as George R. R. Martin and Neil Gaiman.

He won the Nebula award three times (out of 14 nominations) and the Hugo award six times (out of 14 nominations). His papers are housed at the Albin O. Khun Library of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).


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Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,400 reviews9,535 followers
October 31, 2021
Reread 2021

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 his work space direct. I could hear him engage in good-natured banter with the Thing in the Circle. Jack has a long list of ingredients, and things must be done properly on schedule.

October 3

WE WALKER AGAIN LAST NIGHT, AND THE master was hunting. He had donned his cloak and said to me, "Snuff, fetch!" And from the way he said it, I knew that it was the blade he required. I took it to him and we went out. Our luck was varied. That is, he obtained the ingredients he was after, but only with considerable turmoil and an inordinate passage of time. We were discovered near the end. I gave warning, and we had to flee. It was a long chase, till finally I hung back and nipped the other on the leg. We made good our escape, with the ingredients. As he was washing up later, Jack told me I was an excellent watchdog. I was very proud

October 4

"Up yours, cur."
"Same to you."
"Hi, things."
Slither, slither.
"How’s about letting me out?"
"My day will come."
"Not today."
The usual. Everything seemed in order.
"How’s about a collie? You like redheads?"
"You still haven’t got it right. S'long."
"Son of a bitch!"

October 5

I BREAKFASTED IN THE DARK AND MADE MY rounds of the house. Everything was in good order. The master was asleep so I let myself out and prowled the vicinity. The day would not begin for some time yet.

October 6

EXCITEMENT. I HEARD THE MIRROR CRACK this morning, and I ran and raised holy hell before it, keeping the slithers inside. Jack heard the fuss and fetched the mundane wand and transferred them all to another mirror, just like the Yellow Emperor. This one was much smaller, which may teach them a lesson, but probably not. We’re not sure how they did it. Continued pressure on some flaw, most likely. Good thing they are afraid of me.

October 7

WE WERE OUT AGAIN LAST NIGHT IN PURSUIT of more ingredients for the Great Work. It was very foggy, and there were many patrolman about. This did not stop us, but it made things more difficult. The master's blade flashed, the woman screamed, and there was a rending of garments. We passed the Great Detective in our flight, and I inadvertently tripped his companion, whose limp had lessened his ability to avoid onrushing canines.

October 8

I DREW MORE LINES IN MY HEAD LAST NIGHT and this morning, but before I’d created a satisfactory picture we had a caller

October 9

LAST NIGHT WE OBTAINED MORE INGREDIENTS for the master's spell. As we paused on a corner in Soho the Great Detective and his companion came out of the fog and approached us.

October 10

The thing was strangely quiet as I entered the basement. In a moment, I saw why. We had developed a leak. The water entered at the wall, ran along a sagging beam, and dripped down several feet farther in. It had formed a puddle, and the puddle was slowly spreading. One moist pseudopod was extended in the direction of the Circle, having perhaps another ten inches to run before it breached it.

October 11

A brisk morning. After I made my rounds I went outside. I could discover nothing untoward, so I set off in the direction of the Good Doctor’s place. As I was trotting along the road, however, I heard a familiar voice from a small grove to my right:

October 12

Slow day. The Thing in the circle tried being a greyhound. I was never attracted to skinny ladies, though. Growled a few times at the Thing in the Attic. Watched the slitherers. Watched Jack as he puttered with the acquisitions. It was still too early for him actually to start using them.

October 13

"Snuff! Let me in! Help!" it cried
It was Needle.
"I know better than to invite you guys inside," I said.
"That’s the boss! I’m just a bat! I don’t even like tomato juice! Please!"

October 14

We approached. The birds were gone. So were the eyes. The man in uniform. His throat had been cut.

October 15

I went and dragged the corpse til I couldn’t manage another step. Then I dragged myself home, jaws aching, paws sore, my old injury from the zombie affair was acting up.

October 16

I made my way back to the body, which had a few more missing parts and didn’t smell too good, and dragged it to the next place of concealment.

October 17

"Damn! I need a left femur and this one ain’t got one!"

October 18

He loomed nearer. Monstrous jaws, great feral eyes. . . Then he sat down.
"So this is where it is," he said.
"The missing body. Snuff, you are tampering with evidence."
"And you might say I’m tampering with something already tampered with. Who are you?"
"Larry. Talbot."
"Could’ve fooled me. I thought you were-a great wolf. . . oh."

October 19

The Thing in the Streamer Trunk had poked a small hole in the front. An enormous yellow eye regarded me through it. It didn’t make a sound, though.

October 20

There was a big fellow lurching about the place-drunk perhaps. Biggest man I’ve ever seen. He was only about for a little while, during the height of the storm. Then he lay down on that fancy bed in the basement, and the Good Doctor covered him up, entirely, with a sheet. He didn’t stir again.

October 21

The things are getting restless, but their restraints still serve.

October 22

"Come on!" it said. "I’m almost strong enough to break out of here on my own now. It won’t go well with you if you keep me til I do."
"'Almost,'" I said, "isn’t good enough."
It growled. I growled back. It flinched. I was still in control.

October 23

Up in the morning, out on the job. I hassled the Things, then checked around outside. A black feather lay near the front door. Could be one of Nightwind’s. Could be openers on a nasty spell. Could be just a stray feather. I carried it across the road to the field and pissed on it.

October 24

"I’ll invite you into the parlor," Jack said, "if you don’t mind stepping over a few dismembered ogres."
"Never did before," the lady answered, as he led her in that direction.

October 25

Someone stuffed him into one of his baskets and torched it.

October 26

"What’s going on at the end of the month?"
"Weird stuff," I said. "A little specialized craziness. Stay away from any human gatherings that night."

October 27

"'The experiment man'?"
"You know. The big fellow the Good Doctor put together from all the parts his assistant dig up for him."

October 28

Mrs. Enderby happened to be in a tree in her yard with a pair of binoculars when I passed, and called out to me.
"Snuff, please come here!"
I kept going.

October 29

Then I noticed a peculiar shape to the rear-that of a bat hanging from a beam. While all bats look pretty much alike to me, especially when you turn them upside-down, it reminded me a lot of Needle. I approached and said loudly, "Hey, Needle! What the hell are you doing here?"

October 30

Players may fall, or go mad, catch fire, be transformed.

October 31

Jack and Jill went down the hill. Gray and I ran after

Happy Halloween 🎃


Thank you to my friends Tadiana and Evgeny for turning me on to this book and this author! I will be rereading this for October as each chapter is a day in October. I might summarize my feelings during the whole process.

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
Profile Image for Nataliya.
726 reviews11.5k followers
October 31, 2021
"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. The trick here is the narration - the wonderful, clever narration that gives you zero exposition but instead throws you into the thick of events to let you sink or swim, and once you decide to swim you get a slow trickle of hints and clues along the way until you reach a point where you no longer remember how exactly you figured out all the goings-on - or rather not all but some, as even after the wrap-up there remain the unexplored paths and corners that make you realize that you just barely scratched the surface under which there are more tantalizing depths.

All of this is infused with clever, wry, and sometimes dark humor and peppered with smart allusions that feel organic and not, as in the hands of a less skilled writer they could be, pretentious. And eventually a vivid picture full of Zelazny's sophisticated and crisp imagery emerges - a much bigger and fuller picture than anything initially suggested, and it's lovely and menacing and dark and light at the same time. And I love it.

It's a light and clever tale with Lovecraftian overtones, set in the whereabouts of London in the late Victorian era and featuring a mishmash of the beloved and not-so-beloved characters of that time: Jack (the Ripper), Larry Talbot (The Wolfman), the Great Detective (Sherlock Holmes), the Count (Dracula), the Good Doctor (Frankenstein) and such, all gathered with their familiars for a "Game" played a few times a century when full moon falls on October 31st, a Game which can decide the fate of the world, a Game full of bizarre rituals and"lunatic scavenger hunts", a Game which may or may not open the way into our world to the Elder Gods. In the Game it is a well-kept secret which player is on which side, and the location of the grand showdown needs to be figured out quickly but keeps shifting depending on which players choose to join.
And sometimes there just may be a hilarious body parts exchange during frantic digging in the cemetery that made me choke with laughter sometime around 3 am:
“Damn! I need a left femur and this one ain't got one!"
"Left femur, you say?" came an ancient croaking voice from nearby, which could have been Owen's. "I've one right here I ain't usin'. Have you a liver, though? That's my need."
"Easily done!" came the reply. "Bide a moment. There! Trade?"
"You have it! Catch!"
Something flashed through the air to rattle farther down the hill, followed by scurrying sounds.
"Fair enough! Here's yer liver!"
There came a splap from higher up and a muttered "Got it!"
"Hey!" came a lady's voice then, from off to the left. "While you're about it, have you a skull?"
"Indeed I do!" said the second man. "What'll you give?"
"What do you need?"
"Done! I'll tie 'em together with a piece of twine!"
"Here's your skull!"
"Got it! Yours'll be along shortly!"
"Has anyone the broken vertebrae of a hanged man?" came a deep masculine voice with a Hungarian accent, from somewhere far to the right.”
And who is better to figure out the plot threads than our narrator, a gifted thaumaturgical calculator, also known as Snuff, Jack Ripper's dog (or perhaps, a tad more than your usual canine), the spy, the plotter, and the only one to keep in check the menaces of “the Thing in the Circle, the Thing in the Wardrobe, and the Thing in the Steamer Trunk, not to mention the Things in the Mirror.” Snuff, whose keen sense for animal politics and a knack for knowing when to form alliances with the other familiars (Bubo the rat making me laugh!) and when to strategically share information may be the deciding factor in the battle for the fate of this world. Snuff, whom I love dearly even though I'm decidedly not a "dog person".
"Hi. I'm a watchdog."
"Me, too."
"I've been watching you."
"And I've been watching you."
"Why is your person digging a big hole?"
"There are some things down there that he needs."
"Oh. I don't think he's supposed to be doing that."
"May I see your teeth?"
"Yes. Here. May I see yours?"
"Of course."
"Perhaps it's all right. Do you think you might leave a large bone somewhere nearby?"
Yes, Roger Zelazny is indeed a genius who clearly had such a great time writing this story that the fun is infectious. Whichever genre this little gem of a book falls in - comedy or Gothic horror or detective mystery - there is no doubt that it's the work of a confident master and a delight to read, especially on a dark and lonesome late October night.
“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.”


2020 Halloween re-read: This book will never fail to bring me giddy happiness and joy.
“Opener or closer?”


2021 October re-read: The more I read it, the more I love it. Zelazny’s dialogue is just so crisp and snappy and so enjoyable! It seems that with every read I pick up something new. Until next year!
Profile Image for carol..
1,514 reviews7,702 followers
November 4, 2020
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 talented with a knife, with support from a host of horror and mystery classics. The Great Detective and his sidekick are in the vicinity, investigating the sudden uptick in activity. The Count drops by in his flowing, dark glory. The Good Doctor has moved into a nearby farmhouse looking for some quiet space in which to conduct various experiments. Is it any surprise he has a misshapen dwarf sidekick and an experiment man? And perhaps, in the vein of Bloch, there's a bad pun or two--really, Zelazny, really??

Presented as the daily dairy of a mathematically-talented watchdog, Snuff, it describes the events as he and Jack prepare for a final confrontation on October 31. Spell and geographical preparations need to be made while strategizing against the other participants. I have to admire how Zelazny takes simple sentence structure to initially build believability in a dog narrator (although, to be fair, there are hints he might be more than canine), but by story end, he is at his usual level of sophistication and imagery. Actually, the sense-world of the canine rather lends itself to Zelazny's imagery.

Streaks of high cirrus fluoresced above us from the stars they framed, and a gust of wind stirred my fur."

Underneath the spell-preparing graveyard shenanigans is the building of a potentially deadly conflict. Preparations make for strange bedfellows, and Snuff finds himself relying on Ms. Greymalk the cat. He also interacts with a variety of other animal companions to the primary, somewhat questionably human, players.

Zelazny must have had a blast writing this. There's amusing variations on a theme wandering through the month. Notable are the many disguises of the Great Detective, and the variety of injuries his companion displays. There's a particularly fun ongoing riff using the Things that Jack and Snuff guard. The Things in the Mirror, Thing in the Wardrobe, the Thing in the Steamer Trunk and the Thing in the Circle downstairs are always trying to escape, but are kept under control by Snuff's ferociousness. The Thing in the Circle has settled for deception as its escape strategy, and daily turns into some type of dog, hoping to tempt Snuff.

"Down in the cellar the Thing in the Circle had become a Pekingese.
'You like little ladies?' it asked. "Come and get it, big fella.'
It still smelled of Thing rather than dog.
'You're not really very bright,' I said.
The Peke gave me the paw as I departed, and it's hard to turn your leg that way."

I waver back and forth between four and five stars, but ultimately, anything that's read this fondly and wins a place in my library deserves five. My mild dissatisfaction comes from a section where Zelazny indulges in an ode to a Lovecraft short, 'The Cats of Ulthar,' which didn't seem to be particularly germane to the narrative and only connected best you knew the short.* What pushed me over the edge were the two puns at the end, of which the penultimate left me with fond groans.

*Thanks to Evgeny

Re-read 10/2019: I'm a bit ambivalent about the illustrations by Gahan Wilson. Wilson's style here reminds me of ink drawings for stain glass work, a sort of heavy block-print style, and just don't work for me. However, when I did a little researching on this book, it turns out that Zelazny envisioned the book with Wilson's illustrations since 1979. (source but was only able to complete it in 1993, at the end of his life. As such, I suppose they belong together, but I far prefer the words to the text.

Additional resource: Science Fiction Book Club
Interview with Dr. Christopher S. Kovacs and Warren Lapine September 2018

Cross posted at http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2012/1...
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
November 4, 2020
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 Lonesome October, published in 1993, is narrated by the aptly-named Snuff, a dog who is the familiar of a man named Jack. Snuff is more than just a dog; at the beginning of the novel he comments cryptically, “I like being a watchdog better than what I was before he summoned me and gave me this job.” Snuff helps Jack gather ingredients for Halloween night, keeps an watchful eye on various cursed Things trapped in Jack’s house, and draws lines between the houses of the various players to create a diagram that will help him and Jack in their planning for … whatever it is that will happen on Halloween.

Snuff also cautiously communicates with other animals in the neighborhood: Quicklime, a black snake belonging to a mad monk named Rastov; Graymalk the cat, who is the familiar of a witch called Crazy Jill; a rat named Bubo who lives with a man called the “Good Doctor”; Needle, a bat who associates with the Count; and others. Snuff explains that it’s complicated at the beginning of the month because he has no way of knowing whether these people and their familiars are “openers” or “closers.” What openers and closers are remains mysterious until much later in the story, but it’s clear it’s at the root of the great Game they are playing and the ultimate contest to occur between the players on Halloween night. Meanwhile, the Great Detective lurks about the area with his companion, occasionally donning disguises in the course of his investigation (which don’t fool Snuff, of course).

A Night in the Lonesome October is creepy yet humorous, gruesome and witty at the same time. One of the highlights is a grave-robbing scene in which several players spend an evening gathering ingredients, with various bodily parts flying through the air in a macabre game of catch:
“Eyeballs, anyone?” came a call.
“Over here,” said someone with a Russian accent. “One of them, please.”
“I’ll have the other,” came an aristocratic voice from the opposite direction.
“Either of you got a couple of floating ribs, or a pair of kidneys?”
“Down here, on the kidneys!” came a new voice. “And I’m in need of a patella!”
“What’s that?”
“Knee bone!”
“Oh? No problem.…”
Roger Zelazny cheerfully hides identities and key plot points from his readers during the early part of the Game, allowing us to work out for ourselves who and what they are, whether they’re working for good or evil, and what exactly is going down on Halloween night. The Count and the Great Detective are fairly easy, Jack and the Good Doctor probably won’t take a whole lot longer, and Larry Talbot reveals himself fairly early on (even if you’re not already familiar with his name). But most of the others will take more puzzling out. Fans of A Night in the Lonesome October, which has developed a cult following, devote entire web pages to analyzing the identities of and inspirations for various minor characters (you should check these pages out only after you’ve finished the book, as they’re riddled with spoilers). It was delightful to read and unpack all the layers of meaning hidden in the text. Any book that reveals more and more layers and depth and connections, as you reread and analyze it, gets a large rating boost from me. I’ll freely admit that it brought back the best of my memories of deep discussions in college English lit courses.

The characterization is excellent. Minor characters like the Count and the Great Detective shine in their limited but key scenes, surprising us at key turns. Snuff, despite his intelligence and sense of humor, remains clearly a dog in his nature and concerns. His gradually developing alliance and even friendship with the cat Graymalk reminded me of the relationship between my own family’s Siamese mix cat and Labrador retriever. Snuff’s master Jack is intelligent and kind but is also, Snuff explains, “under a curse from long ago and must do much of his work at night to keep worse things from happening.” Jack and Snuff get along very well.
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.
There’s a longstanding rumor (which, as far as I can tell, has never been confirmed) that A Night in the Lonesome October arose out of a bet someone made with Zelazny that he couldn’t write a story where readers would root for Jack the Ripper. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a reader who would claim Zelazny lost that bet.

There are 31 chapters in A Night in the Lonesome October, one for each day in October. It’s great pulpy fun, but with an underlying intelligence and dry humor. I can see why reading A Night in the Lonesome October has become an annual October ritual for so many fans!

Thanks to Evgeny and the 2017 AND 2018 buddy reads with the Roger Zelazny Newbie group!
November 1, 2021
And the moral of this rererereread is : Snuff's How to Perfect Your Idiot Slobbering Hound Expression 101 Class should be mandatory for all canine companions, methinks.

It sure looks like someone's already taken Snuff's upper-level course and graduated summa cum laude. Now if that isn't a winning Idiot Slobbering Expression, I don't know what is!

👋 See you next time and stuff.

[October 2020]

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 and stuff.

P.S. Jack and Jill did NOT go up the hill. I repeat, Jack and Jill did NOT go up the hill. Just so you know. You are quite welcome.

[October 2018]

🎃 Impromptu and Not So Lonesome October Buddy Reread (IaNSLBR™) with Tadiana, Evgeny and OhWell 🎃

Original rating: 3 stars.
New rating: 5 stars. Does that mean there might be hope for me yet? Oh dear. We are all doomed, methinks.

And the moral of this reread is : hallelujah to our Lord Shrimp and stuff! I finally saw the light! And read the book right! (Yes, I know, it rhymes. Yes, I know, I’m a poet.) The Evil Russians™ Someone should give me a lifetime achievement award or something.

Okay, well, yeah, that’s very nice and stuff, but I was thinking more along the lines of a, um, you know, liquid, amber-colored “or something” from Scotland, you know.

And the other moral of this reread is : I’m doing the Poof Gone Harem™ on Snuff, and he will be joining the rest of the scary, creepy as fish fluffy, cuddly creatures mongrels in my Most Wondrous If Slightly Freakish High Security Petting Zoo (MWISFHSPZ™) pronto. So yay and stuff.

And the other, other moral of this reread is : this book features the mostest bestest and wittiest animal familiar dialogues in the history of Mostest Bestest and Wittiest Animal Familiar Dialogues (MBaWAFD™). And that is a scientifically proven fact.

See, even Gertrude agrees with me on that one. And Gertrude knows loads about scientifically proven facts. LOADS.

P.S. I do stand by what I said the first time around: body part transactions FTW!
P.P.S. Only 334 days to go until we ritually rereread this book and stuff. The countdown has begun and stuff. Not that I look forward to it and stuff. Just stating a fact and stuff. Obviously and stuff.

[October 2017]

Everyone Luuuuurved It But Me Now that's a Surprise Buddy Read (ELIBMNtaSBR™) with Evgeny (aka The Culprit), Tadiana, Choko, Layla, Maria and Robin

So this was me while I was reading this book:

Shrimpless Needless to say, I wasn't in the best of dispositions to read this classic Halloween read. By the way, worry not for I am not going to explain again how slightly pointless the whole Halloween read thing is to me, because been there done that and all that crap. Anyway, Halloween + Evgeny's disastrous influence on my reading life = here we are.

First off, I should mention that I've had too much whisky I usually have a very low tolerance for animals in books . So imagine my cry of utter delight when I realized this story was told from a charming dog's POV. I mean, I was totally, like, YAY and stuff . BUT. I must admit that Snuff, the dog in question, is pretty cool. He happens to be Jack the Stripper Ripper's dog, which worked a lot in his favor, for obvious homicidal reasons. You would think that good old Jack would have picked a more badass name for his dog, by the way. Llike, I don't know, Cleaver or Butcher or Cutter or something. But I guess you can't have everything. Anyway, the dog is pretty smart and witty and bearable for a pathetic animal, so I survived reading from his POV. Not only that, I also managed to make it relatively unscarred to the very last page, despite half of the cast being bloody shrimping fauna material! Nothing short of a miracle, if you ask me. Allellujah to our Lord Shrimp and stuff.

So yes, as much as I am loathe to admit, the animals in this story are pretty cool. They are actually more interesting than the, um, human characters in the story. Which is a shame considering the cast consists not only of our chum Jack, but also of Count Premolar Dracula, Dr It's Alive Frankenstein (and his baby, of course), Rasputin of the Super Hot Sexy Beard, Benedryl Cabbagepatch Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock Himself, a guy called Spoiler Spoiler Spoiler (not his real name) and a whole bunch of other people. A whole bunch of very male people, I might add, and only one bloody shrimping woman. Which is slightly not cool, Mr Zelazny. The shrimps are not pleased. And neither am I . Anyway, with such an awesome clique of awesome characters, you'd think the book would be, you know, awesome and stuff, right? Right. Ha. Wrong. I mean, it's definitely not bad, and the writing is really good and humorous and witty and clever and stuff but the whole thing felt kind of *looks around to make sure Evgeny isn't on the premises* *whispers* meh. I guess I was expecting something darker and scarier and creepier and horrifyinger (yes, that is a word) and this just felt terribly *checks behind her back in case Evgeny is trying to cunningly sneak up on her* *whispers* light and decaf and sugar-free and stuff.

Yes, that's pretty much how spooky this book was. Ew ew ew.

Some barnacles might say that I didn't fully appreciate the book because it takes bloody ages half of the story for under-performing shrimps like me the reader to understand what the fish is going on. Wrong wrong wrong. The King of Totally Confusing Befuddlement (KoTCB™), aka Glen Cook, is my master and, let me tell you, I have come out unscathed of much more perplexingly confounding tales than this one. It's the lack of confusion I usually find confusion. So QED and stuff.

Anything else? Apart from the fact that I obviously read this book wrong, you mean? Nah, don't think so.

» And the moral of this Eagerly Apprehensively Waiting for Evgeny's Revenge Now That I've Gone and Done the Unthinking Unforgivable and Rated this Much Beloved Book of His Three Pathetic Little Stars Crappy Non Review (EAWfERNtIGaDtUUaRtMBBoHTPLSCNR™) is: I am not worthy. Obviously.

P.S. Body parts transactions FTW!
P.P.S. What kind of botched-up ending is this, Mr Zelazny? Just asking for a friend.
P.P.P.S.S.S. Gahan Wilson's illustrations for this book are slightly awesome. And you are slightly welcome.

[ Pre-review nonsense]

Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

Subcontracting this crappy non-review to Graymalk the cat. She's hard at work right now, and should be able to deliver a most entertaining reading report post haste.

➽ Full Please Forgive Me Evgeny For I Have Sinned and Failed to Give this Decidedly Not Spooky Tale a 5 Star Rating Blame the Tourist Hordes of Doom Don't Blame Me Crappy Non Review (PFMEFIHSaFtGtDNTTa5SRBtTHoDDBMCNR™) to come.
Profile Image for Delee.
243 reviews1,099 followers
October 12, 2017
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...sometimes you just can't wait...

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Every once in a while- when the moon is full on a Halloween night- a group gathers and a game begins...The game of saving the world from evil and destruction- who is on the right side and who is on the wrong one??? I guess you will have to read it to find out...

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"Hi. I'm a watchdog."
"Me, too."
"I've been watching you."
"And I've been watching you."
"Why is your person digging a big hole?"
"There are some things down there that he needs."
"Oh, I don't think he's supposed to be doing that."
"May I see your teeth?"
"Yes. Here. May I see yours?"
"Of course."

October-1887- a small English village finds itself host to a strange group of visitors. They are players in "The Game", and on the final night- they will declare their allegiances in a contest that will determine the future of the world. Until then- there are mystic artifacts to track down, rituals to complete and allies to make...but appearances can be deceiving- and who they might think of as friends...could be their enemies.

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If I can recommend only one book to read in October- this would be it! It may not be for everyone...but it certainly was for me. So much fuuuuuuuuuun!!!

Happy (almost) Halloween!!
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,158 reviews2,007 followers
October 31, 2022
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 nods to famous characters such as Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. The narrator is a dog which sounds silly but is definitely not. There are references and puns aplenty especially as two of the main characters are called Jack and Jill. There is horror as well - digging up body parts in the cemetery, scary moments when our favourite characters nearly meet their ends and much more.

This is a book where the author had fun and it is best read slowly and with commentary from other readers. I would have missed so much without that feedback. Pretty sure I will be opening it again on October 1st 2021.

31st October 2021 I did indeed open it again 0n the 1st October 2021 and read a chapter each day culminating in today's final conclusion. Would you believe I did not remember how it was going to end? Which was great for my enjoyment of the reread but a bit of worry about my failing memory.

I did see many details this time which I did not notice in the first reading. In fact everything was much clearer this second time round and I could relate all the little incidents together. I really enjoyed spending time again with Snuff and the rest, and I laughed just as much this time at the last sentence as I did the first time round.

Who knows I might even read it again next year!

31st October 2022 Apparently this is going to become a ritual. I read a chapter a day again this year and loved every minute of it. I did remember the ending this time - it is actually very clever - go Bubo!!! Snuff is probably my favourite fictional dog. Some books are definitely worth reading multiple times and this is one of them.
Profile Image for Gianfranco Mancini.
2,191 reviews741 followers
October 31, 2022

Sono un cane da guardia. Il mio nome è Snuff. Vivo con il mio padrone Jack fuori Londra, per ora. Mi piace molto Soho di notte con le sue nebbie piene di odori e i vicoli bui. È allora, quando tutto è immerso nel silenzio, che usciamo per lunghe passeggiate. Jack è vittima di una maledizione da ormai molto tempo, perciò deve fare quasi tutto il lavoro di notte per impedire che accadano cose peggiori."

Un gentiluomo di nome Jack si aggira nelle fredde notti d'ottobre, insieme al fedele cane Snuff, per le strade nebbiose della Londra Vittoriana di fine Ottocento alla ricerca degli ingredienti necessari a compiere un antico rito sacrilego la notte di Ognissanti.

"Non sono la prima a venire qui oggi. Chi mi ha preceduta ha lasciato delle tracce. Lo sapevi, fedele guardiano?"
"No" ho risposto. "Chi era?"
"Il gufo, Nightwind, compagno di Morris e MacCab. L'ho visto volare via all'alba, ho trovato una piuma là dietro. La polvere è contaminata con polvere di mummia, per farti ammalare."

Ma Jack e Snuff non sono i soli a partecipare al grande Gioco che aprirà o meno la via ai Grandi Antichi allo scoccare dell'ora fatidica.

Abbiamo ridacchiato entrambi e poi mi sono eclissato.
Quella sera siamo usciti di nuovo. Abbiamo attraversato il ponte e camminato per un lungo, lungo tratto. In giro c'erano l’arcigno detective e il suo tozzo compagno; quest'ultimo zoppicava per via dell'avventura dell'altra notte. Li abbiamo incrociati un paio di volte nella nebbia.

Altri giocatori si stanno preparando: da Jill la Strega al Buon Dottore, da Rastov il monaco pazzo, sino all'enigmatico Larry Talbot e al lugubre Conte dal mantello nero che non sopporta la luce del giorno, tutti accompagnati dai loro fedeli compagni: la gatta Graymalk, Bubo il ratto, il serpente Quicklime, Nightwind il gufo e Needle il pipistrello.

Sono tre notti che un ometto gobbo saccheggia i cimiteri. L'ho visto durante i miei pattugliamenti. Due notti fa, grazie al plenilunio,
l’ho seguito. Ha portato il suo bottino in una grande fattoria a sud di qui – un posto pieno di pali della luce, sopra il quale infuria una tempesta perenne. Ha consegnato il materiale a un uomo alto e longilineo, chiamandolo 'Buon Dottore'. "

Alcuni sono venuti ad aprire le porte, altri per chiuderle.
E da quale parte si schiereranno il Grande Detective ed il suo assistente?
Non tutto é quel che sembra...
Che il Gioco abbia inizio.

Ieri sera siamo usciti di nuovo in cerca di altri ingredienti per il Grande Piano. C'era una fitta nebbia e giravano molti poliziotti di pattuglia.
Il che non ci ha fermato ma di sicuro ha reso le cose più difficili. La lama del padrone ha guizzato, la donna ha gridato e c'è stato un violento strappare di vestiti.

Pubblicato per la prima volta nel 1993, e candidato al prestigioso Premio Nebula, Notte d'ottobre, ultimo racconto scritto dall'autore Roger Zelazny prima della sua prematura scomparsa, è un delizioso pastiche lovecraftiano che vede come protagonisti gli animali al servizio di alcuni tra i più famosi personaggi della letteratura e cinematografia, ormai vere e proprie icone dell'immaginario collettivo con innumerevoli racconti a loro dedicati, e la cui fama supera di gran lunga quella dei loro creatori.

La notte scorsa ci siamo procurati altri ingredienti per l'incantesimo del padrone. Mentre riprendevamo fiato a un angolo di Soho, il Grande Detective e il suo compagno sono sbucati dalla nebbia e ci sono venuti incontro.
"Buonasera" ha detto lui.
"Buonasera" gli ha fatto eco Jack.
"Avreste da accendere?"
Jack ha tirato fuori una scatola di cerini e gliel’ha passata.

Immaginate un romanzo in cui Jack lo Squartatore, la terza strega del Macbeth di William Shakespeare, il dr. Frankenstein e la sua creatura, l'Uomo Lupo, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes ed il dr. Watson, un monaco folle ispirato a Rasputin ed coppia di ladri di cadaveri basata sui realmente esistiti William Burke e William Hare, insieme ad altri ancora, mentre lottano tra loro nel tentativo di scatenare Nyarlathotep, Shub-Niggurath e compagnia bella sul mondo, o di salvarlo, in un  Gioco che avrà il suo culmine la notte di Ognissanti quando, evento che si manifesta tre o quattro volte ogni secolo, la luna sarà piena.

"Ah, Jack" la voce arrivava dalla nostra sinistra. "Buonasera."
Jack si è fermato e si è voltato, la mano vicina a dove teneva nascosto il coltello.
Larry Talbot è uscito dall’ombra, toccandosi la tesa del cappello.
"Mr Talbot..." ha cominciato Jack.
"Larry, per favore."

Il tutto in trentuno appassionanti capitoli, più un breve prologo, che letti ed assaporati uno a notte, fanno di questo libro la lettura autunnale per eccellenza, un classico alla pari con The Halloween Tree di Ray Bradbury.

Mentre stavo lì, perplesso, un grosso pipistrello - molto più grande di Needle - è arrivato in picchiata da nord, passando dietro un grande albero. Ma non è spuntato dall'altro lato. Invece ho sentito un passo leggerissimo, e un uomo vestito di scuro con un mantello nero è uscito da dietro l'albero.
Lo fissavo. Ha girato di scatto la testa verso di me e ha parlato: "Chi è là?"

Ho semplicemente adorato questa storia surreale raccontata dal punto di vista di Snuff, cane speciale con il dono della parola per un paio d'ore dopo ogni scoccare della mezzanotte, alle prese con i partecipanti al Gioco, umani, mostruosi e non-morti, ed i loro famigli, tra disavventure, pericoli, e viaggi nelle Terre del Sogno, in una appassionante caccia alla citazione che mi ha fatto letteralmente divorare, tempo permettendo, questo splendido libro.

La sera, ho portato a Jack le sue pantofole e mi sono sdraiato ai suoi piedi di fronte a un fuoco scoppiettante mentre lui fumava la pipa, sorseggiava sherry e leggeva il giornale. Ha letto a voce alta tutto ciò che riguardava omicidi, incendi dolosi, mutilazioni, saccheggi di tombe,
profanazioni di chiese e furti inusuali. È piacevole stare in casa, ogni tanto.

Il tutto mentre cercavo di capire anzitempo quale tra i personaggi appartenesse all'una o all'altra fazione, prima che rivelazioni e sorprese varie mandassero all'aria, inaspettatamente e piacevolmente, tutte le mie teorie e supposizioni.

Sono rimasto a fissarlo affascinato. La pioggia aveva cancellato dall'aria tutti gli odori, finché non eravamo arrivati così vicini. Ora però ero in grado di fiutarlo e per me è diventato ancora più bizzarro, perché quello che permeava il suo corpo ed emanava da lui era l'odore dolciastro e nauseabondo della morte. I suoi movimenti non tradivano aggressività e lui ci guardava quasi con l'aria di un bambino curioso.

Purtroppo sono venuto meno al mio proposito iniziale di leggere un capitolo al giorno dall'inizio alla fine di ottobre, facendo coincidere le mie giornate e nottate dedicate alla lettura con quelle che fanno da sfondo alle  vicende narrate fra queste pagine, e l'ho invece finito in una manciata di giorni.

"Sai se lei ha visto l'Icona di Alhazred?"
"E così sai che l'abbiamo noi... no, ubriaco o sobrio, non la mostrerebbe a nessuno prima del tempo."
"Mentre ti cercavo, poco fa, ho visto che stringeva qualcosa che assomigliava a un'icona. È di legno, alta circa dieci centimetri e lunga una ventina?"
"Si, l'ha tirata fuori oggi dal suo nascondiglio. Quando si sente particolarmente depresso dice che lo fa stare meglio 'andare sulle rive del lago di Hali e contemplare l'attuazione della rovina' e quindi immaginare tutti gli usi che potrà farne."

Peccato, vorrà dire che lo rileggerò l'anno prossimo gustandomelo un capitolo per volta.

""Scommetto che non hai mai incontrato qualcuno che sappia tagliare veramente" ha continuato il muscoloso, avanzando.
Era dentro di lui, negli occhi gli brillava quella strana luce, ha tirato la mano fuori dalla tasca e la luce delle stelle imprigionata dentro ha illuminato le rune sulla lama del coltello.
"Ben trovati!" disse allora Jack tra i denti di un sogghigno, continuando ad avanzare.

In poche parole, un capolavoro surreale, orrorifico e divertente, che non dovrebbe mancare nella biblioteca di ogni appassionato della letteratura fantastica.

Nel canto ora potevo sentire un debole "lä! Shub-Niggurath!" ripetuto, come in risposta. Davanti a me, Graymalk sì era alzata in piedi e stava ritta in modo molto rigido.
A quel punto il parroco, anziché procedere alla fase successiva, si è voltato e si è avvicinato lentamente alla stoffa su cui era posato il coltello sacrificale, Ho notato che anche
l'icona di Alhazred dietro di lui aveva cominciato a brillare.

Profile Image for Vishnu Chevli.
650 reviews558 followers
March 6, 2019
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 reviewers mentioned that it takes half the novel read to get the idea of the story. I would like to correct it, it took me more than two third of the book to understand what is happening. Story is written from watchdog's point of view. In a certain area of London, during Halloween of 1880's, a group of people (with special powers) gathered to perform a particular ceremony. They call it the Game. Each player has their own companion (animals) who help them during the Game. Players are divided into two groups, the Openers and the Closers. This year's Game became dangerous because of the death of players from both the sides. Snuff, watchdog, and Gray, cat, venture their own adventures during Game to find out truth behind various strange events. You will find all type of characters in story, a magician, a witch, a vampire, a warewolf, a psychopath, a Frankenstein and many more.

There were some illustration given at appropriate places to clear readers doubt. For an example, from an illustration I understood that one player was a vampire, otherwise I would have kept thinking how a person sleeps in coffin under debris. You need a good amount of patience to finish this book. For some it may be nail biting journey and for some it may be sure shot DNFs. Its good that I sustained first 100 pages otherwise I would have put it under DNFs.
Profile Image for Choko.
1,178 reviews2,568 followers
October 27, 2017
*** 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, funny. It is like a Halloween Scavenger Hunt of Classic Characters, all of them counting the days from the First of October to The Night, the Thirty First.

"..."I am a watchdog. My name is Snuff.... I fetch things for Jack on occasion—his wand, his big knife with the old writing on the sides. I always know just when he needs them because it is my job to watch and to know. I like being a watchdog better than what I was before he summoned me and gave me this job...."..."

We are told the story, happening in Victorian London, from the POV of Snuff, the watch dog familiar to Jack of dubious fame from that time period. As I said, the book is loaded with clues and connections, which are a delight to decipher, and I have to say, doing it in a group is much more fun, because if you missed something, your buddy reader might have figured it out and it truly feels like a game! You start from no knowledge at all, and then you get pieces little by little, with every chapter covering a day in October and giving us some more players and clues to go with. It becomes obvious pretty quickly that teams of "openers" or "closers" are being created, but no one knows who is on which team...

"..."I addressed the squirrel through a hedge:
“Are you in the Game?”
It scurried to the man’s nearer shoulder and peered.
“Who asks?” it chattered.
“Call me Snuff,” I answered.
“Call me Cheeter,” it replied. “Yes, I suppose we are. Last minute thing—rush, rush.”
“Opener or closer?”
“Impolite! Impolite to ask! You know that!”
“Just thought I’d try. You could be novices.”
“Not new enough to be giving anything away. Leave it at that.”
“I will.”
“Stay. Is there a black snake in it?”
“You ask me to give something away. But yes, there is: Quicklime. Beware. His master is mad.”
“Aren’t they all?”
We chuckled and I faded away."..."

Needless to say, the familiars were the main characters, since we saw everything from the point of view of a dog. This is what made the story even more enchanting than it already would have been, given the brilliant way the author lets us in on it. Snuff is not only a great watch dog and assistant to Jack, he is also a mathematical genius who sees and deciphers patterns and even knows when to act like a lovable goof of a dog too!!! I am in love with this character and if Jack and Jill don't work out, I can take on the care for Snuff and Graymalk the cat at any time - voluntarily, this is how willing I am to work for the greater good!!!

"..."“The crazy witch’s companion may be running out of steam about now.”
“What do you mean?”
“‘Ding, dong, dell.’”
“I don’t follow you.”
“Literally. Pussy’s in the well.”
“Who threw her in?”
“MacCab, full of sin.”
“Where is it?”
“By the outhouse, full of shit. Back of Crazy Jill’s place. Keeps it from going dry, I guess.”"..."

The banter is almost as awesome as the structure and simplicity of the storytelling. I think half of the book is quotable, but to truly experience it, I would recommend you to get several friends together and read it, preferably some time in October:):):) You will enjoy the way the characters gather their needed materials, which are supposed to be acquired in some very specific ways and times... Zelazny exhibits a particular talent in knowing when less is more and makes our imaginations work overtime with the hints he gives here and there. I am not sure I can find a weakness in the whole thing at all, and I am not even going to look for it. I just enjoyed it and the way it made me always look for the second meaning of every word and hint, making my brain feel full of champagne bubbles and kept me slightly buzzed throughout! Evgeny, you recruited me into the Legions of RZ's fans! Thank you once again!

"..."“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.” "..."

Now I wish you all Happy Reading and many more wonderful books to come!!!
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,892 reviews10.5k followers
February 25, 2011
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 pretty much what it is. Snuff spends most of the book calculating where the gateway will appear, having to recalculate every time a player turns up dead...

One of the best parts of A Night in the Lonsesome October is trying to figure out which characters are actually participants in The Game, and which side they are on.

I enjoyed seeing classic horror characters like Count Dracula, Larry Talbot, and Frankenstein's monster in the same story as Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper. Through in the Cthulhu mythos and you have a ripping good yarn.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,908 followers
October 21, 2021
Back in the day, in the mid-'90s, I had the great pleasure to see Zelazny before he died. He was so full of life, so enthusiastic.

And by that time, I'd read so much by him. All the Amber books, Lord of Light, This Immortal (which shared a Hugo with Dune), and so many more that were just... FUN. This book was no different, but at the time I hadn't read it because this was currently either being written or was to be published, shortly.

I went to his reading at an SF convention and the guy literally got up on the table and barely read from his script as he performed, with glowing eyes and such energy, a scene right from A Night in Lonesome October.

We laughed, sat enraptured, and, because this was a very tiny crowd, sitting around him in one of the tiniest meeting rooms in the hotel, we all got to talk with him.

I was amazed. Thrilled. He was one of the small handful of authors that made me realize that all I wanted to be was a writer.

It really came as a shock to me when he died at only 58 of cancer, that he had not only been going through it as he wrote this book -- but that he even voiced the entire narration in the audiobook for it.

It was as if he poured all the rest of his vitality into this last project, for us.

Am I reading too much into this? No. Probably not. He was a great man and he was able to give us so much light in the time he gave to us. Maybe it just hits differently when we actually get to meet our heroes. And it hits even harder when they turn out to be that much more heroic.

Profile Image for Jim.
Author 7 books2,023 followers
November 4, 2019
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: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...
Cover & other Art: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...
Both of these topics contain spoilers.

I'm armed with 20 pages of notes & a copy of the cover art. We're having a great discussion with some additional pieces being filled in. This is definitely a book best enjoyed with a mixed group. Those who haven't read it before bring new ways of looking at the mystery as it unfolds & that suggests new avenues of research. All our diverse experience still leaves a few lingering mysteries.

I posted the cover photo with numbers on it for each character & we're trying to figure out who is who. Many are easy, but a few are about impossible. I contacted James Warhola again, but he still doesn't have access to his notes. Maybe next year. Yes, I'll likely read it again that soon, so I had to give it 5 stars. It's a gift that never stops giving.

It was a great discussion & I added some new information to my notes.

2010 & 2011: Read in the Zelazny group. Spoiler topic here:
About 150 posts as we dissected the book to find all the allusions & sources Zelazny drew from. Wow!

I wrote up notes & contacted the cover artist Warhola.

2008: Re-reading for the SF/Fantasy monthly & loved it. It's a fast, fun read & has the quality I've come to expect from Zelazny. The story, as one of the character's of the book puts it, is 'a lunatic scavenger hunt' in more ways than one. Who are the people, what are they trying to accomplish - are they good or bad guys? It's also perfect Halloween reading.

There are 31 chapters, one for each day of the month of October during which the story plays out. The early chapters are short, but they grow longer as our understanding of the story progresses - the plot thickens & so do the details.

At first, we're not quite sure what is happening, but the characters are interesting. The story is filled with unlikely heroes & villains who make unlikely alliances & friendships. The characters, their names & other references were fun reading up on. Many are pulled from all over classic horror & the real world. Some I knew, others I vaguely recognized & some I'm still not too certain of. As usual, his novels are worthy of a re-read at a later date.

The copy I have is illustrated in B&W. I didn't care much for them & found them more of a distraction than anything. Usually, I ignored them.
Profile Image for Nat K.
407 reviews147 followers
October 31, 2022
”And so the day arrived, cloudy, and with a small wind out of the north.”

It was apt that the sun was setting as I finished my second reading of this book. October 31, chapter 31, Halloween. The light was quite magical, a deep orange glow, offset by the steel gray clouds.

It’s hard to believe that twelve months have passed since I last read this. It’s gone fast, despite all of life’s challenges. Did I enjoy re-reading this? Yes. Very much. Did I read it through different eyes? Yes. I did view it differently. And yet, I’m still in wonder at the cast of characters, the cleverness of the one liners, the good versus evil storyline. As I said in my original review, I could feel how much fun Zelezny had writing this. And Snuff is still one of my favourite narrators.
Top ten easily.

This was a buddy read with the wonderful, talented Mr. Neale-ski, and the dapper Marko. Please have a read of their reviews once they post them.


My original review from October 2021 is below.


"I am a watchdog. My name is Snuff."

What's not to love about a book with that as the opening line. Snuff is a watchdog. He is our narrator. His owner is Jack. Yes, that Jack.

As the book progresses, we meet the most intriguing bunch characters and their familiars who make up this story.

Jack (that one) and Snuff (his dog, our narrator)
Crazy Jill (a witch) and Graymalk (her cat, of course)
Morris and MacCab (I never quite figured out who they were, though Bill put forward a great suggestion) and Nightwind (the owl)
The Count (you know him) and Needle (the bat)
Rastov (a mad monk) and Quicklime (a snake)
Owen (a Druid) and Cheeter (the squirrel)
Larry (a Moon watcher) and his exotic plants
The Great Detective (there's only one) and his Companion (you know him)
The Good Doctor (had me a bit stumped) and Bubo (a rat, cleverly named)
Vicar Roberts (pure evil) and Takela (an albino raven)

They all gather together, this "society of wretched individuals and their familiars preparing for some big psychic event which will place them at odds with each other and threaten the safety of humanity." Queue sweeping organ music. All during the mystical month of October.

As Snuff observes "It's not a month for taking chances." It's a time of "Weird stuff...A little specialized craziness." Snuff advises it best to "Stay away from any human gatherings that night."

And we all know that October 31 is Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve. It marks the end of Summer in the northern hemisphere, and is the day when the veil between the physical world and spiritual world is weaker... allowing spirits and faeries - amongst others (gasp) - to return to earth.

Which begins the battle of wills for those who wish for this to happen, while others try to prevent it.

It's a given that our motley crew gather together during this most auspicious month. It couldn't be any other 🎃 Let the games begin.

There is an Awful lot of Capitilization that Goes On, which just Adds to the Utter Quirkiness of the Storyline.

Illustrations: Gahan Wilson

These pen drawings add a layer of oddness to the unfolding storyline. They're so unusual they're good. And I very much wanted to buy some pencils and colour them in!

I loved the writing style, along with the humour. It's so clever. There are so many great one liners, conversations between the familiars, and crazy scenarios. All settled between scenes of incongruous domesticity. Settling in front of the fireplace at night, and enjoying tea with the neighbours. Zelazny must have had such a great deal of fun writing this.

The characters are intriguing, and working out their identity was at times like figuring out a cryptic crossword. Which I'm not good at! The clues are there, if you're clever enough to work them out. I had some hits. Others were harder to unearth. Deceptions, disguises, double crossing and The Things. Myths, mystics, gypsies, gothic tales. Uncovering the story, chapter by chapter, according to the corresponding date, added to the atmosphere. And the anticipation of what would be revealed next.

There's also a mysterious wolf by the moniker of Growler, and a monster with a beating heart after all (come on up to the podium Mr Frank N. Stein and take a bow).

The below exchange is one of my absolute favourites. It shows the tongue in cheek vibe of the story and is completely amusing. I smile each time I think of it.

" 'Hi. I'm a watchdog.'
'Me, too.'
'I've been watching you.'
'And I've been watching you.'
'Why is your person digging a big hole?'
'There are some things down there that he needs.'
'Oh. I don't think he's supposed to be doing that.'
'May I see your teeth?'
'Yes. Here. May I see yours?'
'Of course.' "

Oh so terribly civilized!

See what I mean? The book is filled with my kind of quirky.

My first Zelazny. I couldn't help but think "What was he on!", as this is so far out and brilliant all rolled into one.

Snuff is the best narrator hands down. Or should that be paws down?

I also couldn't help but think this is the kind of book that I'll bet Gaiman wishes he'd written. And I've no doubt he's read it...at least once.

Seriously, as I said to my buddy readers as soon as I finished reading it, this is EPIC. I couldn't be more satisfied or impressed with the ending. Those last couple of lines left me with a big smile on my face. Me happy.

Trigger warnings! Mild violence and a scene with vivisectionists I'd prefer not to have read. I know it explains part of the story, but...I wish it could be otherwise. I don't deal well with this type of thing. It really bothered me. I think Zelazny could have "alluded" to what was going on, and it would have the same effect. That's my only gripe with the book.

Definitely this will be a re-read for me.

***This was a buddy read with a merry band of October uber fans. Thoroughly enjoyable, lots of banter and "theories" flying through the ether. Please make sure to have a read of their thoughts also. Shout out to Bill (thanks for the invite amigo), Alisa, Caro, Carol, Dawn, Evgeny, Mimi, Nataliya and Ucho. See y'all next October.***

" I felt a strong desire to howl at the moon. It was such a howlable moon."

I feel that way too Snuff. I'll join you.
Profile Image for Orient.
255 reviews207 followers
November 3, 2016
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 dangerous plans) and the heroes from other famous and classical books. The author borrowed some characters from fabulous classics (Mary Shelley, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker) to create his book as an interesting game. I had so much fun guessing who’s who.

The book presented the story of a strange Game, a shrewd and sometimes dangerous fight between two groups of players. When the right time comes, they prepare for one special Night in the Lonesome October when the fate of the world is to be decided. I liked the players and their companions. And the most interesting parts to play, went to the awesome talking companions <3

London had invited a really special group to play the Game. A dangerous gentleman who wanders the streets at night with a knife ( ), with his BBF and scheming partner Snuff, a witch in a disguise as a crazy hag, with her comrade sly Graymalk.

Snuff managed all the funny dialogues and I really enjoyed his interaction with others.

I moved in a big circle about the hilltop, pissing on stone after stone as I calculated, partly to keep track of the lines, partly in frustration.

A new form of counting :D well now I know why does my dog have to pee on every bush while going for a walk. :D

"A chihuahua?" The thing in the circle suggested. "Just for laughs?"
"Nope," I answered. "Language barrier.”

”Remember what they say about cornered rats," he said. "We can be nasty."
"I'm sure," I replied. "But what'd be the point? No one wants to hurt you."
"You were chasing me."
"I wanted to talk to you."
"So you brought along a cat."
"I can let you talk to her if you don't want to talk to me." I started to withdraw.
"No! Wait! I'd rather talk to you!”

Not enough interesting characters? Ok, here lurk some other interesting personalities: an alluring, very RIP noble and his night companion Needle, an old witcher and his nutty partner Cheeter; the mad Russian monk ( ) with his sneaky hissing BFF Quicklime, a crazy pair of partners, with a whooping comrade Nightwind. Then there is a crazy bloodlusty man of god, with a peculiar companion Tekela. Other colorful personalities: a good doctor with a kindhearted giant and a sneaky Bubo, a furry botanic ( I found him a little bit primitive) and a Great Detective, a master of disguise.

The Game is presented quite masterfully, with lots of bits that the reader has to put together to see the whole puzzle. This story is told from Snuff’s POV. I tracked Snuff and the other players in the Game with interested as the story revealed the closeness of great friendships, the great alliances and the nasty treason. The finale revealed some secrets and it was great to have one of the players, I liked, back.

I have only one complaint. Some characters were not fully developed, I would have liked to know more about their past, their stronger sides and weaknesses. This is the last book that Mr. Zelazny finished ( moreover it was nominated for the Nebula in 1994) and it’s sad that there won’t be any sequel to this book.

Jack and Jill went down the hill. Gray and I ran after.

Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,586 reviews1,466 followers
November 1, 2017
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 scary and this fit that bill to a T.

There are a few things that are done really well in this story. First the narrator is a dog, but not just any dog but one with some sort of ties to the supernatural and he is companion to none other than Jack the Ripper but that is never clearly stated. Still it gives a different and unique perspective on his activities.

The Second is that all the players in the story are from those old horror movies I watched as a kid including Dr. Frankenstein, Rasputin, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sherlock Holmes, the original Wolf Man, Count Dracula and more. Each one has their own pet familiar AND is working for a big event on Halloween to either release a great power or keep it where it is. Until very close to the end it is hard to say who is on which side.


The Third thing I enjoyed about this set up is that nothing is told to you. Everything is shown and the story teases out a little at a time with hints here and there but nothing overt. Which leads to some pretty big surprises at the end and a twist I really didn’t see coming.

Overall Mr. Zelazny sold it to me that Jack wasn’t necessarily a bad guy. And I admittedly ended up reading some of the lore on a few of the other characters in the book which added to the Halloween fun of it.

The main reason that this didn’t get a full 5 stars is the very abrupt end. I thought there would be an epilogue of sorts and there isn’t. I really wanted to know what happened to a few of the other characters but it is left to my own imagination.

Still if Horror really isn’t your thing and you want something somewhat funny and mysterious then this could definitely add to your enjoyment of October.
Profile Image for Caro the Helmet Lady.
759 reviews341 followers
October 31, 2021
Updated on Otober 31st, 2021.
This time around loved it again and even more because of the fun buddy read with October Shenanigans! :)
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!

Read it for the 2nd time and absolutely loved it again. The literature recycling is a thing Zelazny was great in and here he did it in a funny and inventive way. He borrowed some best characters the modern classic literature gave us, sparkled it with the cameo of Elder Gods and played it all with great humour and a tad of twist to it. The dialogues are brilliant. And you just have to love Snuff. Whoever he is... 5 Stars again, and I'm willing to re-read it in future.

P.S. Btw - if you're a hardcore Zelazny's fan, there's an audiobook on youtube for this one, voiced by the author himself! Nothing really that spectacular, but still much fun. :)
Profile Image for Ivonne Rovira.
1,861 reviews191 followers
December 30, 2022
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 up late to experience the novel’s unique ending all over again. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read — not just one of the best fantasy or science-fiction books. Want proof? My three children, then teenagers, listened to it twice on car trips, lapping up every word, eager to hear what was to come next. Now that’s magic!

Set in Victorian London and the surrounding countryside, A Night in the Lonesome October begins: “I’m a watchdog. My name is Snuff.” But Snuff is no ordinary watchdog — nor is his master any ordinary Jack. Nor are any of their neighbors ordinary. Soon enough you realize who Jack is, and who the Great Detective and his rotund companion, the Count, the Good Doctor, and the other “players” are in a deadly serious game that could well usher in the end of the world as we currently experience it, a game that takes place every time a full moon occurs on that night in the lonesome October, October 31. Although a full moon coincides with Halloween only three or four times in a century, Snuff has played the game many times before. Before the game comes to its thrilling culmination on Halloween night, several players will die, several animal companions will flee, and much blood and mayhem will flow. Significantly, the word Halloween, an abbreviated version of the Christian expression All Hallows’ Eve, is used but once or twice in the book, which details very un-Christian goings-ons. (To reveal any more would ruin the book.) But the book isn’t as dark as it sounds. With lots of irony and wit, A Night in the Lonesome October will make you rue that Zelazny died before penning a sequel. You will recognize the deft allusions to famous characters in fiction, which provides part of the fun in this masterful fantasy novel.

If you have the privilege of enjoying the audio version of A Night in the Lonesome October, you will hear Roger Zelazny himself reading it, and he does a magnificent job — before than the average professional reader. You can buy the audio version through Speaking Volumes.
Profile Image for Juho Pohjalainen.
Author 5 books248 followers
November 1, 2021
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 with no image to help, but bit by bit it reveals itself to be a grand and beautiful work of art.

The narrative voice is terse but effective, as it always is with Zelazny, and the characters involved are all a curious and reasonably well-developed folk that I wouldn't have previously imagined myself to root for. But I do still think that it could've used to set up the scene and the conflict a little bit more from the beginning, and by the same token, it ended rather abruptly as well.

But those are quibbles. On the whole, it was a fun quick read.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,122 followers
June 20, 2015
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'll encounter favorites like Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes and other creatures of the night lurking about in the nearby woods and graveyards.

Great read....Great book-cover....Loved every minute of it!

Profile Image for Jim.
Author 7 books2,023 followers
November 4, 2017
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 Anna. She saw the characters as grouped by their roles in the story. That's a major spoiler, so don't look until you've read the book, but it makes so much sense. It leaves the Great Detective unaccounted for & possibly one extra character on the far left. My guess is he is disguised as the waiter & the Inspector is peeking in.

James Warhola finally looked through his old boxes (6 years of nagging!) & found the folder for this book. No notes, but he did find some sketches. There are 5 of them posted in the Zelazny group's photos here:

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 always, it was a very enjoyable read & I actually managed to limit myself to one chapter a day. I picked up a few more tidbits this year, which is pretty amazing. As fun as it is to read just the obvious story, the subtleties make it even better.

Oct2009: What a fantastic read for October, especially if done one day at a time while discussing with others. That allows plenty of time for reflection on the various clues, trying to figure out who the characters are & what the Game is about.

The book is a 'lunatic scavenger hunt' drawing characters & the setting from a lot of classical sources. H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu myths are a core component with players mostly from Victorian England classics; Jack the Ripper, Sherlock Holmes, Victor Frankenstein, Dracula & more. Few are named directly & some are tough to figure out, but it makes for a very fun read.

We summarized the book, one day at a time, discussing the characters, their names & more about the book in the Roger Zelazny group in the spoiler topic.
Profile Image for [Name Redacted].
784 reviews391 followers
November 1, 2022
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
Ninth reading: October 1 - 31, 2021
Tenth reading: October 1 - 31, 2022
Profile Image for Trish.
1,872 reviews3,381 followers
October 21, 2021
This was so weird and so funny and so cool!

Meet Snuff, watchdog like no other. It's the late 1800s and Snuff helps his master, Jack, to collect something, ingredients to an upcoming acient ritual. Along with Jack and Snuff, there are other human-animal teams that do the same. One group wants to open some mysterious doors while others want to shut them. Who is on Jack's and Snuff's side and who is opposing them, nobody knows at first. We don't even know for sure what Jack and Snuff are working towards. All everyone knows is that a great fight is coming and that there are unwanted murders along with the intended ones and the vicar is lying. So Snuff and the other animals have their work cut out for them, what with getting rid of incriminating things, calculations to do etc.

The story is told from Snuff's point of view which was a blast. Not only are we privy to conversations amongst the animal familiars, we also get to see London and humans in general through a dog's eyes.

Yes, there are Jack-the-Ripper and Sherlock-Holmes vibes here. Plus, some of the other people also bear distinct features of other famous Victorian horror story characters. And that is no mistake and no coincidence. That plus the slight humour, stemming from the character's quirkiness, as well as the wonderful Penny-Dreadul-esque atmosphere made this reading experience especially delightful.

Interestingly, while the setting is dark and spooky, it's not heavy or even stifling (which some stories set in the same time and place often are). Instead, the book doesn't take itself too seriously and simply lets the reader get caught up in the events and swept along to have a smashing good time amongst creatures, animals, humans, and magical instruments. (No, I'm not gonna tell you who is who, who is on what side, or how the story ends / what happens during or after the ritual. ;P)

Fantastic and kinda refreshing Halloween read!
Profile Image for Celeste.
887 reviews2,333 followers
November 1, 2017
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 words, we have him to thank for some of the stories and authors that we as SFF fans love so much.

I didn’t love this little book, but I liked it. The aforementioned format was engaging and unique, and the plot was very original. But those were honestly my two favorite aspects of the book. Snuff, our canine narrator, was an entertaining and charming, and the Game he was involved in remained mysterious even at the novel’s end. All of the players were well known characters or tropes from classic horror fiction, which added to the fun factor. For a Game that had a possibly apocalyptic outcome, the way the story was told seemed very slice-of-life, which removed some of the tension needed to fully absorb a reader in a cosmic conflict.

A Night in the Lonesome October was a light October read, perfect for getting into the spirit of the season. It just left me wanting a bit more.
Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,388 reviews1,057 followers
October 23, 2018

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. My heart went aflutter seeing the names Count and Larry Talbot. Being told through the points of view of the animals was just another cherry on top of the fandom-sundae.

It's a quick read with odd artwork. Not a children's tale because of the language and content, but parts of it read like one. I think it's because it's capturing the magic of youth and adulthood all in one, something we never really outgrow.

Despite how much I loved about the book, my enjoyment comes to a 3.5 star rating. Not to sound dense, but some of the story confused me to tears and there were some dragging bits. I did dig the twist at the end with the count and also loved Jack and his scenes of saving his faithful hound.

Recommended for everyone - Halloween or any time of the year, young or old.
Profile Image for Mir.
4,840 reviews5,003 followers
October 29, 2009
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 users of Victorian settings seem driven to do.
Profile Image for Graeme Rodaughan.
Author 9 books339 followers
October 29, 2022
Interdimensional Imbroglio! Hound Thwarts Ceremony with Secret Advantage!: "Snuff really had a secret edge over the other players. It all had to do with the pep talk he got at half-time from one of the opposition coaches. I tell you, there were some awful shenanigans going on right there!" - The Shub-Niggurath Scuttler.

Loved this story about Openers vs Closers in a Lovecraftian war to bring forth or deny entry to the Eldar gods.

All told from the point of view of Snuff, a loyal, and highly capable near-immortal hound living as a familiar for one of the main players.

Brilliant stuff - go read it.

October 2021 - time for a re-read of this classic. Now done (18Oct21). Brilliant.

October 2022 - reread with the fine folk over at the Nightmares and Dreamscapes group.

Strongly Recommended: 5 'Snuff is a Very Good Boy,' stars.
Profile Image for Char .
1,614 reviews1,464 followers
November 29, 2022
Last night I finished this modern classic and I just adored it!

Featuring a wonderful dog named Snuff, and told from his point of view, this tale was delightful!

With a cast of characters featuring Jack the Ripper, Larry Talbot, (of werewolf fame), and many other notable names, this tale morphs into a Lovecraftian telling that impressed the hell out of me.

Many kudos to the narrator, Matt Godfrey, who tackled those Lovecraftian names with confidence!

I'm so glad I finally cleared this one from my TBR. I'm also glad that I purchased an Audible copy, because I'm sure I'll be listening to this one again in the future.

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,827 reviews358 followers
October 3, 2022
Halloween Bingo 2022

Yet another book that I've been meaning to read for several years, and I particularly wanted to use it for Halloween Bingo. Other years I didn't get a hold put on it at the library in time—there is always a long line for it, as many people read it every year in October. I will happily return it tomorrow for the next reader.

I have previously read Zelazny's Amber series and Lord of Light, but they really did not prepare me for this All Hallows Eve extravaganza. Zelazny hits all the high spots: magic, witches, black sabbaths, vampires, werewolves, the slithery Elder Gods, Sherlock Holmes, and Jack the Ripper. I think this book may stand alone in making Jack into a good guy. I loved all the animal familiars that we meet through Snuff, Jack's dog. When the time is right, the moon is full on the night of October 31st, all the humans and their familiars meet at the mathematically calculated spot to do magical battle.

I have to say that I love the cover art. It looked familiar, though, so I did some googling of the artist, James Warhola. Just as I thought, he did cover art for some of Spider Robinson's Callahan's series. He uses the same structure, with the book's characters grouped in small groups, obviously visiting in one room. I find it very pleasing, if a bit busy. But unlike some artists, it seems that Mr. Warhola actually read the book and understood what he was illustrating.

I read this to claim the Genre: Supernatural square of my Bingo card. I would gladly read it again next year.
Profile Image for Trent Zelazny.
Author 38 books120 followers
October 31, 2015
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.
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