Thursday, October 9, 2014
Roger Zelazny's 1993 novel A Night in the Lonesome October is perfectly suited for a Spooktober read-along. The book, which is split into 31 chapters, is a mix of humor, horror, mystery, and fantasy. It’s considered by many (from Kirkus to George R. R. Martin) to be Zelazny’s best novel, and there is a tradition among its fans to read the book, one chapter a day, each day in October.
That's why I'm giving away a paperback copy to one lucky Quivering Pen reader who'd like to join me in reading the book, which has just been re-released by Chicago Review Press. Because we're already partway into the month, I'm making this a short-leash contest: it closes at midnight on Oct. 10 and I'll get the book in the mail the next day to the winner. Read below for more details on the book and how to enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter.
Loyally accompanying a mysterious knife-wielding gentleman named Jack on his midnight rounds through the murky streets of London, good dog Snuff is busy helping his master collect the grisly ingredients needed for an unearthly rite that will take place not long after the death of the moon. But Snuff and his master are not alone. All manner of participants, both human and not, are gathering with their ancient tools and their animal familiars in preparation for the dread night. It is brave, devoted Snuff who must calculate the patterns of the Game and keep track of the Players—the witch, the mad monk, the vengeful vicar, the Count who sleeps by day, the Good Doctor and the hulking Experiment Man he fashioned from human body parts, and a wild-card American named Larry Talbot—all the while keeping Things at bay and staying a leap ahead of the Great Detective, who knows quite a bit more than he lets on. Boldly original and wildly entertaining, A Night in the Lonesome October is a darkly sparkling gem, an amalgam of horror, humor, mystery, and fantasy. First published in 1993, it was Zelazny's last book prior to his untimely death. Many consider it the best of the fantasy master's novels. It has inspired many fans to read it every year in October, a chapter a day, and served as inspiration for Neil Gaiman's brilliant story "Only the End of the World Again."
Here's what Kirkus Reviews had to say about it: "Narrator Snuff, a guard dog who performs complex thaumaturgical calculations in his head, has many duties: to keep various Things firmly trapped in mirrors, wardrobes, and steamer trunks; to accompany his master, Jack--he of the magical blade--on weird collecting expeditions into the graveyards and slums of Victorian London; and--for a single hour each night--discuss the day's goings-on in human speech. Snuff's neighbors include: Jill the witch and her familiar, Graymalk the cat, with whom Snuff forms a friendly alliance; Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Frankenstein, Dracula, a werewolf, and a satanic vicar. The witches, detectives, doctors, vampires, etc., along with their equally industrious familiars, trade information and scheme for advantage as the full moon of Halloween approaches; at that time, a magical showdown to decide the fate of the Earth will occur...Sparkling, witty, delightful: Zelazny's best for ages, perhaps his best ever."
Chicago Review Press is hosting its first annual read-along to celebrate the book's re-issue. If you'd like to join in on the fun, follow Chicago Review Press on Twitter and the hashtag #gooddogsnuff.
Posted by David Abrams at October 09, 2014