A Night in the Lonesome October

A Night in the Lonesome October

by Roger Zelazny


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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.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556525605
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/01/2014
Series: Rediscovered Classics Series
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Roger Zelazny (1937–1995) is best known as the author of the critically acclaimed Chronicles of Amber series. He wrote more than 40 novels and won the Nebula award three times and the Hugo award six times. Gahan Wilson is an award-winning author and cartoonist whose artwork has appeared in numerous publications, including National Lampoon, the New Yorker, and Playboy.

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Night in the Lonesome October 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As All Hallow's Eve draws closer Snuff has a lot on his plate. Keeping track of his master, Jack, and staying abreast of all the players in the Game for a start, not to mention making the rounds to ensure that the Things (in the Mirror, in the Circle, in the Attic...) stay locked up tight - Snuff is one busy pup!Who's a friend and who's an enemy might not always be clear, but Zelazny's weavings tie together numerous famous and infamous folks in clever fashion.
Heather_Heck on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites, I read it annually during the month of October--a chapter a day (or a day a chapter, if you like). Never before (and probably never again) will the reader root for Jack the Ripper. When it comes right now to good, evil, and a major cosmic rift, my money's on Jack and Snuff every time. With a rather comic ending and short chapters, every major "monster" is highlighted in an epic battle on Halloween night. A YA must-read, it's still this grown-up's all-time favorite!
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You're supposed to read it one day at a time, through October...maybe next year. I didn't get it until today, so I had to read up until the 12th, then I couldn't stop. Weird and wonderful. I disagree with Gahan Wilson's illustrations at a good many points (that's not Snuff, that scarred, droopy hound!), but they're nicely eerie for general atmosphere. I think I would enjoy it more if I read Lovecraft and the like - there are definitely allusions that are going over my head - but I know enough to enjoy it. The Count, the Good Doctor, Bubo being a smart-ass, the Great Detective and his (extremely weird, by the end) disguises...werewolves, Gypsies, openers, closers, friendship and enmity in odd directions. The vivisectors' lab was nasty, the staked skeleton odd...one of the references that went over my head was Snuff and Jack themselves. Drawing lines, and calculations. It's extremely peculiar, fascinating, has at least one major twist in the ending, and I think I like it. Maybe by next year I'll know whether I do. But if I find it in a book sale between now and then, I'll definitely get it - I think this will richly reward a re-read.
Radaghast on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An amusing and strange adventure that is hard to put down and even harder to forget. It also boasts one of the best titles ever.
Brunra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This fun book is a day-by-day accounting of one October. Told by Snuff, Jack's dog, it includes recognizable characters such as The Great Detective, the wolfman, and the Doctor who does experiments with lightning. While it deals with the Cthulhu mythos of H.P. Lovecraft, it is not necessary to be familiar with the mythos to enjoy the book.
jimmaclachlan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
NogDog on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Highly original: It is narrated by a dog who is Jack the Ripper's familiar, and Jack is one of the good guys. Get the picture? No?...then read it!
riani1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I believe this is the last book Zelazny published that he got to finish himself, and it's a glorious tour de force. The travelogue of Lovecraft's world is in Zelazny's gorgeous prose, and the interweaving of the classics of horror show true love. Throw in Sherlock Holmes' greatest disguise, and there is a story that I hope brings others as much joy as it does me.Gahan Wilson's illustrations are a perfect, surreal touch to a story out of the ordinary.
JanaOliver on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Only Zelazny can get away with employing Jack the Ripper as a force for good. An excellent book that I've read many times.
mikeneko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Unusual fantasy/mystery in which classic literary/movie monsters (and their animal familiars) interact within a Lovecraft-based world. Our Hero is a dog named Snuff, the assistant of a man named "Jack" (who has a rather large knife); Snuff narrates one chapter for every day in October leading up to the final confrontation on Halloween.The book has (exceedingly ugly) illustrations by Gahan Wilson. These are worth ignoring because not a few of them are placed pages ahead of the passages they're meant to be illustrating, resulting in constant plot spoilers.
bluesalamanders on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The narrator is...a dog.His master is...Jack, who wields 'the knife'.The characters include...a witch, a vampire, a werewolf, 'The Good Doctor', and 'The Great Detective'.This is a fun, totally non-serious, absolutely enjoyable book about what happens when 'the right people' gather when there's a full moon on Halloween.
elmyra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Probably third or fourth time I've read this now. It works wonderfully if you read it a chapter a night through November. Of course, there isn't a single original thought in the entire book, and yet it's fantastic. Don't know how Zelazny pulls it off but he does. I could read it over and over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a big Zelazny fan, but not so much of horror. I really enjoyed this book, and all of the plot twists. Now I pull it off the bookshelf every year on October 1st, and read it throughout the month, finishing on Halloween to match the chapters in the book. Snuff!! Was there ever a more faithful companion?
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This charming book is simply fun to read, especially if you're a fan of old horror novels and movies. Snuff the watchdog, faithful companion of knive-wielding hero Jack, narrates the story with a wry sense of macabre humor. Zelazny brings together an 'all-star cast' of literary greats (how often do Dracula, Frankenstein and Sherlock Holmes, share the same bill?) but the main characters are in fact the animal familiars each supernatural 'player' employs. The relationship between Snuff the dog and Greymalk the cat is especially amusing. They get along quite well, despite being both natural and super-natural enemies. There's also a chapter that will delight (or perhaps offend) fans of H.P. Lovecraft. The book is fairly lighthearted, though there are a few darker moments. But, if you like the old horror standards, this is a great read, especially around Halloween.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story was extremely good, in my opinion. Zelazny took the Lovecraftian mythos and turned into a battle between openers and closers. Extremely well written, without the elements of terror that Lovecraft includes. Excellent, nontheless!