Title: A Night in the Lonesome October
Author: Roger Zelazny
Number of Pages: 240
This is one of the most unique books I’ve ever read. I didn’t exactly love it, but I really admired the author’s creativity. A Night in the Lonesome October is narrated by Snuff, the diligent dog companion of Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper is accompanied by a bunch of classic horror characters, including Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman. All of the characters also have animal companions and the story begins on the eve of a game they all participate in, involving occult magic and the opening and closing of portals.
Snuff and the other animals trade information with each other and swap rumors, and even though it seems like they should be enemies allegiances are formed between them. The beginning of the book is really slow and mostly revolves around Snuff making his rounds and talking to a variety of familiars. About halfway through the book got a lot more interesting and I loved the wealth of ideas Roger Zelazny includes. Even though it’s a short book it also feels truly expansive, with multiple universes and magic systems.
Even though Snuff and his fellow companions aren’t ‘good guys’ they have a certain honor system amongst themselves that makes them likable. The ending was pretty confusing and it also felt like it ended pretty abruptly, which is a big reason I didn’t give it a higher rating. Overall, I’m glad I read this book and I liked that even though it was loosely within the fantasy genre it was unlike any fantasy I had ever read before.