• A Night in the Lonesome October

  • By: Roger Zelazny
  • Narrated by: Matt Godfrey
  • Length: 6 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (170 ratings)

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A Night in the Lonesome October

By: Roger Zelazny
Narrated by: Matt Godfrey
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Publisher's Summary

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.”

©2022 Roger Zelazny (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about A Night in the Lonesome October

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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So happy this is finally on Audible!

This is my hands down FAVORITE Roger Zelazny book. I have read it every October for the last 28 years. I always try to read it one chapter a day but never actually succeed. I end up reading the entire thing in one sitting. Every time. 

The Audible description is really good. It's difficult to write a good description that doesn't give away everything.  Zelazny had a great skill in his writing and his use of language, puns, turns of phrase, style, etc are perfect. It feels like it is a dog speaking to you. It's very well done. And having once spent several hours talking to Roger Zelazny and enjoying his delightful sense of humor, I can absolutely attest that this book is an excellent representative of his power over the English language. 

This was my first book from this  narrator and he does a great job. His different voices are well done, particularly the Things. His dogs sound like you would expect a dog to sound. As do his cat, squirrel, rat, owl, bat, and snake. His humans and those who aren't necessarily human but are humanoid, are also excellent. He understands the nature of the book itself, which is vital to get Zelazny right.

And in case you might have thought otherwise, this is not a children's book. It's not graphic in violence but it's there. 

The only sad thing about this is that since it's Audible, you don't get to see the delightfully macabre illustrations by Gahan Wilson. 

I am extremely happy with this. 

8 people found this helpful

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Finally on Audible!

I absolutely adore this book, and I listen to it every October. It has become a cherished tradition.

I'm overjoyed that it's finally available on Audible. Before that, if you wanted in audiobook format, you had to hunt down a rare (and expensive) CD copy, read by Roger Zelazny himself. He did a fine job, but he was not a professional narrator, and the audio quality was pretty rough.

That's all over now -- we get a crisp, clear recording by a talented narrator. Matt Godfrey breathes life into the different characters, and he's easy to listen to.

I have zero complaints about this book, but I do have some complaints about the description, which I think gives far too much away. Part of what is so amazing about this book is the way that the mystery unfolds as the story progresses. As the reader/listener, you start out in the dark, and slowly learn about "the game," who is involved, and how everything works.

The thing is, it's a difficult book to describe without spoiling things. If I were to do it, I'd describe it by paraphrasing a passage from the book, thusly:

"A few times a century, a number of the proper people are attracted to the proper place, in the proper year, on a night in the lonesome October, when the moon shines full on Halloween... and the way may be opened for the return of the Elder Gods to Earth. Some of these people will assist in the opening of the way for them, while others will strive to keep the way closed. For ages, the closers have won... Often, just barely. And there are stories of a shadowy man, half mad, a killer, a wanderer -- and his dog -- who always show up to attempt the closing."

This book is a masterpiece, and this recording does it justice.

2 people found this helpful

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A Halloween Classic

First of all, and the narration was brilliant. All of the voices were distinct, believable, and very well acted.

This is a book that if not handled correctly could collapse under the weight of its seemingly silly premise. The basic concept being that a variety of famous literary figures, movie monsters, and historical figures are somehow all playing a mysterious game, with the proceedings being narrated, diary style, by a dog.

I was halfway expecting to give up on this book early on, assuming it would be a bit childish. However, the many great reviews of the book and my love of Roger Zelazny tempted me to try anyway. My faith was not misplaced, as the seemingly effortless writing of this book no doubt hides the incredible talent it takes to make a story like this work. It never feels hokey, and most importantly it never really seems to try that hard. With such a ludicrous premise, that seems like a certain kind of magic that very few writers pull off. Somehow this book just works, and it works well!

This is what I would consider a cozy fantasy book, as the stakes are high - as in the literal fate of the world - but it never really feels that way. It’s obviously not meant to, and that’s what makes it work. This is just a lovely, entertaining, often funny, occasionally moving, spooky, lovely little Halloween story.

I plan to make rereading this book a yearly Halloween tradition. Er, I mean “ritual.”

Highly, highly recommended to anyone and everyone. Especially to get into the Halloween vibe.
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2 people found this helpful

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A Modern Day Classic!

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!

1 person found this helpful

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My First Audible Experience - a true delight!

I've read this book before, but hearing it come to life was magical. The performance was STELLAR! All of the characters, voices, accents & inflections. It was such a good experience and it helped hubby and I unwind every night. The only con is now I only want to listen to this narrator! i tried another and lasted 45 sec.

1 person found this helpful

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Magnificent.

I love this book...and Matt Godfrey is perfect. A masterful performance! Do not hesitate. Listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun

Cute Halloween story with a fun ending. I was confused most of the way but I think that is intentional to let the mystery build and gradually be revealed. Overall, a lot of fun.

1 person found this helpful

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Spooky and SENSATIONAL

This book is such a classic! I read it some 28 years ago and loved it. I was so gratified to find that it held up against my nostalgia. A fun cast of characters round out a well written story that just screams Halloween.
The narration is good, you never have to wonder which character is speaking.
I highly recommend this for young and old.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun tale

Zelazny has written a fun, spooky little story with bids to classic literature and real people. I have been seeking the audiobook for years. So glad it is available again. Highly recommended

1 person found this helpful

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Extremely cleaver and entertaining

A rare literary gem.
A book that has meaning among so many mediocre genre novels.
Recommend.