Sunday, August 23, 2009

BOOK: One Rainy Night

With the advent of grad school it's been a while since I last read a horror novel. I think the last horror novel I read was Jack Ketchum's re-release of Cover, but I didn't get around to reviewing it on this site. For months now it's been a survey of the English literary canon from 1300 to present day, excluding postmodern horror. That's not to say it hasn't been fun--it's been a blast!--but it was time for a good modern horror read from one of my favorites: King, Ketchum, Keene, Laymon.

One Rainy Night, like most Laymon novels, places vivid, likable characters along a simple, harrowing plot. A warm black rain suddenly falls upon the town of Bixby, and everyone the rain touches begins to crave flesh and blood. If you're familiar with Laymon, you're familiar with his ability to write frenetic splatterpunk novels. This is a showcase of said talent. The pacing keeps the pages smoking, while your fingers ache from gripping the book too tightly.

The best part about this one is that it isn't just a typical "zombie" plot. Laymon throws a few other twists in as he always does and keeps the story interesting for just over 400 pages. For me, this is impressive. Especially with modern splatterpunk horror, it is difficult to keep the juice turned up and the reader's eyes unblinking for more than roughly 200 pages. That is, unless the reader enjoys long, detailed stories, laden with tons of exposition. (I'm one of them, but I've found that this trait is atypical among the majority of readers.)

If you're looking to burn a few hours with an exciting read, this is one for you. Although, I wouldn't recommend it for those who don't like explicit violence. If this is you, why are you on this blog?


  1. Great review. It's one of my favorite Laymons. Very spare and tight. And beautifully paced as always.

  2. Phantom - What is your favorite Laymon? I have a hard time with this question, myself, but I tend to lend toward Night in the Lonesome October.