Time is the greatest test of quality. You might love something when it first comes out but the real test is if you love it ten years later. An even better test is if you love it after you have read, seen or played it a hundred times. The best works of art get better with time and repetition.
A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny is one of those books that I keep reading every year and I always find something new to delight me. It is the story of Jack the Ripper, A Vampire Count, a Mad Scientist and his Monster, a Great Detective, A Mad Monk, a Sinister Druid, a Witch, an Evil Vicar and others have come together for a great cosmic event set for Halloween night. Some want to use the event to open a gate to the Great Old Ones while others are there to close it. Who is a Closer or an Opener is never clear. The book takes part during the entire month of October and is part mystery and part Battle Royale.
Oh, and the best part is that the entire novel is told from the point of view of Jack the Ripper’s dog, Snuff. Don’t worry, he is probably the smartest character in the book and one of my favorite characters ever.
Since Roger Zelazny is writing it, the story moves along at a brisk pace. There is adventure, mystery and humor every where. There is a scene that never fails to make me knot up in tension and there are always new jokes and play on words that I didn’t catch last time.
It is worth it to seek out the hardcover edition as it includes illustrations by master artist, Gahan Wilson.