Friday, October 17, 2014

Read Along: Week Three - "A Night in the Lonesome October"

Last week's discussion of Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October raised the question of what inspired this quirky novel. Apparently this mix of humor, mystery, suspense, and horror is what happens when someone dares/bets a talented author that he can't make Jack the Ripper a sympathetic character.

The consensus was that it's successful so far. Half-way through the month, we continue to be endeared by not only Snuff and the other watch animals, but also the total loyalty between Snuff and Jack. 

This week, things take a turn for the darker, but if anyone knows who's to blame for the mysterious murder, they're not sharing. There's also more cooperation between other players, but they are just as reciprocal as their companions - they will trade ingredients, sure, but few players offer something for nothing. October 17th shows the mad tossing around of body parts that takes place in the cemetery during one such exchange.
What an image Zelazny creates with “'Has anyone the broken vertebrae of a hanged man?’” and then a moment later “something white and rattling flashed through the starlit air” (90). So that removes any doubt about the nature of the ingredients that Jack and Snuff collect. It remains to be seen what they’ll be used for though…

With the last day of the week beginning with the ominous line “Soon it begins,” I know we’re in for another exciting week!