Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Day in the Lonesome October-fest, introduction and October First

If I absolutely had to pick a favorite single piece from Roger Zelazny’s body of work, I think it would have to be “A Night in the Lonesome October”. I have more posts about it than I do any of his other works and I dedicated an entire month to it in 2013. I even joined the Twitter read-along in 2014. (Briefly. I just don’t like the medium of Twitter.) My first two published works (The Great and Groovy Game and Mother of Monsters) were sequels to A Night in a Lonesome October. You can read them in the Lovecraft eZine, which is something you should be reading anyway.

So I have a sentimental attachment on top of everything, but I think I’d love it even if I didn’t. It’s such a fun book. This is the book you give your non-Zelaznyphile friends.

Like a lot of people, I read a chapter a day in October. I used to do this out loud with my wife, but we never seemed to be able to find the time after our daughter was born. Lily has an October birthday. I tried reading it to her as a newborn, when my words had no meaning except as comforting noises, but my wife was like “Joshua, stop doing that to the baby.”

However, she’s going to be nine years old this year, and that’s old enough. We’re reading it together, in the morning, right before she leaves for school. I don’t think I have anything new to say about a book I’ve read so many times and on which I’ve offered such extensive commentary, but she will.

So I present to you the companion piece to 2013’s A Night in the Lonesome October-fest, A DAY in the Lonesome October-fest!!

Lily’s thoughts:

She liked the cover, felt Snuff was a little goofy looking, but really liked the look of Graymalk, which she described as “sleek and regal”. She agrees with H.P. Lovecraft when it comes to cats:

Cats are the runes of beauty, invincibility, wonder, pride, freedom, coldness, self-sufficiency, and dainty individuality—the qualities of sensitive, enlightened, mentally developed, pagan, cynical, poetic, philosophic, dispassionate, reserved, independent, Nietzschean, unbroken, civilised, master-class men. The dog is a peasant and the cat is a gentleman.


She asked what kind of curse Jack was under, and I told her we’d find out later. (Spoiler, we won’t.) She liked the exchange between Snuff and the graveyard dogs. She caught the subtext of the graveyard dog backing down when they bared their teeth at each other, which kind of surprised me. This chapter is pretty brief, so this section will be too. 

Lily: "He talked to a dog and the chapter was over.'

October 1st

This is the chapter where Snuff first makes his rounds to check on the various Things. It's just two pages, but Lily really enjoyed it. I was reading it out loud, so I gave the Things silly voices. 

I gave her a sneak peek of tomorrow, and she's looking forward to meeting Graymalk.

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