After Midnight by Richard Laymon


After Midnight, Richard Laymon, 1997

My favorite quote: “My eyes are brown. So are my teeth. Just kidding about the teeth.”

Most interesting characters: Alice, who’s real name isn’t Alice; The intruder  

Opening scene: Alice, enjoying a quiet night alone while house-sitting for a friend. But let’s be honest: After Midnight IS a Richard Laymon book, so you know it’s not going stay quiet for long (see below)

The gist: After Midnight follows a mysterious young woman who calls herself Alice. Alice is house-sitting for a friend when, one night, she sees a strange naked man jumping into the outdoor pool. Alice just knows he’s out to get her — she knows all about men and what they can do. Deciding she’ll never be a victim again, she retrieves the Civil War cavalry saber that hangs on the wall in the living room … and a night of bloody terror begins … 

Greatest strengths: Here’s what I admire most about Richard Laymon: His absolute and unrepentant absurdity. He KNOWS he’s being over-the-top, and you know he knows it, but you’re still like, ‘Really, Richard Laymon? Really?’ And After Midnight isn’t even one of the craziest

Standout achievements: After Midnight has some seriously good character development. That can’t be said about all Richard Laymon books, but this one excels at it 

Fun Facts: Some of Richard Laymon’s earlier books were published under the pseudonym Richard Kelly

Other media: None I know of, but personally, I think After Midnight would make an awesome video game. You could be Alice, running around looking for weapons, gaining power by having inappropriately-timed animalistic relations with everyone in your path, slaughtering your way to safety. It could be a movie, too, but I gotta be honest: There’s no way a Richard Laymon movie would fly in this climate

Additional thoughts: Here’s the thing about After Midnight (and really, pretty much all Richard Laymon books) — you have to go in knowing what it is. I mean, it’s definitely a horror novel, yes, but it’s a very specific kind of horror. If I had to break it down, I’d say that the majority of Richard Laymon’s tales can only be described as deranged slashery misadventures with lots of sex, shock, and gore thrown in just because. After Midnight definitely fits into this category. You’ll either love it or hate it, depending on your own sensibilities — but one thing is sure: You won’t forget it

Hit or Miss: After Midnight was a hit … for me. It might be for you, too — but only if you like your horror campy, brash, and oozing with the blackest kind of black comedy  

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Read After Midnight

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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