A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: An Audiobook Review

By Lis Carey: Snuff is our narrator, here, and he’s a smart, interesting, likable dog. He’s the friend and partner of a man called Jack, and they are preparing for a major event. Jack has a very sharp knife, which he and Snuff use in gathering the necessary ingredients for the ancient and deadly ritual that will be performed on Halloween.

But Jack and Snuff aren’t the only participants preparing for what they call “The Game.”  Crazy Jill and her cat, Greymalk, The Count and his bat, Dr.Frankenstein, Rasputin, The Wolfman, and others — all (except The Wolfman) with their animal companions. Sherlock Holmes is very interested, but not, himself, a player.

As Snuff narrates events, we learn that there are “openers” and “closers,” and it’s a secret, or supposed to be, who is which until the night itself. We gradually realize what the significance of those terms is.

Until the night itself, as everyone gathers their necessary ingredients, and everyone works to figure out what the location of the ritual will be, players form temporary alliances sometimes with those who will be on the other side when the time comes. The animal companions don’t necessarily ally with the animal companions of their human/humanlike partners.

And there is a great deal of intrigue going on.

We see the story through Snuff’s eyes, and therefore the other animals more than the human partners. We nevertheless also learn a great deal about the humans involved, even as the animals are engaged in their parallel intrigues and efforts to prevent disaster.

But what’s disaster? Is it better for the openers or the closers to prevail?

It’s a fascinating story, with interesting and enjoyable characters. Matt Godfrey as narrator absolutely makes me believe Snuff’s voice, and makes the other voices distinct and individual. 

Highly recommended.                

I received a free copy of this audiobook, and I am reviewing it voluntarily.

  • A Night in the Lonesome October, by Roger Zelazny (author), Matt Godfrey (narrator) Recorded Books, ISBN 9781705061329, August 2022

4 thoughts on “A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny: An Audiobook Review

  1. One of my favorite novels, many times reread, and one I absolutely could not stand on my first reading. I generally find occasion to read it — by paper or audio — each Halloween season, with my preference in recent years being Mr. Zelazny’s audio reading.

    I picked up Mr. Godfrey’s take, thoroughly enjoyed it.
    My only — not a complaint, not even quite a quibble — is that I’m accustomed to hearing the albino raven’s name of Tekela as “Tequila,” as Mr. Zelazny said it.
    Mr. Godfrey pronounces it probably more correctly, certainly more phonetically, but because I was more used to the other, it kept impressing me as being wrong — even though it’s not. (I think the name is based upon the Teki-lee! cry of the penguins in…Poe? Verne? Lovecraft? Perhaps all three.)

    But whether by paper or by ear, this is one of those novels any lover of classic fantasies should read at some point. You’ll meet all sorts of familiar friends you didn’t realize you’d been missing.

  2. I have no idea what happened to Zelazny reading it. It was available for awhile and Green Man reviewed it here off the CDs it was released on. But it never made to Audible or any of the other steaming services.

    If I find those CDs, I’m going to have Lis do a review here,

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