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After Midnight por Richard Laymon
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After Midnight (edição 2012)

por Richard Laymon

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331960,981 (3.64)3
'If you've missed Laymon, you've missed a treat' Stephen King Alice enjoys house-sitting for her friend; she has the place to herself, a huge TV, a swimming pool. But one night, just after midnight, a man walks out of the woods and throws himself into the pool. Alice knows about men, so she fetches the Civil War relic that hangs on the wall: an old cavalry sabre ...… (mais)
Membro:SFGale
Título:After Midnight
Autores:Richard Laymon
Informação:Headline, Kindle Edition, 445 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:***
Etiquetas:horror, vintage-pulp, richard-laymon

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After Midnight por Richard Laymon

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I always know what I'm getting with Richard Laymon. It's impossible not to smile while reading one of his books. This one's a little different(but only a little) in that it's told in flashback, so we know from the very beginning that the main protagonist does at least survive. In short, Alice, which she goes to great lengths to tell us isn't her real name turns out to be a bit of a maniac. She inadvertently kills a guy that dials a wrong number when he turns up at her door to make sure she's ok after she sees an intruder in the pool. This is just the start of her killing spree which is punctuated at regular intervals with lots of clothes being removed/discarded/ripped off etc and, this being a Richard Laymon novel, we're also treated to wonderful descriptions of Alice's breasts, usually while she(and they...) are in motion. It's classic Laymon stuff and very enjoyable in it's own way. Mr Laymon always reminds me of the very best b-movies writ large.

Very enjoyable, although not his best in my view. ( )
  SFGale | Mar 23, 2021 |
went through about 4 chapters and nope, just couldn't force myself to finish this book. not even half way. too many repetitive thoughts to read. The suspense seems like its the excuse to fill up the book. sorry but this is not one of the good reads iv picked up from laymon at all. ( )
  Fawaaz.Manuel | Dec 11, 2018 |
After Midnight follows the story of Alice (not her real name, as she is quick to point out) who has one hell of a killer (heh heh) night. It begins with being freaked out by a stalker in the backyard, then when the doorbell rings she thinks it's the stalker, arms herself, opens the door and when arms reach for her she swings her weapon and kills the unexpected guest.

So begins a trail of bodies as she desperately tries to clear herself from evidence of a murder charge, racking up quite the body count. As things fall apart for her we get a view of a broken woman struggling against circumstances trying to make things turn out okay for herself.

It's quite the page turner, plenty of violence and adult themes so definitely not one for the younger audience, it is however quite the entertaining and captivating book as you wonder where things are going and if Alice will finally get clear of her one original mistake. ( )
  HenriMoreaux | Feb 22, 2018 |
After Midnight is not just another great horror novel by Richard Laymon, but it is one of his more original works that stands out among his many books. The book is written in first-person, narrator Alice (not her real name, she is quick to reveal), who has decided to document the details of a series of past events in case the authorities ever get involved. What starts as a quiet and mundane setting involving a timid woman with hints of a disturbed past house-sitting for a friend quickly descends into a non-stop cavalcade of unfortunate events and multiple deaths packed into a forty-eight hour race against the devil – even if the line between good and evil tends to blur.

The strongest aspect of After Midnight is, without a doubt, the pseudonymous narrator Alice, whose meticulous recording of her thoughts and internal monologues throughout her confessional memoir not only help retain the reader’s attention during what would normally be passive stretches of inaction, but Laymon also manages to allow Alice to reveal – both intentionally and accidentally - hidden aspects of her murky past and guarded personality that create one of the most complex and remarkable characters of his body of work. There are some points during the story – okay, many points – during which the reader will openly question Alice’s actions, motivations, and whether or not they should be on her side, but the undeniable humanity that emerges from her contradictory naiveté and ruthless pragmatism makes her an endearing anti-hero that you can’t help rooting for.

The events that unfold through the two-day period of the story occasionally challenge the credulity of the reader, but that’s to be expected from a Laymon novel in the first place. I hesitate to list any of the violent acts or situations that befall (or are perpetrated by) Alice out of fear of ruining any of the book’s twists and turns, but I can guarantee that even the most jaded horror novel fan will be caught off guard at least once or twice.

If there is any shortcoming to After Midnight, it is that the endless sequence of events that befall Alice are presented to the reader at roughly the same pace, and so the fatigue that befalls her at certain points is also felt by the reader, with little if any chance to pause or regroup. The result is a novel that urges you to read on while simultaneously leaving you needing to take a break. However, this is probably a testament to Laymon’s skills as a writer, and while it can make reading the book in one sitting more difficult than it should be, After Midnight is definitely worth the effort. ( )
  smichaelwilson | Oct 24, 2017 |
At first glance the plot may reek of simplicity, but it becomes apparent - fast - than it's anything but. "Alice", the pseudonym for the author of the spoof autobiography, is enjoying a relaxing week at her rich friends house while the pair and their kiddies are away on vacation. One night, watching a movie on their big screen TV, she observes a mysterious stranger strip, walk around, and use the swimming pool in the backyard. Since the house is surrounded by woods, its apparent he must have come from there. A bit perturbed and creeped out, things go from bad to worse when she makes a huge mistake, then tries to run around covering it up. This only lands her in deeper trouble, all of it propelling further and further off the deep end.

I won't say the character changes much throughout the story; while there is a small sunlight of hope that gleams on her toward the end, overall the book focuses on someone who's as strange as they come. Alice turns out to be not who the readers expect from the get go, but as the plot changes direction and new scenarios are introduced, it soon becomes apparent that her demeanor never remains the same. Perhaps one of the bigger flaws of this book is that Alice herself isn't always very likeable, doing things its hard to emphasize with, and not showing the proper array of emotions at times.

The plot itself is similar to a black comedy; horrific certainly, with its gore, violence, and macabre overshadowing, but it's evident Laymon had a hell of a good time writing this. Not just because of the obligatory sexual acts, but each word is adorned with a demented and twisted sort of humor. The theme is dark as hell but it's all done in such a light way it can be difficult to make heads or tales of it. It's almost like a guilty pleasure, though. You're reminded to laugh and get some sort of grim amusement out of horribly cruel twists of fates and deeds - should the reader be made to feel sadistic, or guilty, or else is it just the expert work of Laymon at play?

On the author's behalf, it couldnt have been easy to come up with a gander such as this one. I give him great kudos for his imagination. The words are done in first person narrative and this is a refreshing change; while third person POV is what generally gets smiled at and published now of days, it lacks that certain, special intimacy first person could have. Here we are literally in Alice's mind from page one, and it's an effective tool. As usual Laymon doesn't pepper down the wounds and dull the book by foreshadowing or nitty gritty details (except where gore or sex is involved), but he does keep it short and sweet. With a book that's 438 pages in volume, the pace is pretty swift and weighed down with minimal bulk.

And yep, if you haven't wagered it already, this book is traditional Laymon in terms of sweaty sheets and teenage like hormones. The sex is there as always, along with the lust, nakedness, boobs, and admiring of bodies. It's what we've come to expect with this author, yet here it's part of the cute humor and charm....in a sick fashion of course. The gore is thick as always, particularly with a saber as a choice of weapon, and Laymon clearly delights in exploring the detail of decapitated heads and such. It's no wonder this author became so notorious.

Suspense wise, it's not overly thick. The beginning gets the heart pumping, but after that it doesn't seem to be the point. There are certainly 'scary' scenes along the way, though, particularly with the monstrous Milo, who's one hell of a character - yech. Other characters all are intriguing - with the exception, perhaps, of Judy, who's just plain strange. Another one I never knew what to make of.

The ending didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped - let's just say since I was put into such a morbid voyeuristic mood throughout the novel thanks to Laymon, I was a bit disheartened by the sunny side up turn of events. Yes, I would have liked to see the dark side of the characters taken up to a whole new level. Worrying about giving too much away, I'll drop a hint for those who have read the book - the van may end up having two compadres, but I'd have liked it to be one person different. Strange how I always end up rooting for the wrong folks.

If you're in the mood for some truly dark and un somber moments, a twisted sense of humor and really strange sexual play, Laymon's always your man, particularly here. I wrestled around with deeming it worthy of four stars or three, but ultimately settled on three - guess I could never truly forgive Laymon for the 'spoiling of mystery'...and yes folks, another veiled plot hint I couldn’t help but give away. Have fun figuring it out while experiencing this twisted version of life for yourself.

( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
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This book is dedicated to

Tom Corey

Friend, Photographer, Musician,

Construction Guru

and the Builder of Alice's Garage

&

To Donna, René and Amina

his special gals
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'If you've missed Laymon, you've missed a treat' Stephen King Alice enjoys house-sitting for her friend; she has the place to herself, a huge TV, a swimming pool. But one night, just after midnight, a man walks out of the woods and throws himself into the pool. Alice knows about men, so she fetches the Civil War relic that hangs on the wall: an old cavalry sabre ...

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