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After Midnight Mass Market Paperback – March 30, 2006

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books (March 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084395180X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843951806
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 2.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,637,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although Laymon died in 2001, his U.K. novels have only recently gotten an American release; this 1997 title is a sordid, flawed gem, both stomach churning and erotic, and not infrequently at the same time. Narrated by paranoid, defiant 26-year-old Alice, the book opens on a peaceful night of house-sitting—but as Alice warns, "You can never be sure it's safe." Indeed, shortly after midnight she spots a strange man emerge from the woods and go swimming naked in the family pool. A fortunately timed phone call that's a wrong number gives Alice the chance to drive off the stranger, but sets in motion a 24-hour whirlwind of murder, terror and madness, beginning when Alice splits open someone's head with a Civil War saber—and escalating precipitously from there. Alice's matter-of-fact attitude toward her grisly handiwork can make her hard to sympathize with ("I felt rotten about killing him, but not particularly guilty"); supporting characters are easier to like, but don't get too attached. As the night wears on, Laymon piles on gory details and violent sex with perverse, over-the-top glee; it's definitely not for everyone and can strain credibility, but Alice proves to be one of Laymon's most original and memorable protagonists, and should keep hardened horror fans reading well past the stroke of midnight. (Mar.)
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About the Author

Richard Laymon is the prolific author of more than 30 novels and 65 short stories which have been published in Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock and Cavalier. A Bram Stoker and Science Fiction Chronicle Award-winning author, his novels have been translated into fifteen languages.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

This is the third book I have read by Richard Laymon.
M. Hurst
Basically, After Midnight is the thrilling story of "Alice," a character who's telling the story in a first-person style.
I hate it when authors just throw words on a page, call it a book and think we're going to enjoy BS like that.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By PaulV01 on December 13, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The English language editions of this book (published by Leisure in the US and Headline in the UK) contain a secret message which is refered to in the body of the book. To discover the secret message, you simply need to read the first letter from each chapter (including the introduction chapter) to unearth 'Alice's message. So, to get the ball rolling from the Intro, the first letter is H, the 1st chapter = I, 2nd = M, 3rd = Y, 4th = N, 5th = A, 6th = M, 7th = E.... etc

so from the intro chapter and chapters 1-7 it reads HI MY NAME .... the rest of the message... I guess you'll have to read the book, but its a nice little extra that Laymon incorporated into this book, and this book alone! Its not his best novel, Alice, acts in a way which very few people would but its a fair read and definitely worthy of any Laymonite's attention. Grab a copy today!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DanD VINE VOICE on February 28, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Her name's not really Alice, of course; and naturally, all people and place names in her tale have been changed. To protect the innocent...and the guilty.

It begins with a midnight prowler, a man skinny-dipping in a pool. Alice is scared, yes, but not overly-so; she's had a hard, tumultuous life, one that's left her paranoid. She knows how to defend herself. That Civil War sabre hanging above the fireplace is a great self-defense weapon. Until she accidently kills someone with it...

From there it's a bloody ride, action piled upon action. While "After Midnight" is not the best Laymon novel of all time, it is certainly one of the better novels published since his death. Alice is not the most user-friendly protagonist; she's hard to sympathize with, at times, and yet you find yourself rooting for her and her psychotic ways. "After Midnight" is overly violent, bloody, and all-together disgusting...but that's Richard Laymon's mass appeal. With all the blood, it's easy to overlook Laymon's knack for character development and suspense; however, dig beneath the blood and gore of his novels, and what you'll find is one of the greatest suspense writers of the twentieth century. "After Midnight" is a superb horror/thriller that will keep you up...yes, here it comes: well after midnight.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By missy99 on March 5, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Laymon's stories are a bit over-the-top, and always filled with gratuitous sex and violence - but his work is really what horror is all about. In this book, we are introduced to "Alice", a protagonist whom we have a hard time relating to, or even accepting, but Laymon's storytelling makes it work. As usual, Laymon wastes no time in getting right to the action and suspense, and it never lets up in this book. While the story is completely unbelievable, Laymon's writing kept me turning the pages. I hated the first book that I read by Laymon, but I gave him another try, and now I am addicted!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Martin Boucher on March 3, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alice is a woman on the edge. After experiencing self-defense gone wrong, she must find a way to free her binds from her mistake, while violent consequences ensue. Richard Laymon's AFTER MIDNIGHT is undoubtedly candy for the eye. Readers will have a field day following the misadventures of a protagonist not only tough but set with a mind as sharp as any pointed object. Again, the author doesn't just slowly but surely build up momentum, but throws it in a handful of action, suspense and gore that hold interest up until the edge-of-your-seat denouement that has to be read to be believed. Yes, Laymon is infatuated with the female form, and yes, his plot tends to be over the top, but his wicked pen sure compensates for these little "flaws". His sense of timing and deliverance make AFTER MIDNIGHT a fun grade-B treat that deserves its big following.-----Martin Boucher
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sara on June 28, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"After Midnight" is not one of Laymon's best books. But, it is probably one of his most complex storylines, and it does stand out from his other books in certain ways.

I felt that the usual "gore factor" so typical of his books was a bit tamer here in this one, despite the many deaths and murders and assaults.

My main problem with this book was the lack of elaboration. Alice informs the reader that she cannot call the police, because they will then investigate her history; implying that she has a sordid and violent past. The reader only gets a few vague references here and there to these past events, all of them in reference to her being a victim (not really cause to avoid calling police)... also the presence of Marilyn in Milo's tent. I would have liked a bit more backstory there. Alice mentions cannibalism and stuff, she suspects Steve and Milo have been up to "no good", but we don't learn too much of them. I suppose that because Alice is telling the story, technically she wouldn't know much about the two "thrill-killers" in the forest, but I was left wanting to know more.

I liked this story because it was interesting watching Alice dig herself deeper and deeper into more mess as she tries to cover up one murder. I enjoyed the detail she went into, trying to cover her tracks and cut all the "wires", as she describes them, that connect the events and people she encounters. Her constant wiping down of everything she touches to erase her fingerprints is pretty entertaining. Poor Alice. She sorta just wanted to go home and have a nice bath and sleep, and things just get worse and worse.

Again, though, not his best book. Nor his goriest. But still a pretty entertaining read. And, in the climactic scene of the book, there is a pretty gross and hideous death. Hehehe.
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More About the Author

Richard Laymon's works include more than sixty short stories and more than thirty novels, a few of which were published under the pseudonym Richard Kelly. However, despite praise from prominent writers from within the genre, including Stephen King and Dean Koontz, Laymon was little known in his homeland -- he enjoyed greater success in Europe, though, particularly in the United Kingdom -- until his affiliation with Leisure Books in 1999. The author largely viewed much of this as a product of the poorly re-edited and reconstructed first release of The Woods Are Dark, which had over 50 pages removed. The poor editing and unattractive cover art ruined his sales records after the success of The Cellar. The original and intended version of The Woods Are Dark was finally published in July of 2008 by Leisure Books and Cemetery Dance Publications after being reconstructed from the original manuscript by his daughter, Kelly.

His novel Flesh was named Best Horror Novel of 1988 by Science Fiction Chronicle, and both Flesh and Funland were nominated for the Bram Stoker Award, as was his non-fiction work A Writer's Tale. He won this award posthumously in 2001 for The Traveling Vampire Show. His win was used as an answer for a question on the syndicated Jeopardy program.

The tribute anthology In Laymon's Terms was released by Cemetery Dance Publications during the summer of 2011. It featured short stories and non-fiction tribute essays by authors such as Bentley Little, Jack Ketchum, Gary Brandner, Edward Lee, and scores of others.

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