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Midnight's Lair Hardcover – Import, 1993

35 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Import, 1993
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Magna Large Print Books; Large Print Ed edition (1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750505435
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750505437
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,637,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Adam Craig on March 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Originally written under the pseudonym Richard Kelly, Midnight's Lair is a classic Richard Laymon tale of terror. Midnight's Lair takes place in Mordock Cave. Darcy, a tour guide, is forced to take a real leadership role when the power in the cave goes out, and the elevators come crashing down, leaving the tour participants with no way out of the cave. Darcy teams up with Greg, a man on the tour to go to Ely's Wall, a barrier in the cave that supposedly blockades the part of the cave that is haunted by the ghost of Elizabeth Mordock. However, it turns out that what really lurks behind Ely's Wall is much more terrifying and disgusting than a ghost could ever be. While we follow along with the people trapped in the cave, Laymon also narrates from the surface, with the parents of two trapped people going in from the long-abandoned second entrance to the cave.

Out of all the Laymon books I've read, this one has the least amount of character development and setup of all of them. Pretty much right away, we are introduced to all the main characters, and they are immediately placed in peril. We do get some backstory on how the monstrous situation in the cave started, and that is the most terrifying part of the book. In fact, the villains/"monsters" in Midnight's Lair are some of Laymon's best creations. They are probably that much more terrifying because they are believable creations. As far as violence and sex goes, you get what you pay for with Laymon. The violence isn't really all that bad comparably, but there are rampant sexual undertones throughout the novel, which, as with all Laymon novels, really serve to crank up the tension when all the bad things start to happen. This one might be a little tough to find if you don't want to buy it, but it is a must-read for all of Laymon's fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip C. Perron on December 16, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was the fourth Richard Laymon book I picked up to read and not only was it the best, but it was probably one of the best horror novels I have ever read!

We have a story of a natural cavern that has become a local tourist attraction in upstate New York named after the family that has owned the cavern for generations, the Mordock's. The story takes place immediately when the power inside the caverns (which are about 50 yards below the surface) go out during one of the hourly tours. During the setup, we are introduced to a number of characters both normal folks and also sociopaths.

The story breaks into two story arcs, the first is of the group underground and what do they do while they wait for the power to come on (which runs the elevators back to the surface). Will it take hours? What happens if something has occurred above that will not allow them to be rescued in a short amount of time? Should they find another way out? The second story arc is that of a few folks up above at the cavern's hotel and of what is happening up there, and their concern for their family members that are below in the cavern touring when it comes to their attention that their safety and rescue may not be as immediate as they first hoped.

Why is this story just plain great? Suspense. Fast paced. Realism (for a horror story with little suspension of disbelief required). And no characters seemed to be arbitrary survivors; the reader was kept guessing. The remoteness of the hotel and cavern make the need of some protagonists to act quicker than the fire, medical, and rescue crews; this allows it to be realistic with little contrivance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By marky77 on March 18, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For some reason many Laymon readers seem to be saying that this book is not up to his usual standards. However, I think that it is one of his best! The storyline is interesting and origional and the characters are realistic and easy to love (or hate). This novel has Laymons' usual fast-flowing prose and once started is unputdownable, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Denis Cronin on September 25, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was one of Laymon's best written books yet, filled with deception, mystery, gore and a wide range of characters ranging from the hateful to the lovable. The story is brilliant, if unusual (nothing new there!), and not for the faint-hearted. Definitly a must read for those who love Stephen King or Dean Koontz.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Bloom on January 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Would not put this book into the same category as Mr. Laymon's "Creepy and gross out" books. However...the story was well thought out and the characters were well developed, it kept my interest. I would have given this book five stars because it is Layman but just could not do it....not enough gore and terror in the book like his others.
Would like to add that if you like Richard Layman you will more than likely enjoy this story just don't expect a "Beast House!"
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Easy Reader on April 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the first Laymon novel I have read. It had all the characteristics I was told to expect: A quick start, a fast paced plot, bits of nasty violence, and some sex. Needless to say, I liked it! This is an entertaining and creepy novel. In overall effect, it is reminiscent of Jack Ketchum's "Hide and Seek" (which is fine by me too!)
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By Mika Lietzén on February 12, 2014
Format: Paperback
A group of tourists visiting Mordock's Cave is plunged into darkness when the lights go out. Their guide, Darcy, leads them to the elevators that go up to the hotel on the surface, but they are similarly out of order. Soon, the elevators come crashing down in flames. There's rumoredly another way out beyond the sealed-off end of the cavern, so they go and break down the wall built in the 1920s to get there. As they break through, something grabs one of them; and soon the tourists are fighting for their lives.

Richard Laymon peels off the layers of the story slowly and deliberately; everything's connected, but it's up to the reader to connect the dots. It's a truly well executed structure, the horror rising not so much from what's on the page, but from what's implied. The creatures trapped in their small, sealed-off world beyond the wall may be the enemy, but they're also victims of an unspeakably horrific crime that's continued for over half a century, from father to son.

The action in the present doesn't really match the epic horror of the backstory, but it does its job; the impenetrable darkness of the cavern lends a nice touch to the already claustrophobic setting. The characters are likeable, and even a budding teenage serial killer, whose actions begin the events that unravel the legacy of horror, occasionally comes off as strangely sympathetic. As it's a Laymon novel there's sex, of course; but it never overwhelms the story, instead it plays into it. A fast read at a concise 250 pages, with brisk pacing that never lets down, Midnight's Lair is one of Laymon's best.

****½ (4.5/5)

Read all my reviews at mikareadshorrorfiction.com
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