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No Sanctuary

54 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0843951035
ISBN-10: 0843951036
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--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Only three months after the posthumous release of Laymon's Darkness, Tell Us and nine months after the publication of his Night in the Lonesome October comes another gripper. This one is a curiosity, because it reads like two novellas stuck together, and the two "novellas" read like sketches for the preceding two books. One story line follows young hikers Rick and his girlfriend, Bert, who hook up with two young female backpackers in the California woods, then are menaced by three male hikers and preyed upon by a deepwoods madman and his wildcats. As always, Laymon does a good job of tracing the tensions-in Laymon's world, always spurred by lust-among the hikers, with Rick's backstory, involving a childhood camping trip during which his stepmother was raped and killed, adding an undercurrent of fear; but much of the violent action suffers from a gruesome sameness and moreover echoes the backwoods action of Darkness, Tell Us. More interesting is the interwoven second story line, about the adventures of independently wealthy Gillian O'Neill, whose passion in life is breaking into vacated homes and staying in them for a spell; Laymon fans will recall that a major character in Night in the Lonesome October shares a similar hobby. This time, Gillian breaks into the wrong home, because clues-S&M videos, clippings about missing young women-indicate it may be the abode of a serial killer. Although this patchwork offering has plenty of the teasing sex, outrageous violence and dawn-fresh writing that Laymon fans love, it lacks the magic of Laymon's best.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Richard Laymon grew up in California and took a BA in English Literature from Willamette University, Oregon, and an MA from Loyola University, Los Angeles. He worked as a schoolteacher, a librarian and a mystery magazine editor before working full-time as a writer. He died in February 2001. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 333 pages
  • Publisher: Leisure Books (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0843951036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0843951035
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,178 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

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Koppel on August 27, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Deep woods and house breaking are elements familiar to Laymon fans. In this book Laymon manages to combine the two in an interesting way.
The book opens with two separate stories that eventually twist together into an unpredictable knot. One story involves a comfortably wealthy young woman who likes to live in other peoples houses. Without their knowledge. The other story is about a couple going camping. Sounds simple enough.
But he young woman has found the house of a dangerous character and begins to be less careful about discovery. The couple contains a man who had a very bad experience in the woods when he was a boy.
Paranoia, new characters popping up, suspense, possible clues and plenty of Laymon twists keep the reader turning pages to find out what happens (or doesn't happen) next.
Many of Laymon's books deal with the theme of how easy someone can turn totally dark when something breaks society's control. This one is a little different. The evil characters are already evil when they walk onto the stage. Instead, we are treated to a story of people who have witnessed said evil in the past and now look for it as they know it can still be out there.
But despite the change of view, this is definitely a book for Laymon fans.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By FloozyFlapper1926 on August 17, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"No Sanctuary" is the kind of book that makes you realize just how great Richard Laymon was. His ability to keep you turning the pages and the surprises always makes for interesting reading and this one doesn't diappoint.
When Bert decides to go camping in an isolated area in the Sierra Nevadas, Richard is hesitant to go along. He has a fear of camping for good reason and afraid she would find someone else to go along, he decides to conquer his fear and join her. On the other side of town is Gillian, a seemingly normal woman with a penchant for breaking in people's homes when they are on vacation. After years of doing this, she is horrified to find out the home she is currently residing in is that of a vicious madman who takes his victims guessed it...the same place Bert and Richard are camping. The suspense builds and interweaves the two stories as well as Bert and Richard's fears of three teenage boys they encounter on the trail. Also they meet up with Andrea and Bonnie which adds the typical sexual tension and temptation that comes with one guy out in the woods with three good-looking women.
I won't give away any more plot details but you soon begin to wonder what is going to happen and just who is stalking Bert and Richard in the woods and just what will happen to Gillian in that house?
"No Sanctuary" will hook you from beginning to end and the horrifying ending will make you wonder just how safe it is to traipse in the woods. Typical of Laymon there are also the campy elements that makes his work so entertaining and of course, it always leaves you wishing he was still hear writing his great horror novels.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tim S. on January 20, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
To me, Richard Laymon's books read like early 80's slasher films. Not exactly high-art, pretty misogonystic, and ultra-violent. Some people, like me, like this type of film and book, but this one just doesn't really do it for me.

First of all, it's really two novels in one. I kinda don't understand why that author just didn't make this into two books. I think it would have worked better. We don't need any Tarantino-esque plot melding in the literary equivalent of a Friday the 13th film.

Also, as with all of Laymon's novels, but especially in this one, the female characters are ridiculous. They are always wearing next to nothing, they always want to have sex with strangers, they're always beautiful. It seems like a lot of horror authors, especially Laymon, create female characters to be like what they wish most women were like. I know it's "fiction" but come on.

Additionally, every time a character in the novel comes across another person, their first thought is that the other person is a serial killer rapist. When I'm out hiking, or walking down the street, and I run across another group of hikers or pedestrians, I don't automatically think "thank god I brought my gun because these people are going to sodomize and mutilate my girlfriend." Laymon must have been one paranoid guy. I don't know, maybe it's just me.

It's also pretty slow and devoid of suspense until the end of the novel(s). Nothing, and I mean nothing, (not even any successful character development) happens within the first 200 pages.

Also, the word "breast" or "nipple" appears at least once every three pages. Seriously.

It's redeeming quality is that is does deliver the splatterpunk goods before all is said and done. Still, not recommended. Pick up "Night in the Lonesome October" as a much better example of what Laymon is capable of.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By - Kasia S. VINE VOICE on September 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't understand the negative reviews, are we all reading the same book here?

Yes Laymon has gore, sex and shocking twist and turns and if his books bore people then my, I don't know what to say. They might not be your cup of tea, yes that's one thing, but I see these reviews coming from people who are all ready familiar with his work and continue to punish themselves somehow.

So anyhow, ramblings aside...

This was my first Laymon book I purchased and first book of his I read, and I was not disappointed. I managed to collect about 20 or so of his books, but I read them sparingly, stuff this good and crazy doesn't come often, and the man is no longer with us, so you can see if I'm saving him for special reads, then it musn't be so bad!

I like stories that take the main characters ( and its nice to have more than one good character, versus a solitary main person) and secludes them somehow from civilization and help and throws them in the middle of a quiet remote place. This book has two stories of a couple, Bert and Rick who go camping, never a good thing for any character in a Laymon book, he loves to kill em off and of Gillian who breaks to peoples homes when they are on vacation.

Yes somehow these two remote stories come together as the couple and Gill get involved with some unstable and dangerous people who take pleasure in their pain.

Without any spoilers there wasn't one boring moment, and I read this into the wee hours of the night, maybe this stuff has glue on pages, because I couldn't put it down.

Haha, go get a cheap used copy, and have a blast!
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