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Roger Zelazny Discussion forum on the works and writings of Roger Zelazny, not least the Amber series, Changing Land, Madwand, and standalone works.

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Old 6th February 2011, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lonesome October Thread

I was disappointed to find the Zelazny boards without a single Night in the Lonesome October thread, which happens to be one of my all time favorite novels. So, I guess as a basic Lonesome October question, if you were a player would you be an opener or a closer and what would your familiar be?
I'd have to say closer and sea turtle.
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Old 6th February 2011, 10:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Lonesome October Thread

erm..

I've read it a few times but can't remember enough about it to comment. I need to read it again.
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Old 14th February 2011, 03:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Lonesome October Thread

Well this has been disappointing. I really consider ANILO to be one of Zelazny's greatest works, so I don't know if it's disagreement with this, or just lack of interest in Zelazny altogether (which would be terrible) which is preventing discussion of the novel.
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Old 29th May 2011, 01:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Lonesome October Thread

Although this thread was started over three months ago, I'll post a reply for the heck of it.

I've read A Night in the Lonesome October several times. It might be number two on my list of Zelazny favorites depending on the mood on in. Nine Princes in Amber is my favorite book and always will be. The other Zelazny novel that might beat out Lonesome October for the number two spot would be Lord of Light, but that's a tough call. Creatures of Light and Darkness would probably be in my number three or four spot. Having said that...

Closer or Opener? With me, that could go either way. There are times I think it would be better to destroy the world and start all over, and times when I think it would be worth saving.

If I were a closer, my familiar would be a dragon.

If I were an opener, my familiar would be either a rattlesnake or a cobra.
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Old 21st June 2011, 04:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Lonesome October Thread

Glad to see someone answered, and a good answer too. I don't know if you can have a dragon as a familiar, all others seemed to be real, already existing animals, but I don't really want to set that kind of limitation here, so why not. It would be pretty hard to perform some of the more subtle aspects of the game with a dragon following you around though (actually was thinking the same thing for rattlesnake).
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Old 26th June 2011, 08:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Lonesome October Thread

True, although the mad monk had a snake, Quicklime, as a familiar, and the Count naturally had a bat. And Snuff, as drawn on the cover of the hardback novel, was an English sheep dog. Come to think of it, if you were out moving though a modern city, the only animals that wouldn't draw unwanted attention would be Snuff and Graymalk. If you walk around with an owl or raven on your shoulder, or you've got a bat or snake following you, those animals are going to draw a lot of attention. I suppose it would also depend on what those animals could do--what can a dog do that a cat can't, what can a snake or owl do that dog can't? What specific skills do I need to accomplish my tasks?, etc.

So, yeah, why not a dragon? The reason I chose a dragon is that if I wanted to close things out, a dragon would have enough power to do it. The dragon could also be smaller or invisible to most people. It would depend on how you wrote it.
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Old 17th July 2011, 08:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Lonesome October Thread

Long, long ago I heard about this book (have no idea where I did, it could have been a dream for all I know), so of course I wanted to read it. Couldn't find it at the time, kept coming up against the dreaded: Out of Print. Finally found it from a friend who let me borrow it: Read it in one night and have never forgotten it. Simply a brilliant book. Brilliant!
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Old 31st December 2011, 07:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Lonesome October Thread

I've just finished re-reading the book and I agree it was a great read but I thought (and I think this every time I read it) that the ending was a bit...er...abrupt!

Usually Zelazny ties everything up, but here he wraps everthing up in a page and a half, and leaves lots of loose ends. Larry and the Vicar are presumably still fighting, after being dragged through the portal. We don't know if the Count is dead or alive. Or what happened to all the participants at the end.

More than most of Zelazny's books, this one seemed to be about the journey - in particular Snuff's journey - to get to the final scene, and the actual outcome seemed largely irrelevant to the story.

Which might explain some of the distinctly odd occurences and plot devices towards the end of the book:

1. Is it really likely that Bubo was able to steal and exchange wands? Wouldn't they have been guarded or hidden? And wouldn't Jack and Crazy Jill have been able to tell they had the wrong wands?

2. What happened to Needle? As the Count's companion, he was part of the opening/closing ceremony and should have been in the circle. Did Zelazny just forget him? He had a large cast of characters to deal with in the final scene, maybe too many.

3. Since we find out that the closers have won every time, and that bad things often happen to the losing side, it makes you wonder why the openers even bother to turn up.

The book is always a pleasurable read, but it's more whimsical than exciting and I never feel emotionally involved with it.
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Old 31st January 2012, 07:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Lonesome October Thread

A Night in the Lonesome October is one of my favorite Zelazny books, which of course means it's one of my favorite books, period, sic: .
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Old 10th May 2014, 09:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Lonesome October Thread

At long last the novel will be republished in October 2014 as a trade paperback by Chicago Review Press. It's shown on the publisher's website and on Amazon etc.
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