FAQ   Search the Forums   Log in to check your private messages

Recent Headlines

Recent Reviews


Post new topic   Reply to topic
Author Message
Forums Index -> Best-cellars -> Richard Laymon
Cash Bailey
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:51 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 477
Location: Australia

Every horror forum need at least one Richard Laymon thread so I'll start this one.

Thinking about his amazing body of work and his tragic death in 2001, I can't help but feel that it's a huge shame he never lived to fully take advantage of the internet and all its possibilities for promotion and marketing.

Dick Laymon was virtually black-listed by American publishers after his second book (the phenomenal THE WOODS ARE DARK) bombed. He never regained the broad US market he so richly deserved, although his books were hugely successful in England and Australia.

There's no doubt that if he was alive today he would be able to use all this new technology and media to get his work out to people who want to read it. So often when Laymon is mentioned on sites like this people know of him but seem to have a hard time locating copies of his books.

Alas, it's up to us fans (and the invaluable name-checking by other writers like King, Ketchum and Koontz) to do that good work on his behalf. By posting on boards like this, singing his praises and discussing our favourite books of his then that hopefully gets people curious about him, and will track down his books.

At the moment I'm reading SAVAGE, his 'Jack The Ripper' tale. He's really stretching himself with this one, and I'm curious to see if it holds together.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Aaron2010
PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:05 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 259
Location: Poontang, Indiana

There are 4 different Laymon titles in my store right now. It really is too bad he never got to see how wide his work is being read now.
_________________
Insert something funny here
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Caterpillar
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:51 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Posts: 862
Location: Xibalba

I just ordered AFTER MIDNIGHT based on the review on the main page. Sounds like good fun. Stuff like ISLAND makes me roll my eyes, though. A horny teenager drooling over the "melons" of some girls he's been stranded with for 500 pages? Sounds even more immature than Edward Lee at his most immature. But yeah, I hear that Laymon is all over the place in terms of quality. I'll see how I like AFTER MIDNIGHT and take it from there.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cash Bailey
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:12 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 477
Location: Australia

I've never liked ISLAND either and could not underestand how so many Laymon fans could rate it among his best. I'm all for flawed heroes but I just couldn't get around how the 'hero' of ISLAND was such a pathetic, drooling pervert.

As it happens I just finished AFTER MIDNIGHT. It's a great read but like a lot of Laymon, it's maybe a bit drawn out after a stunning first hundred pages. Some the best writing he's ever done.

If you like it I suggest IN THE DARK next. It's like his twisted DA VINCI CODE as written by the Marquis De Sade and is great fun.

Oh, and it's worth mentioning that his official site is here: http://www.ains.net.au/~gerlach/rlaymon2.htm
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
brainee
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:06 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 620
Location: WI

Cash Bailey wrote:
I've never liked ISLAND either and could not underestand how so many Laymon fans could rate it among his best. I'm all for flawed heroes but I just couldn't get around how the 'hero' of ISLAND was such a pathetic, drooling pervert.


Because that's the whole point, and Laymon is having fun with our expectations and horror cliches. That the line between the "hero" and the psycho's psychology is pretty thin. In fact by the end of the book, its pretty much non-existent. We give the "hero" slack at the start (since he's young, the narrator, and a stereotypical geeky horny goofy teen) -- you expect him to eventually become heroic (following horror story cliche), and he does ... kind of. But by the end he's an intentionally repellent character. It's this bit that lifted up Island from being a generic slasher. Not my favorite Laymon (that would probably be "Funland" or "Travelling Vampire Show") -- it's a couple hundred pages too long for its story, and too goofy for its own good. But still good stuff.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Johnny Butane
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:25 pm  Reply with quote
Elf Fluffer


Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 1985
Location: East Coast, bitches

I just finished The Cellar, which Leisure is putting out in September or October, and it was damn fine. A monster story with a very sick twist; this is the kind of stuff I have come to expect from the man.

Here's a fun game; next time you read one of his books, keep track of how many times he uses the word "rump". You will be amazed.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address
brainee
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:24 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 620
Location: WI

Johnny Butane wrote:
I just finished The Cellar, which Leisure is putting out in September or October, and it was damn fine. A monster story with a very sick twist; this is the kind of stuff I have come to expect from the man.


I read "The Cellar" years ago ... probably for its first PB printing. On the surface, the book looked like any of a number of generic horror that was really flooding the market at that time (with King and Straub gigantic, and slashers at their peak popularity). But I wasn't really fussy in those days, and bought it anyway. The sleaze factor hits you right away -- especially with Laymon not be afraid to be very graphic about taboo areas such as rape and pedophilia (and pedophilic rape Shocked ). Then you get the "twist". And I have to say ... I've never seen that one done before (or since). I can't imagine how this flew with the mass market publishers: "You mean the monster has WHAT?!?!" A memorably bizarre mix of straight horror-suspense, exploitation sleaze, erotica, and hilarity (Laymon couldn't have intended this all seriously -- I think he's having fun with the horror cliche of monsters and their relationships with the women they can't help but persue).

How are the other books in the "Beast House" series? "The Cellar" is the only one I think I read.

Johnny Butane wrote:
Here's a fun game; next time you read one of his books, keep track of how many times he uses the word "rump". You will be amazed.


It sounds like a good drinking game, for when you intend on getting hammered fast. I never noticed this though -- I'll have to dig up a few of his books now to check.

Here's a "name that Laymon book" question: which book is this? The main character is a deaf woman. In her town, there's a popular late-night horror movie featuring little known (but ultra gory) indie films. As chance would have it (maybe not that much chance, considering this is a Laymon book) the movies are actually snuff movies -- the killers dub out the victims screams and dialog so that it goes more with the "plot" and doesn't give away the fact that its a real snuff movie. The deaf girl catches it though, since she can read the lips of the victims. Anyone know the name of this book? It's not "Night Show" (which also has a horror movie theater setting).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cash Bailey
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:27 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 477
Location: Australia

My guess would be OUT ARE THE LIGHTS. But that might just be NIGHT SHOW under another name.

But reading that synopsis just reminded me of why Laymon was so great. I know of no other writer where you could describe the story in a couple of sentences and have you think "Wow, that sounds f**king cool!"

I hate to use such a Hollywood term but he truly was the king of the high-concept horror novel. He'd pull these incredibly compelling storylines out of the air and just milk them for all they were worth.

THE STAKE is another great one. How's this:

A man finds a dessicated corpse of a young woman with a stake in its heart. He begins to have visions of a gorgeous girl telling him to remove the stake and she will be his.

Will he...?


See, that's the kind of sell-able logline that would have any studio executive creaming their Country Road khakis.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
brainee
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 5:37 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 620
Location: WI

Cash Bailey wrote:
My guess would be OUT ARE THE LIGHTS.


That actually seems like the answer ... thanks! Of course, it's out of print in the US. Though Leisure does seem to do doing their best to reprint his work -- I assume they must be selling well since they keep doing it. It is in print in the UK. In fact, browsing around the amazon.uk site there's tons of Laymon in print there. Usually british PBs are way overpriced (not even considering the bad exchange rate), and its expensive to ship them to the US, but there's a current series called "The Richard Laymon Collection" that packages together 2 or 3 of his books into a single PB and some all currently on sale for less than $8 (its 3.99 pounds). The whole "Beasthouse" trilogy is in one book, "Out Are the Lights" and "The Woods are Dark" in another.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Spookshow
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:12 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 67
Location: Kingston, Ontario

I've only read Among the Missing and it was excellent. I'll definately check out more of his work.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cash Bailey
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:43 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 477
Location: Australia

Caterpillar wrote:
I just ordered AFTER MIDNIGHT based on the review on the main page.


So, have you gotten into AFTER MIDNIGHT yet? What did you think?

MY NON-SPOILER THOUGHTS

I think the whole 'Hunter Scott' section (or whatever the writer's name was) is an absolute masterpiece of Polanski-esque psycho-sexual suspense. If the book had ended after that then the book would be among his very best.

Sadly, I felt everything after that was pretty drawn-out and redundant, though still cool and fun. Few people kill their villains better than Dick Laymon.

Ouch!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Caterpillar
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:43 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Posts: 862
Location: Xibalba

Cash Bailey wrote:
So, have you gotten into AFTER MIDNIGHT yet? What did you think?


I read it in 3 days so yeah I liked it. I thought it was great, sleazy-as-hell thriller. Actually the first 100 pages were more or less "spoiled" by the review that got me to pick up the book so maybe that's why I didn't at all mind when the rest of the story unfolded. It was twisted, kinky and frequently hilarious. I really enjoyed the main character. Finally a girl who takes no shit and isn't a whiney, helpless damsel in distress. Fuck yeah!

CELLAR comes out in October and I will pick that up for sure. Maybe something else too to pass the time.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cash Bailey
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:57 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 477
Location: Australia

Yeah, that review did spoil fair bit of it, but I suppose that's impossible not to do if you're reviewing a book you like and want people to know about it. The jacket blurbs on Laymon books are the best out there. Like I said above, his concepts are so gripping that you read the blurb and can't help but want know the rest of the story.

For future Laymon reading allow me to make a few suggestions. You should definitely read IN THE DARK. You'll have a whale of a time with that one. I think it'd make a superb (and very nasty) modest-budget movie.

Also for a more poignant Laymon THE TRAVELLING VAMPIRE SHOW is one of his best. His 'THE BODY', if you will. Yet again, it's a little drawn out, but maybe that's just because it's so suspenseful and restrained for the most part.

For a full-on lightning-paced savagery then THE WOODS ARE DARK is amazing. I actually think it came out before Ketchum's OFF SEASON.

His short story collection DREADFUL TALES is great. There's several of them I'd love to make as short films. THE GRAB in particular. Or that one (can't remember the title) where this guy is following a trail of blood through the city.

I know this stuff isn't readily available in some countries. I guess I'm just lucky that Richard Layon is in every bookshop and library in Australia. His paperbacks can be picked up second hand for a few bucks.

Let us know what you read next, and be sure to pass his books around to your friends. I did that with THE WOODS ARE DARK when I was 16 an my mates loved it. It actually turned them into readers, believe it or not.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Caterpillar
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:23 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Posts: 862
Location: Xibalba

THE WOODS ARE DARK sounds great but AFAIK it hasn't been published by Leisure in the US yet. I could get the UK edition but that'd be twize the price of a Leisure paperback and I know they'll get around to it eventually.

I'll go with COME OUT TONIGHT and IN THE DARK next and CELLAR in October.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Caterpillar
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:09 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Posts: 862
Location: Xibalba

Finished COME OUT TONIGHT on the weekend and while it had some great stuff in it I'd ultimately call it a very mixed bag. Basically whenever Toby's doing his thing it's a total blast but all the stuff with Pete and Jeff was just eye-rollingly silly. Made me realize that it's both a blessing and a curse that Laymon never got out of puberty.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
All times are GMT

View next topic
View previous topic
Page 1 of 5
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Dread Central Forum Index -> Best-cellars

Post new topic   Reply to topic


 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum