My Review of Night Show
I’m just a bit more than passingly familiar with Richard Laymon’s work, having read Cuts and at least one of his other pieces. Laymon is an author for whom sexuality and horror go hand-in-hand in a way that gives each of his stories a slightly forbidden feel to them. In the Night Show, it is no different. It follows two main characters: a special effects horror artist, and a young man driving a hearse who gets his rocks off by pulling pranks on unsuspecting people.
I don’t feel that Night Show is one of Laymon’s better works. While I was initially drawn to it, by around the halfway point, I had no interest in continuing to read it. I wasn’t adverse to what I was reading; I just found it entirely too easy to walk away from and my attention was constantly being diverted as it seemed to settle into a rut of the same things happening in different form repeatedly.
One of the things that stood out to me in Night Show (and honestly, its been so long since I’ve read his other works, I can’t recall if it was present in them) is that Laymon really seems to, uhm, dislike women, to say the least. Maybe he was just working through a thing in Night Show, but so far the women characters have been scaredy-cats, revenge-fueled psychos, or quivering piles of “But, aww, him so young and misguided. Him can’t him little self is crazy.” and are thus easily put in situations where they’re terrified – but unwilling/unable to help themselves until there’s no other option. Even a trapped animal will chew its foot off to escape a trap. That doesn’t make the animal a super hero or brave or anything. Its simply performing an action because any other action but that one, at least at the time, seems useless.
Night Show wasn’t scary. I really can’t even say I’d call it a psychological thriller. It wasn’t what I expected from one of the big names in horror. It was just sort of … there. Can’t recommend it, sorry.
Title: Night Show | Author: Richard Laymon | Publisher: (for this release) Samhain | Pub Date: 2016-5-3 | Pages: 214 | ISBN 13: B01980QKPQ | Genre: Horror | Language: English | Triggers: Attempted Rape | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-3-14 | Source: Received a copy free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.