After Midnight

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Overview

When Alice's friend Serena goes away she stays in her house, with its sunken bathtub and big-screen TV. Best of all is the outdoor swimming pool. But one night a stranger walks out of the woods and jumps naked into the pool. Alice hopes he won't be coming to get her, like so many have done before.

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Overview

When Alice's friend Serena goes away she stays in her house, with its sunken bathtub and big-screen TV. Best of all is the outdoor swimming pool. But one night a stranger walks out of the woods and jumps naked into the pool. Alice hopes he won't be coming to get her, like so many have done before.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although Laymon died in 2001, his U.K. novels have only recently gotten an American release; this 1997 title is a sordid, flawed gem, both stomach churning and erotic, and not infrequently at the same time. Narrated by paranoid, defiant 26-year-old Alice, the book opens on a peaceful night of house-sitting-but as Alice warns, "You can never be sure it's safe." Indeed, shortly after midnight she spots a strange man emerge from the woods and go swimming naked in the family pool. A fortunately timed phone call that's a wrong number gives Alice the chance to drive off the stranger, but sets in motion a 24-hour whirlwind of murder, terror and madness, beginning when Alice splits open someone's head with a Civil War saber-and escalating precipitously from there. Alice's matter-of-fact attitude toward her grisly handiwork can make her hard to sympathize with ("I felt rotten about killing him, but not particularly guilty"); supporting characters are easier to like, but don't get too attached. As the night wears on, Laymon piles on gory details and violent sex with perverse, over-the-top glee; it's definitely not for everyone and can strain credibility, but Alice proves to be one of Laymon's most original and memorable protagonists, and should keep hardened horror fans reading well past the stroke of midnight. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780843951806
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Pages: 438
  • Product dimensions: 4.60 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 61 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 61 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2007

    A reviewer

    i was told about this book and couldn't wait to read it. once i started, i couldn't put it down and it kept me up until four in the morning. usually i stop reading a book after a would be climax to make the book last longer, but i couldn't with this one because it was just one thing after another. the main character just kept sinking herself in deeper and deeper. i liked this book so much that i've read four more times since!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    My 5th Laymon novel & counting....

    So... here we are. My fifth "stab" at reading Laymon & I have to say I'm very pleased with this novel. The other novels of his I've read were written in the 3rd person narrative, whereas this one was written in the 1st. Poor "Alice" (not her real name, she confesses). She fell very, very far down one of Laymon's demented "rabbit holes" & wound up in a nightmare--mostly of her own design (though she always finds a way to blame someone else). She is a very paranoid person--rightly so, due to the fact she relates she is a victim of rape on not just one occasion, but on many--& her fears seem outrageous but, somehow, justified. She has been a victim but doesn't want to ever be one again. In this story, it seems she sets herself up for her nightmarish world starting with a swimmer in a backyard pool who, we find out later, truly meant her harm. Her spiral into murderous depravity is very enjoyable to read--revealing she isn't a heroine by any means (always thinking of herself first), but you find that you don't want anything bad to happen to her, even though you start out not caring what does. Her battle with a ogre-ish, fat, cannibalistic, raping, backwoods camping tent dwelling serial killer, named Milo--who can keep a massive erection while loosing buckets of blood--is very entertaining. Her attempts to cover up her tracks & evidence to her murderous trists with the unfortunate supporting characters in her story are, by far, some of the most outrageous one will ever read. Blood, gore, gruesome murder scenes, ultra-violent deaths, hardcore sex, rape--it's all here. & it works toward the means of making the reader squirm. This novel--next to THE WOODS ARE DARK & THE CELLAR--is my favorite Laymon I have, so far, read. Anyone who likes sick, twisted pulp novels should read this one. You won't be sorry because it splatters across the page like blood spurting from a slashed artery. Laymon is pure horror entertainment to which many of his pulp horror writing peers aspire to be. Will I read more of his novels? Of course. Next up: DARK MOUNTAIN--my sixth walk into the Laymon abyss.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2007

    awesome

    my first laymon book and definitely not the last. this book got me hooked from the very beginning and i couldn't put it down! it's bizarre, gory and perverse. Some parts actually made me cringe. and a few parts made me laugh! it's a great read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    intriguing strange thriller

    Twenty-six years old Alice is staying at the exclusive house by the woods of her friend Serena as a favor while her pal is away. Alice looks forward to the luxurious lifestyle with the sunken tub, swimming pool and big screen TV. However, she also cautions herself never forget that danger lurks everywhere even in deluxe quarters like Serena owns. --- As if she jinxed her good fortune, a wrong number call enables her to notice a stranger dive naked into the pool. Alice expects the nude male to attack her like all men do, but this time she is prepared as she holds a Civil War saber that she took off the wall waiting for his assault. When the opportunity arises she uses the blade to split open a man¿s head. Thus a night of mayhem, sex, and death begins with Alice¿s gory adventures in wonderland. --- Though Alice is an intriguing protagonist, her story seems so outrageous that it goes beyond the realm of unbelievable perhaps exceeding Munchausen. Still she is a fascinating protagonist as she lives her motto of never again to be a victim, sort of like the Bride in Kill Bill. Fans who appreciate a somewhat deranged female swimming in a sea of blood will want to read Alice¿s adventures AFTER MIDNIGHT in a not so wonderland. --- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    terrible

    this book was terrible, I mean if you enjoy a main character just babbling on about pointless stuff, and getting off track all the time from what she is talking about... then this is the book for you...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Pure Thriller Horror Without The Paranormal Angle

    Richard Laymon's "After Midnight" strives to be a page turning thriller. It nearly delivers. The action carries along at a high pace. The descriptions are gruesome. The main character, Alice, is very well developed. However, at times, there is too much description, too much character development and a lot over the top manic female thinking.
    I can appreciate Laymon's attempt at portraying an over-thinking, over-worried female mind. But I think the character goes overboard with that inner dialoge and I find myself pulled out of the story. Where emphasis is places on reading the psyce of the main character, other secondary characters seem to lack ample description. Many come and go before they can really seem important enough to be a part of the story.
    This is the first Laymon novel I have read. Granted, by others reviews, this is not one of his more beloved works. It was still a very good horror story. It contained one of the more gruesome murders I've ever read. Mostly, it's short points still don't make it a bad story.
    In the end it's not perfection but it's close enough for blood and gore. Like the best of the best horror flicks it's stays just ahead of the curve from making it too campy, yet brash enough to keep it a slasher story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2012

    Love

    Love this book and I love Laymon!!! I've always thought he was a smoother read then King. Lovelovelove

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Love it

    I love this book

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Seriously?????

    I thought this book was HORRIBLE. Boring, boring dialogue in between the "action". I mean the conversations in this book between characters were just unbearable. The "plot" was ridiculous!! I wish I could put into words how bad I think this book is, but I would have to use spoilers, which I don't want to do. All I can say is that NOT everyone is going to enjoy this book. I purchased this because it was $2.99 and it had good reviews. Well, I paid $2.99 TOO MUCH and I guess I just have a very different opinion on what constitutes a "good scary read". I do like Stephen King......I will not be reading anything else from this writer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2007

    A Richard Laymon fan for life!!!!!

    This is my favorite book by far. I love all his books but I have become obsessed with this book.It is exciting, never dull, and sexy. I have told all my friends about this GREAT book!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2006

    Certainly not his best, but definetely good

    It took me a while to get interested in this book, but once it got my attention I couldn't put it down. The book overall is very entertaining, much like all his other books. I hope to keep reading more Laymon in the future.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2006

    Haunting Beauty

    This is my first Laymon book and surely not my last. In the book, Alice is truly a force not to be reckoned with from beginning to end! I simply loved the main character, even though she did do what needed to be done ever since that fateful night after midnight!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2006

    What a pager - turner!

    This is the first Richard Laymon book I've read......it won't be my last. I just couldn't put the book down. Alice is amazing, deranged, but amazing. I couldn't wait to read what she was going to do next! Don't miss this book....it's awesome!

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    Posted October 30, 2011

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    Posted February 2, 2011

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    Posted June 30, 2011

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    Posted February 16, 2011

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    Posted April 16, 2011

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    Posted July 16, 2011

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    Posted November 29, 2010

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