Hot Best Seller

Something More Than Night

Availability: Ready to download

Dulwich College, England 1904. A young Raymond Chandler meets an enthusiastic cricketer named Billy Pratt (later Boris Karloff). Sharing a sense of being outsiders at school, the two young men become friends and Chandler encourages Pratt to help him uncover the mystery of the housemaster's strange wife and various disappearing objects. What the boys uncover will haunt them Dulwich College, England 1904. A young Raymond Chandler meets an enthusiastic cricketer named Billy Pratt (later Boris Karloff). Sharing a sense of being outsiders at school, the two young men become friends and Chandler encourages Pratt to help him uncover the mystery of the housemaster's strange wife and various disappearing objects. What the boys uncover will haunt them their whole lives... Hollywood, USA, 1944. When a young actress names Eliza Dane, also Chandler's mistress, turns up dead, in an apparent suicide having jumped from the Hollywood sign, Chandler realises he cannot escape his past. He seeks out his old friend and together they confront the terrible creature who entered their lives all those years ago. Told with Newman's trademark wit and intricate knowledge of the period, Something More Than Night is a gripping and horrific tale and an engrossing dive into the thrilling era of wartime Hollywood.


Compare

Dulwich College, England 1904. A young Raymond Chandler meets an enthusiastic cricketer named Billy Pratt (later Boris Karloff). Sharing a sense of being outsiders at school, the two young men become friends and Chandler encourages Pratt to help him uncover the mystery of the housemaster's strange wife and various disappearing objects. What the boys uncover will haunt them Dulwich College, England 1904. A young Raymond Chandler meets an enthusiastic cricketer named Billy Pratt (later Boris Karloff). Sharing a sense of being outsiders at school, the two young men become friends and Chandler encourages Pratt to help him uncover the mystery of the housemaster's strange wife and various disappearing objects. What the boys uncover will haunt them their whole lives... Hollywood, USA, 1944. When a young actress names Eliza Dane, also Chandler's mistress, turns up dead, in an apparent suicide having jumped from the Hollywood sign, Chandler realises he cannot escape his past. He seeks out his old friend and together they confront the terrible creature who entered their lives all those years ago. Told with Newman's trademark wit and intricate knowledge of the period, Something More Than Night is a gripping and horrific tale and an engrossing dive into the thrilling era of wartime Hollywood.

30 review for Something More Than Night

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is my first read of the author Kim Newman, and this genre defying historical novel certainly made an impression. Newman throws in everything in this spoof blend of horror and mystery that pays homage to the 1930s Hollywood movies, the era of black and white films, hard boiled detectives, of monsters, and incorporating real and fictional characters. Prepare yourself for a bonkers plot, it is witty, fun, comic, and entertaining, featuring the alcoholic writer Raymond Chandler who takes on Phi This is my first read of the author Kim Newman, and this genre defying historical novel certainly made an impression. Newman throws in everything in this spoof blend of horror and mystery that pays homage to the 1930s Hollywood movies, the era of black and white films, hard boiled detectives, of monsters, and incorporating real and fictional characters. Prepare yourself for a bonkers plot, it is witty, fun, comic, and entertaining, featuring the alcoholic writer Raymond Chandler who takes on Philip Marlowe's persona, and his friend from schooldays, Billy Pratt aka Boris Karloff. The pair are called by the cops to the scene of a car pulled from the sea, with a headless corpse, and in the trunk is the impossible, a wet and alive woman of many names, including Leila Bostwick, Laurel Ives, and 'Witcheye'. In this non-linear narrative, of monsters recognisably human and the not so human, Chandler and Boris investigate, in a story with fantastical elements, littered with references and allusions that will be appreciated by fans of movies from this historical period. It took me some time to get into the style of the narrative, but once I did, I loved it, and its the perfect read for this time of the year. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews

    This book really piqued my interest. Newman made two actual people characters in his fictional story: Billy Pratt, aka Boris Karloff, and famed novelist Raymond Chandler. Yes, sir, I am in like Flynn. The story got off to a great start. Newman brought these two characters to life within his pages, he created a traditional noir type setting and style. Having these two well-known characters as his protagonists added an instant connection to the story. Newman built the connection through connections This book really piqued my interest. Newman made two actual people characters in his fictional story: Billy Pratt, aka Boris Karloff, and famed novelist Raymond Chandler. Yes, sir, I am in like Flynn. The story got off to a great start. Newman brought these two characters to life within his pages, he created a traditional noir type setting and style. Having these two well-known characters as his protagonists added an instant connection to the story. Newman built the connection through connections to things that I already knew, and by giving me more facts about the people, time, and place. I was having a great time. Then something happened. It really is very strange; life and the story took strange twists at the same time. My life got temporarily complicated and I just didn’t have the time to read that I normally would have. I lost my connection to the story and really had a hard time finding the time/desire to read. I started just reading the words. Now, I will fully accept part of the fault in what went wrong between Something More Than Night and myself, at the same time, when reading a story, it has a responsibility. The story is supposed to take me away when life gets complicated. The story has a job to do. When I’m not reading the story, I should be thinking about the story; I should have wanted to know what Raymond and Billy were up to. Something More Than Night did not do its job to the best of its ability. I find this unfortunate; I was looking forward to my first adventure with Kim Newman. Would I read another Kim Newman book again? I really don’t know. Yes, I should have been more present, but Newman didn’t make his book unputdownable for me. *I received a copy of the book from the publisher (via NetGalley).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vivienne

    ‘The streets were dark with something more than night.’ Raymond Chandler, Introduction to Trouble is My Business (1950) My thanks to Titan Books for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Something More Than Night’ by Kim Newman in exchange for an honest review. I found this a glorious genre spanning novel featuring two former British schoolboys now living in the USA pursuing their respective careers and on occasion becoming involved in mysteries in which crime and horror intertwine. As a long time fan of cr ‘The streets were dark with something more than night.’ Raymond Chandler, Introduction to Trouble is My Business (1950) My thanks to Titan Books for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Something More Than Night’ by Kim Newman in exchange for an honest review. I found this a glorious genre spanning novel featuring two former British schoolboys now living in the USA pursuing their respective careers and on occasion becoming involved in mysteries in which crime and horror intertwine. As a long time fan of crime fiction, including works by classic writers such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, and horror in film and literature both the premise and execution of this novel was a delight. Definitely my kind of book. Kim Newman is well known for his encyclopaedic knowledge of film, genre fiction and popular culture. In this novel he has embraced the tropes of hard-boiled detective fiction alongside those of pulp horror. In Hollywood during the late 1930s Raymond ‘R.T.’ Chandler writes detective stories for pulp magazines. His long time friend, William ‘Billy’ Pratt, known to the world as Boris Karloff, plays monsters in the movies. Together, they undertake investigations into unusual goings-on in a town run by monsters both human and inhuman. In the middle of the night Raymond receives a phone call from Billy with news that he had been asked by the police to identify the body of a man whose car had crashed off Malibu Pier; a death that closely resembles one in Marlow’s recently published ‘The Big Sleep’. Billy quips: ‘Could this be the work of one of your demented fans, R.T.?’ … so begins this fast paced crime/horror noir. I won’t say more about the plot in order to avoid spoilers. The novel is narrated by Chandler in a rambling style that is almost stream-of-consciousness. It is quite a complex plot as R.T. is prone to asides and jumping about in time. In his informative Afterword Newman details the real life connections between his imaginary comrades and provides details of the many books that he consulted to write this novel. He also writes: “If I listed all the films and TV shows that have fed into this book, we’d be here for several months.” So yes - there’s a lot of cultural references interwoven throughout the novel. I felt that ‘Something More Than Night’ was terrific - a tour de force that honours both the hard-boiled detective fiction and the pulp horror of the period. The relationship between R.T. and Billy was a joy and I expect that this is a novel that I will be revisiting. Although this is a standalone, Newman cites a few links to his other published works. Of course, there always exists the possibility that Newman will decide to write more adventures for R.T. and Billy. I certainly hope so as I feel that it’s rich territory for exploration. Highly recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Titan Books for an advanced copy of this new historical horror novel. Kim Newman, creator of the Anno Dracula series, along with many other books and articles about movies, monsters and music, mixes the real world with the myth of movies in the book Something More Than Night. Raymond Chandler, full time drunk, aspiring mystery author, joins with his old school chum, Frankenstein's Monster actor Boris Karloff to investigate a weird tale of life, life beyond My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher Titan Books for an advanced copy of this new historical horror novel. Kim Newman, creator of the Anno Dracula series, along with many other books and articles about movies, monsters and music, mixes the real world with the myth of movies in the book Something More Than Night. Raymond Chandler, full time drunk, aspiring mystery author, joins with his old school chum, Frankenstein's Monster actor Boris Karloff to investigate a weird tale of life, life beyond death and studio politics in 1930's Hollywood. Combining real characters and fictional ones is something that Mr. Newman is quite good at, either a alcoholic mystery author, a do-gooding gumshoe, or a Hollywood producer returned from the grave. The story is well written and interesting, though there is a lot of time jumping, and like the best of the noir detective novels, there is no pat ending, and sometimes people do get away with murder. There is a lot going on, many movie allusions and some odd scenes. Anything to do with the zany imitative group of comedy brothers who work as studio hitmen, just seem weird more than Weird. But these are little things in a much larger story. I enjoyed quite a lot in this book. I found the way that he wrote Chandler and Karloff, having Chandler talk constantly like his private detective character Philip Marlow, and the stories about Karloff interesting. I did not know the pains that Mr. Karloff had to deal with from portraying the Monster, which explains some of his acting and roles near the end of his life. I don't know where another book could go in this series, but I would love to see more. I highly recommend this book and the previously mentioned Anno Dracula, well actually all of Mr. Newman's writing in fact. One of the most interesting horror writers, and one of the most knowledgeable on film. Definitely a treat.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chad Cunningham

    I received an arc of this from NetGalley in exchange for a review. Said review follows: Something More Than Night is the latest book by an author I really like, Kim Newman. Newman's Anno Dracula books are some of my favorite vampire books. I was very much looking forward to reading this novel. Raymond Chandler, writer and creator of Philip Marlowe, and Billy Pratt, better known by his acting alias Boris Karloff, have known each other since they were young and are working together to solve the mys I received an arc of this from NetGalley in exchange for a review. Said review follows: Something More Than Night is the latest book by an author I really like, Kim Newman. Newman's Anno Dracula books are some of my favorite vampire books. I was very much looking forward to reading this novel. Raymond Chandler, writer and creator of Philip Marlowe, and Billy Pratt, better known by his acting alias Boris Karloff, have known each other since they were young and are working together to solve the mystery of who murdered their friend Joh Devlin. What follows is a tale that jumps a bit in time, has bizarre movie monsters, a mistaken Howard Hughes crash, mysterious women with strange powers, and a heaping dose of noir tropes. The story is engaging and the characters are interesting. The pacing is a little off -there's some drag in the middle-and the ending feels a little out of focus. But there is a lot to love in the book. Chandler and Devlin are the narrators, with Chandler being the more engaging narrator. There's a supernatural element to the book that has b-movie charm and isn't belabored. I have a feeling that chapter 30 will be something that people either love or hate. I was not a fan. But it didn't stop me enjoying the book. This is a fun read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Randy Money

    Newman is excellent at portraying a ludicrous premise as if it was plausible, determining a reasonable chain of motivation and event for that premise and showing his characters as human, fallible and despite that still trying to cope with overwhelming odds. In this novel he does that with Billy Pratt, better known as Boris Karloff, and Ray, better known as Raymond Chandler. Chandler is the narrator and Newman captures that voice extremely well. If you don't mind the supernatural mixed with your 1 Newman is excellent at portraying a ludicrous premise as if it was plausible, determining a reasonable chain of motivation and event for that premise and showing his characters as human, fallible and despite that still trying to cope with overwhelming odds. In this novel he does that with Billy Pratt, better known as Boris Karloff, and Ray, better known as Raymond Chandler. Chandler is the narrator and Newman captures that voice extremely well. If you don't mind the supernatural mixed with your 1940s Hollywood mystery, you'll enjoy this.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy Walker - Trans-Scribe Reviews

    Kim Newman books are strange creatures. They're filled with plots that have more twists and turns in them than you'd find in a ball of string, characters that come to life in unexpected ways, and nods to other books and films that will have you smiling at the references. Having previously read and enjoyed his exploration of the Sherlock Holmes mythos in Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles I was interested to see what he'd do with a book that not only celebrated the film and fiction of Holly Kim Newman books are strange creatures. They're filled with plots that have more twists and turns in them than you'd find in a ball of string, characters that come to life in unexpected ways, and nods to other books and films that will have you smiling at the references. Having previously read and enjoyed his exploration of the Sherlock Holmes mythos in Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles I was interested to see what he'd do with a book that not only celebrated the film and fiction of Hollywood in the 1940's, but featured two real life icons of that era. Something More Than Night follows Raymond Chandler, who's only just just began his career as a writer and is waiting for his first book, The Big Sleep, to be published. He gets a call one night from his long time friend Billy Pratt, more famously known as Boris Karloff, who needs him to come to help identify a body. Chandler's been called in because the body resembles a victim from one of his magazine stories, and the police want to get his opinion on it. Arriving at the scene, Chandler and Karloff watch as a car is pulled from the sea, the car of a friend of theirs. A body sits in the drivers seat, his head blown off with a shotgun. Stranger still, the police also find a woman in the trunk, a woman who is still alive after hours in the water. The woman is also known to Chandler and Karloff, as she was there years ago when their lives went through a strange ordeal; one that showed them the existence of monsters and strange abilities. From here the story takes on a somewhat disjointed and complex narrative as we jump around in time, exploring the history these characters have together, the journey they went on, and what ultimately led to one of them dead in the sea with another locked in the trunk of their car. We get the story narrated by Chandler, who is able to give us his perspective on much of the events, as well as being able to relay to us the things he learnt where he wasn't present for things. As such, the book takes a much more personal approach to the story. This isn't just a series of events we're watching unfold, instead we see how the strange happenings alter how Chandler look at the world, how they push him to breaking point, and how much it effects him in a much more intimate way. But perhaps the best thing about the book being written from Chandler's perspective is the fact that he talks like one of this characters, describing things like he himself is some kind of hard boiled detective. There are times when this seems to happen just naturally, giving the impression that perhaps there was a lot of Chandler's mannerisms and way of speech in his books; but other times he'll make a point of saying something like 'Marlowe would say..' before saying something very cliched and tongue-in-cheek. It's actually quite wonderfully done, as the times where it supposed to be natural feel natural, whilst the fact that Newman is hanging a lantern on those more ridiculous moments means that he's got the leeway to get away with it. Due to the nature of the first person perspective we don't get to spend as much time with Boris Karloff as we do Chandler, and as a result of this I felt that I didn't know him as well by the end of the book. That being said, I really enjoyed how Newman did this. He came across as a man deeply guarded, somewhat shy, and a little embarrassed by his fame and recognition. He was quiet and thoughtful for much of the time he's in the book, and acts as a good foil to the more hotheaded Chandler. I have to be honest, for a good portion of the start of the book I was a little unsure where things were going to be heading, due in part to the shifting narrative style that Newman employs. There's a big sense of mystery to things, and I wasn't quite sure why I was having certain events revealed, and what parts would become relevant later on. I really had to pay attention to everything that was happening. However, there came a point where I realised that despite this slow building start I'd become deeply hooked. By the time the strangeness really starts and you realise that this isn't just a historical novel, but it's a story set in a world where the fantastical exists it's too late; you're already engrossed in things. By starting things more grounded, and slowly introducing weirder and odder elements Newman had ensured that I, like the characters, was completely thrown when my idea of what kind of world this was set in was thrown out the window. It was very well done; and lead to me staying up late reading. Something More Than Night is a book that I'd be hard pressed to describe. It doesn't really feel like anything else I've read, but is also so unmistakably a Kim Newman novel. It has his sense of style, strangeness, and love of fiction that makes his work feel so unique. I think this is the kind of book that fans of 1940's detective stories and Hollywood movies will love for how much it clearly revels in that era, whilst those who might only have a passing familiarity with this part of pop culture will be drawn in by the central mystery plot and the great character work. Whatever your reason might be for picking the book up, it's sure to be an interesting ride.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bethnoir

    I loved this book. The writing was delightful, the characters appealing and deep and the story compelling.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I enjoyed so many things about this book. I'm a big fan of old movies, very old movies, so I enjoyed the references to the actors, directors, producers, and films of the 1930's. Of course, the plot is ludicrous but the humor and the history make it all fun. Well, yeah, there's violence and gore. That's the point of most horror. If the writer makes it clever, that's extra points in my book. If the reader is not a buff of black and white movies, he or she might not be familiar with lots of the char I enjoyed so many things about this book. I'm a big fan of old movies, very old movies, so I enjoyed the references to the actors, directors, producers, and films of the 1930's. Of course, the plot is ludicrous but the humor and the history make it all fun. Well, yeah, there's violence and gore. That's the point of most horror. If the writer makes it clever, that's extra points in my book. If the reader is not a buff of black and white movies, he or she might not be familiar with lots of the characters. pursue some oldies this Halloween, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy (Karloff's Mummy) and scare yourself back to the Thirties. Okay, they're not that scary, but you'll know what's going on in the book. It will be good for you, as your mother (or mummy) might say. The afterword is interesting, too. It gives some history of the writer, Raymond Chandler, the actor Boris Karloff, and old Hollywood. Monsters, movies, and lots of electricity zapped through people. What more could you ask for?

  10. 5 out of 5

    David Madara

    Novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler and actor Boris Karloff team up to help the local police investigate the "suicide" of a movie producer. What can they come up with? A decent romp of a story! Kim Newman injects many movie references to movies you know and movies that were never made. A brief misstep in the middle of the book takes it down a peg for me, but it quickly rebounds and makes a good use of time. I believe this is a stand-alone and will not become a series. Novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler and actor Boris Karloff team up to help the local police investigate the "suicide" of a movie producer. What can they come up with? A decent romp of a story! Kim Newman injects many movie references to movies you know and movies that were never made. A brief misstep in the middle of the book takes it down a peg for me, but it quickly rebounds and makes a good use of time. I believe this is a stand-alone and will not become a series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Lyons

    Something More Than Night is a novel that blends noir, classic film era drama, writers, and monsters both real and imagined in order to give us a what if tale about Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff tackling a case together and uncovering a heinous plot by a fake studio head who seeks to end mortality as we know it for a chosen few. It has all the makings of something that could be a genuinely interesting film with the right actors and ideally would've been a fun read as well. Unfortunately, I Something More Than Night is a novel that blends noir, classic film era drama, writers, and monsters both real and imagined in order to give us a what if tale about Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff tackling a case together and uncovering a heinous plot by a fake studio head who seeks to end mortality as we know it for a chosen few. It has all the makings of something that could be a genuinely interesting film with the right actors and ideally would've been a fun read as well. Unfortunately, I don't think it was a good fit for me and, after stopping and starting it a few times over the last few weeks, I'm going to have to accept defeat at 40℅. I think it could be a nice read for fans of those classic noir novels and films, particularly for those who like a slow burn that takes its time setting the scene and laying out the nuances of characters through dialogue and inference. For me, it felt dry, the treatment of female characters was distinctly wooden, and I genuinely couldn't get the feel of any of the characters the way I wanted to as a fan of classic monster movies, noir, and historical fiction.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Biblio Files (takingadayoff)

    SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT, by Kim Newman Film director James Whale said about the special effects in the film Frankenstein: “It's not science, it's ritual.” In Kim Newman's novel, Something More Than Night, the narrator comments several times: “It's alieeeve.” The narrator is Raymond Chandler. Chandler is just one of the historical personages and fictional characters who are part of this story about monsters in Hollywood in the 1930s. Besides Raymond Chandler (real), Boris Karloff (real) and Philip M SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT, by Kim Newman Film director James Whale said about the special effects in the film Frankenstein: “It's not science, it's ritual.” In Kim Newman's novel, Something More Than Night, the narrator comments several times: “It's alieeeve.” The narrator is Raymond Chandler. Chandler is just one of the historical personages and fictional characters who are part of this story about monsters in Hollywood in the 1930s. Besides Raymond Chandler (real), Boris Karloff (real) and Philip Marlowe (fictional) also appear. Chandler is tired of writing for the pulps and is waiting for The Big Sleep (real), his best novel so far, to be published in book form. Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff (who is between pictures at the moment) are caught up in real-life evil set in motion by the head of Pyramid Pictures (fictional). Evil appears on both sides of the motion picture screen. The owner of Pyramid Pictures is attempting to duplicate in reality what the scientist Frankenstein has done in James Whale's (real) films—create eternal life. In this story there is only a year 's difference in age between Chandler and Karloff, and they attended the same (real) public school in England. During their investigation hardly anyone recognizes Chandler the writer, while Karloff—the Monster, the Mummy, the Man They Could Not Hang—is recognized immediately by almost everyone for his voice. Chandler repeatedly describes them as two public school men who drink too much at night and wait for the monsters to come out. Kim Newman specializes in mixing real and fictional characters in his stories and this leads to many breaks to find out if something that happens in his story is based on reality or is made up. Chandler and Karloff (who was born William Pratt) did attend school in London at the same time, but it's not clear that they were ever at the same school or if they knew each other. In the story, they were pals at school and this has created an unbreakable “old boys” bond between them. As a fan of the Anno Dracula series and the Diogenes Club stories, I found Something More Than Night, a stand-alone novel, slow at times and I thought about bailing out more than once. For die hard Kim Newman fans only. (Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a digital review copy.)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    A buddy novel with a difference…. Raymond Chandler hangs out with Boris Karloff! Back in 2012 the BBC asked whether so called ‘literary mashups’ were going to be the next big thing? I’m not too sure how many copies Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or his equally daft Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter sold but given he has not published a novel in some years perhaps the markets have since moved on. Kim Newman’s latest release Something More Than Night is a literary mash-up of a dif A buddy novel with a difference…. Raymond Chandler hangs out with Boris Karloff! Back in 2012 the BBC asked whether so called ‘literary mashups’ were going to be the next big thing? I’m not too sure how many copies Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or his equally daft Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter sold but given he has not published a novel in some years perhaps the markets have since moved on. Kim Newman’s latest release Something More Than Night is a literary mash-up of a different breed, taking in both the golden age of Hollywood cinema (late 1930s) and a splash (or should that be a shot?) of hardboiled detective fiction. Just to be clear from the outset, you will enjoy this novel much more if you have some knowledge of Hollywood cinema from this era, particularly horror, and if the iconic line “It’s alive!” means nothing to you then you may well struggle with some of the jokes and references. Although Newman is probably best known for the Anno Dracula series he has an impressive body of work and has borrowed characters from other authors on other occasions, including Professor Moriarty in The Hound of the D'Urbervilles. Also, If you were ever seeking a ringer for a film quiz pub team then Newman would be a perfect candidate, writing critiques on many genre classics and an astonishingly diverse range of films. My personal favourite, which I still have on my shelves, was Wild West Movies (1990) as I love westerns almost as much as horrors. Back in 2018 my daughter and I also enjoyed his play Magic Circle which had a few showings in a tiny London theatre and it was nice to see some of his stuff performed live, showcasing his quirky and off-beat versatility. Considering his elelectic CV there is no better candidate to write a novel starring horror icon Boris Karloff and legendary detective fiction writer Raymond Chandler. Newman’s eye for detail is an absolute triumph and his recreation of late 1930s Hollywood literally jumps off the page in a story in which he imagines the two men are best friends. Chandler narrates the novel in the first person, in a non-linear style, with his insights and observations into Hollywood being very entertaining, with the style mirroring his own literary creations, in particular Philip Marlowe who he is about to unleash The Big Sleep on the world. Something More Than Night revolves around a murder mystery in which old friends Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff help a mutual friend work a case which threatens to expose Hollywood's dodgy secrets. As it is narrated by Chandler, it is written in a pulp fiction style with the two friends getting much more than they bargained for, running down clues, old contacts and finding dead bodies (one headless). This novel was definitely style over substance and I much preferred the overall mood, setting, characters and humour than the actual murder mystery which had some lulls and a quirky Frankenstein spin. In the story Boris goes by his real name William Pratt (Ray never calls him Boris) and notes that Billy’s finest acting performance was in the creation of his ‘Boris’ persona. I loved Boris/Billy and Ray’s descriptions of his old friend, his acting trials, high and lows, was an absolute delight and the pair made a highly effective, if unlikely, buddy act. There were also some great comic touches, I also loved the manner in which the police deferred to Karloff, why you might ask? Because he’s Boris Karloff! Ray’s downbeat and depreciative version of himself, sober or drunk, was very much in the style of his own detective, mirroring his literary creation, being at the stage of his career where pulp magazines were his bread and butter. Ray was great company and I loved the way he never begrudged Boris/Billy’s success with all the telling anecdotes about Frankenstein and the sequels which followed. The many side references to other actors from this era also hit the spot and the numerous references to Bela Lugosi were really amusing but might be missed by readers who know nothing about the Karloff/Lugosi relationship. In some ways this was a novel for fans of cinema as it was quite literally top-loaded with observations and film trivia and references to Karloff’s many onscreen personas including the Mummy, the Man They Could Not Hang and other stars from the silent era such as Lon Chaney, who was a predecessor to Karloff. This is a fact I was not aware of: both Chandler and Pratt lived in south London at roughly the same time and attended rival public schools. They also live in Hollywood about the same time, so there is a small chance the two men might have crossed paths and it is this fascinating ‘what if’ the novel is built around. At its heart Something More Than Night has a real fun concept and is a very quirky homage to the 1930s Hollywood movies and the era of black and white cinema. If you are interested in this sort of thing this book is a treat, to others it might be more of a curiosity. Diehard Kim Newman fans will undoubtedly have a lot of fun with it and will find it impossible not to fall in love with Billy who really steals the show.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Paquette

    Tentative 4. I listened to it at work. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read a paper copy. Not that the narration was bad, it was fine, just that the plot was hard to follow when you're multitasking. I really loved the concept, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. The plot was somehow both aggressively outlandish and very slow. Maybe part of it is that I'm not a huge fan of bio-thrillers/body horror, which is what this ended up being. Kind of. It was clever, but I wasn't compell Tentative 4. I listened to it at work. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I read a paper copy. Not that the narration was bad, it was fine, just that the plot was hard to follow when you're multitasking. I really loved the concept, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. The plot was somehow both aggressively outlandish and very slow. Maybe part of it is that I'm not a huge fan of bio-thrillers/body horror, which is what this ended up being. Kind of. It was clever, but I wasn't compelled. I think that was my main problem. It never really grabbed me. And then in the back quarter there's an unrelated bunch of serial killings by a trio of evil Marx Bros. knock-offs. I may have zoned out and missed the lead up, or it really might have just been jammed in there near the end? It had the potentially to be delightfully absurd (attempted murder by way of a safe being dropped from a crane is just brilliant, but) it somehow felt flat. No pun intended. What I did like was the fictionalized account of historical figures. I like Raymond Chandler, and I like Boris Karloff, and it was fun to imagine a past where they were good pals, solving heinous vaguely paranormal/sci-fi murders together. I think the author did a swell job of portraying them. And the writing really was quite good. The parts written in Chandler's voice felt surprisingly authentic, and there were some genuinely funny lines. I wanted to love it, but I ended up thinking it was just alright. Also, the whole thing with the mystery woman from the pair's schoolboy past? It never went anywhere. We don't know any more about it by the end of the book than we do at the beginning. Maybe it was included as homage to the "who killed the butler?" conundrum in The Big Sleep. So frustrating.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jill Elizabeth

    I really wanted to like this one but I just kept losing my grip on the story... The premise is fascinating and I really liked the homage to classic detective stories of the golden age. The incorporation of Boris Karloff was brilliant. The setting and lingo were spot on. But somehow the story felt very uneven to me... It would be clicking along brilliantly and then all of a sudden would seem to find itself meandering in a way that threw the pace off and knocked me out of the zone... I diligently w I really wanted to like this one but I just kept losing my grip on the story... The premise is fascinating and I really liked the homage to classic detective stories of the golden age. The incorporation of Boris Karloff was brilliant. The setting and lingo were spot on. But somehow the story felt very uneven to me... It would be clicking along brilliantly and then all of a sudden would seem to find itself meandering in a way that threw the pace off and knocked me out of the zone... I diligently went back and tried again, multiple times, but eventually it got to be too much. I made it about half way through, then had to call it... This one just wasn't for me... I'm not a die-hard Kim Newman fan - I don't have a lot of experience with his writings, but what I have had I really enjoyed, yet somehow this one didn't seem to have the seem instant attention-grabbing sense of others like English Ghost Story or Drearcliff Grange. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

  16. 5 out of 5

    MH

    Newman is such an assured storyteller and wildly imaginative world-builder that he's always very readable, but this story about Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff teaming up to solve occult mysteries seems incredibly overstuffed - the world of the adventure is, certainly, with a villain's California empire that includes a sinister hospital, a pro-German movie studio, and colorful psychopaths of every stripe, but in terms of Newman's ideas. There's a capricious goddess/muse (that every great arti Newman is such an assured storyteller and wildly imaginative world-builder that he's always very readable, but this story about Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff teaming up to solve occult mysteries seems incredibly overstuffed - the world of the adventure is, certainly, with a villain's California empire that includes a sinister hospital, a pro-German movie studio, and colorful psychopaths of every stripe, but in terms of Newman's ideas. There's a capricious goddess/muse (that every great artist in Western history, including our heroes, is in thrall to), ideas of immortality and reincarnation, and even a meta visit from Philip Marlowe, and they all seem significant but none of them pay off. I suspect Newman's playing off the idea of the chauffeur's unexplained murder in Chandler's The Big Sleep (something brought up frequently) and how there aren't always satisfying answers, but to have so many big ideas unexplained and unresolved was just disappointing, and the end of the novel was aggressively (purposely?) anticlimactic.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lilibet Bombshell

    This book is the biggest mash-up of literary and movie legacy I have ever seen, and at first I was here for it. It seemed like something that could almost be a weird B-movie: Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff Fight the Mysterious Monsters of Hollywood. Sadly, the book loses its momentum over and over again. The pace stutters and lurches. Starts and stops. Goes full throttle and then slams on the brakes. I’d be totally awake and sucked in during some sections and then nod off during others. Book This book is the biggest mash-up of literary and movie legacy I have ever seen, and at first I was here for it. It seemed like something that could almost be a weird B-movie: Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff Fight the Mysterious Monsters of Hollywood. Sadly, the book loses its momentum over and over again. The pace stutters and lurches. Starts and stops. Goes full throttle and then slams on the brakes. I’d be totally awake and sucked in during some sections and then nod off during others. Books like this frustrate me a great deal, because I believe when this happens it’s often a sign of poor content editing, or of letting the author have too long of a leash without reminding them that not every reader is going to going to like being led off on this wild goose chase that at points leans almost into Scooby-Doo territory. This book, for me, was at its best when it most resembled a whacked-out B-movie starring Boris Karloff and Raymond Chandler. I just wish it had been able to keep its momentum and energy throughout the rest of the sections of the book, too.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nigel

    When I first started reading Kim Newman stories, the best part was always the initial shock of an incredibly cool, clever concept, twisting and rearranging things out of popular culture and the real world into a kind of thesis to be explored through to its logical conclusion, often unexpected, yet completely thriling and satisfying. I've gotten so used to the high concept of his Anno Dracula saga that it was a joy to be reminded of that thrill here, as Raymond Chandler narrates a hard-boiled inv When I first started reading Kim Newman stories, the best part was always the initial shock of an incredibly cool, clever concept, twisting and rearranging things out of popular culture and the real world into a kind of thesis to be explored through to its logical conclusion, often unexpected, yet completely thriling and satisfying. I've gotten so used to the high concept of his Anno Dracula saga that it was a joy to be reminded of that thrill here, as Raymond Chandler narrates a hard-boiled investigation into Hollywood mad-science in Hollywood with Boris Karloff. Newman uses the characters' biographies and their works to bring them to life and make them a lovable, compelling pair working a strange case together of rich people out to make movies and live forever in the literal sense not the artistic sense, but nonetheless using move magic to make it happen. Terrific.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kevin L

    Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff teamed up against Hollywood horrors? Yes, please! This book is an absolute blast! Newman nails the hard boiled voice and self awareness of Chandler and brings both him and Karloff to vivid life (“It’s alive!”) as they go up against Pyramid Pictures and their ‘benefactor’ Ariadne. There are some truly hilarious lines of dialogue along with bonkers set pieces. And clowns! It has evil clowns! My quibbles with the book are much the same as with Chandler’s work, a tend Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff teamed up against Hollywood horrors? Yes, please! This book is an absolute blast! Newman nails the hard boiled voice and self awareness of Chandler and brings both him and Karloff to vivid life (“It’s alive!”) as they go up against Pyramid Pictures and their ‘benefactor’ Ariadne. There are some truly hilarious lines of dialogue along with bonkers set pieces. And clowns! It has evil clowns! My quibbles with the book are much the same as with Chandler’s work, a tendency to just drop a paragraph of exposition on the reader rather than spend time spinning out the yarn. Great fun and highly recommended, especially the audiobook edition.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Something More Than Night by Kim Newman is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late October. Yay, a book by a guy my boyfriend respects within the arena of horror and giallo films! Real proud of you, Kim! The gritty, witty, bulky wording is heavy with the seen-it-all characterization of Raymond Chandler, a writer and a man who seems to know all there is to know (and who there is know) about Hollywood horror, literature, and uncertain homicides within Southern California. In kind, he’s tops at i Something More Than Night by Kim Newman is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late October. Yay, a book by a guy my boyfriend respects within the arena of horror and giallo films! Real proud of you, Kim! The gritty, witty, bulky wording is heavy with the seen-it-all characterization of Raymond Chandler, a writer and a man who seems to know all there is to know (and who there is know) about Hollywood horror, literature, and uncertain homicides within Southern California. In kind, he’s tops at interrogating people to reach behind their celebrity facade and into the marrow of what weaknesses and ill proclivities they hide from the world; that is, if he’s not lost in his cups.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mike O'Connor

    A very entertaining read for a particular niche of readers: not only should the reader be familiar with both Boris Karloff and Raymond Chandler, but should also have at least once wondered “Hey, who exactly killed the chauffeur?” after reading The Big Sleep. If that’s you, I suspect like me you’ll find much to enjoy here. The plot is as convoluted as one of Karloff’s 40’s Columbia programmers, but Newman has done such a good job in bringing his two protagonists to life (and one of them at least A very entertaining read for a particular niche of readers: not only should the reader be familiar with both Boris Karloff and Raymond Chandler, but should also have at least once wondered “Hey, who exactly killed the chauffeur?” after reading The Big Sleep. If that’s you, I suspect like me you’ll find much to enjoy here. The plot is as convoluted as one of Karloff’s 40’s Columbia programmers, but Newman has done such a good job in bringing his two protagonists to life (and one of them at least twice at that!), that some of the far out plot elements only added to the charm. Highly recommended.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Farina

    I was intrigued by the back copy of this book and how it sucked me in with two of my favorite famous people between Boris Karloff and Raymond Chandler. I was hooked from page one. It had that great hard broiled language that many people like myself fall in love with while reading a Crime Noir story. The characters were rich and the plot went at breakneck speeds. Highly recommend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Enjoyed this horror/mystery/Karloff /Chandler mashup. Really good stuff if you like Phillip Marlowe stuff and are interested in horror movies and monster stars of the early thirties(lots of inside stuff). Fast paced and fun—highly recommended

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bobby Panichella

    I thought this going to be a fun read but it wasn't but if you want to read it go ahead but I really don't Recommended it. I thought this going to be a fun read but it wasn't but if you want to read it go ahead but I really don't Recommended it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jason Payne

    Raymond Chandler and Boris Karloff as private investigators in a mashup of hardboiled pulp, horror, and science fiction. Unlikely but it all works a treat.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jay Rothermel

    A brilliant headlong Hollywood horror thriller. I wish I could read it again for the first time. Really a gem!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    A weird and wild ride that magically mixes murder and misters with Chandler and Karloff on the case.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jon

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nik Dirga

  30. 4 out of 5

    Justin Smiloff

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...