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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The macabre and the mundane, 1 July 2004
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Overnight (Hardcover)
After Campbell's career high with The Darkest Part of the Woods I had high hopes for this novel, but unfortunately it's only semi-successful. The story concerns a group of workers at a new bookstore (which is, as you'd expect from Campbell, haunted), and their fate when they have to work overnight at the shop. As ever Campbell gives some good descriptive writing, and the final third when the lights go out and the horror kicks in is as eerie as anything he's ever written. The downside is that a lot of the novel is deeply tedious. Campbell has drawn on his real life experience of working in a bookstore, with the vast majority of the novel seeming to consist of characters endlessly stacking and restacking books on shelves - it may be accurate, but it's also very boring. The novel is an ensemble piece which has benefits and drawbacks - on the plus side you never know who (if anybody) is going to survive the night; on the downside having a large cast with no clearly defined 'lead' sometimes makes for a bitty experience (and the fact that I had to refer to my handwritten notes to remind me who each character was a couple of hundred pages in is clearly not a good sign).
Worth sticking through the early mundane chapters for the supernatural finale, The Overnight is a good book - but not one of Campbell's best.
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The Overnight
The Overnight by Ramsey Campbell (Hardcover - 1 May 2004)
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