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on 19 May 2006
This gathering of short stories by Connolly is exceptional. It is well worth the read, its darkly humorous at times and stomach turning at another! The short stories are all real page turners, from "Mrs Froom the Vampire" to "The Cancer Cowboy Rides." The best one by a long shot, has to be "The Inkpot Monkey". Connolly even manages to bring Charlie Parker back to print with a short story named "The Reflecting Eye".

Its a collection of, as you would call it, tales from the dark side, or on the far side of safe! Any one liking horror stories with a nice twist, take the plunge and enjoy!

Writing short stories can be a chancy business, but connolly romps home with this book!

One thing this book taught me, look under the bed, lock the windows down tight, dont play near pools, and never ever go to a school where the mascot is made up of bones.........
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 14 December 2004
As with his previous book, Bad Men, this a departure for Connolly. As with his previous book, it's not quite as super as his Charlie Parker series, but that doesn't mean it isn't grand nonetheless. Beautifully bound, it's a collection of short horror stories, and two novellas, one of which - "The Reflecting Eye" - features Parker, and means that this collection is a must for fans of the series.
It's a rich collection, there is no denying it. It's a kind of compendium of influences, and a homage, too, with hints of everyone from Stephen King to Edgar Allan Poe to Ray Bradbury. There's not a bad story amongst them, though a couple are slightly less great than others. Far outweighing those, though, are the standouts. "Deep Dark Green" is a superb little piece, and "The Inkpot Monkey" is once again brilliance, as it was in Karin Slaughter's "Like A Charm" anthology, in which is was far and away the best story. "Miss Froom, Vampire" has a sly little sting in its tale, and "The Cancer Cowboy Rides", the opening novella, is absolutely great also.
Nocturnes is a huge sucess, and again shows that Connolly can do a lot more than just Charlie Parker. It's a fond evocation of the history of an entire genre, while bringing new things to it as well, namely Connolly lyrical and vivid use of language. I reccomend it wholeheartedly to Connolly fans, and fans of the horror genre. I would be reccomending it just as strongly even if the Parker novella wasn't included, which says quite a lot, I think.
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Without a doubt this collection of short stories, plus two novellas, are some of the best I've read and I'd happily recommend them to any fan of 'the darker side' of fiction.

For those who have enjoyed the Charlie Parker series then don't worry; he makes an entrance in the exceptionally creepy and long novella "The Reflecting Eye". I'm not giving anything away by saying you might not want to look too deeply into a mirror for while once you've read it!. For me, the very odd sounding first story "The Cancer Cowboy Rides Again" is perhaps the most original, the best worked but there really isn't a dud among these twisted, chilling tales of the disturbed and macabre.

Connolly has written these tales in tribute to some of the masters of horror and freely uses their influence. If you look carefully there are elements of James, Bradbury and even Mr King peering through the lines but it's cleverly and respectfully done.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this anthology but; what made it complete for me, was the Charlie Parker story - sorry, can't help being a bit of a fan.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 March 2016
A stunning collection of short stories,all with a supernatural element.
Very much in the style of M R James,the master of the supernatural tale which creep up on you in unexpected ways,even after many read throughs.I wont divulge the content of the stories as i would not want to spoil that pleasure,BUT if you love your James,Blackwood and Benson then I'm sure you will love thse tales.Essentially,it also contains a Charlie Parker tale.
Often overlooked,and who i would heartily recommend, if you love the short story format is H G Wells who wrote many many classic tales.
I own the audio version of this book and irs great on a cold winter night to snuggle up to the Mrs and listen to these masterly tales.
Nocturnes 2 is also very very good to boot!!
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on 1 August 2013
Almost verging on pastiche, redolent of King ,Bierce, James, Lovecraft, Bloch, Dahl and so on, but effective in their own right. Great sense of humour on several occasions. Liked it a lot. Am wondering if I've read so much of this genre that it fails to shock me? A friend found this book very disturbing...Connollly writes well, and is good on atmosphere, and I like the fact that the true horror is hinted at rather than disgusting shlock. A light touch goes a long way!
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on 13 November 2014
Most of the stories here are v ed familiar and most follow a very similar structure. They are interesting and as they are short are easy to read but are most are nit very original. My favourite was the first however the others are much shorter and less original. The theme of horror/fairy tales reminded me of other writers, in particular angela carter although without the unique perspective or originality. Overall some nice (gruesome) stories for easy reading.
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on 22 October 2004
I've been looking forward to this book ever scine i heard about it, having read all his previous novels. Just when you thought the horror genre could not deliver any more original material. along came Connolly. This contains some the most original and compelling stories in the genre. ofcourse the main aspect of me wanting it so badly is the novella "the reflecting eye" and marks the come back of Charlie Parker. it is a beautifully written story that reads almost as poetry and is once again as dark, thrilling, fast paced and original as every Connolly book to date. "The concer cowboy rides" is a strarkly original story and incredibly well written. it follows the life of a modern day grim reaper, even though he is not the typical grim reaper we all know. he is very chilling and complex as he tries to uncover what he is and why. All the stories in here are great scary tales, that rack up the suspence and leave u hanging at the end for more. "the underbury witches" being one of the best. If you are a fan of Connolly's work then u will love this, and if u're not then u will love it too! that is if u enjoy being scared. because this book enduces thoughts and dreams where u thought there were none.
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on 23 July 2013
If you like faintly spooky short stories, then this is for you. Have to admit, I only bought it 'cos it was cheap. I felt his writing was somewhat old fashioned and "wordy" in places, as though it was written in victorian times. Possibly, he was aiming for that effect. Who knows. Apart from that, nearly all the stories had no satisfactory endings or explanations. For me, anyway. This is not my usual style of reading, so my review is probably coloured by this. Horror readers might love it.
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on 1 March 2013
I don't really do reviews as such but I don't mind sharing my opinion [for what it's worth] with anyone who might be intrested. I can only say that I have read most of John Connolly's books and can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed every one so far, including this one. Nocturnes is a compilation of short stories which includes one featuring Charlie Parker, and is important in that, it also includes the first appearance of a character that features strongly in future Charlie Parker stories. Very much looking forward to his next book.
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on 25 April 2007
This is a book comprising a good few short stories aswell as two slightly longer 'novellas'. I personally think short stories are a briliant break from the everyday novel, they allow you a little bit of an escape from the real world whilst not being too long to put a temporary stop to your busy schedule.

Connolly especially does the short story genre well. These short stories are all brilliant in every way, Connolly mystifyingly manages to pack in chills, intricate details and empathic characters into ten page stories again and again.

The stories are all of Connolly's specialty in supernatural horror and a few of them really get your heart rate up, or potentially the contents of your stomach depending on your reactions to things.

For fans of Charlie Parker he also makes an appearance in the book which is somewhat of a linkup before Black Angel and includes the birth of his second daughter.

All in all a great book to read especially if you dont have the time to be absorbed by a full length novel. Even if you do have the time you may like me choose to continue right from one story to the next. A page turner full of page tuners.
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