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Walker has always been a central force in the morally grey Nightside -- he'll do just about anything, good or bad, to maintain the status quo.

But all that changes in the eleventh Nightside book, along with a lot of other stuff in the mystery zone between good and evil. Unfortunately "The Good, The Bad and the Uncanny" is a mixed bag of supernatural plots: it seems less like a cohesive book than a trio of interlaced short stories, and two of them suffer from some severe issues with pacing... but the subplot about Walker and John is tragically, horrifically brilliant.

As usual, John has weird cases -- first he has to get an elf lord (nicknamed Screech) from one of the Nightside to the other... and Walker is determined to stop him (cue werewolves, Neanderthal bikers, etc). As payment, Screech has some mildly freaky news for him. Then John is hired by Larry Oblivion, a zombie detective who wants to find his brother... except John can't find him. Oh yes, and his brother Hadley Oblivion, the terrifyingly divine Detective Inspectre, is back in the Nightside.

Finally, John is contacted by Walker, who reveals that he's terminally ill, and wants John to be his successor in the Nightside. Of course, John refuses -- and as he investigates the whereabouts of Larry's brother, Walker keeps popping up to show John the good, the bad and the uncanny about his job. The problem is, he isn't revealing everything to John -- and John starts to realize that Walker is more dangerous than ever before.

"The Good, the Bad and the Uncanny" is probably the wobbliest Nightside novel thus far -- it's basically a novella with two short stories twined around it, with very little connecting them. The central story about Walker is absolutely brilliant, a dark gem about temptation, fanaticism and mortality, but one of the side-plots is never really finished (except for a "to be continued" at the end), and the other is wrapped up rather hastily.

Fortunately the Nightside is as weird and deliciously freaky as ever; Green dabbles in a mansion dragged into hell, a transvestite super-heroINE in a fluffy pink car, the ultimate drug den, and a lobotomized Argus who can see the entire Nightside. And his writing is as vivid ("she grinned back at me like a shark scenting blood in the water") and clever as ever (when a trio of witches start yelling "All hail John Taylor, who shall be king hereafter!", he just says, "Alex put you up to this, didn't he?").

And there's a brilliant climactic scene with John and Walker, reminiscent of Christ being tempted by the Devil with all the kingdoms of the world... except this is the Nightside. On the other hand, some sections are stretched out -- there's a thirty-page car chase, and a forty-page flashback that has little to do with the plot.

Snarky anti-hero John Taylor is in some unpleasant situations here, especially since his gift sometimes doesn't work right, and we see how rock-hard John's principles can be. And Walker is a tragic, frightening figure here, a fanatical man who has sold his soul to maintain the Nightside, and is faced by the question of what will happen when he's gone. The Oblivion Brothers aren't quite as engaging -- often they seem like pallid copies of Dead Boy and the Walking Man.

John Taylor sees "The Good, The Bad and the Uncanny" in the eleventh Nightside novel, a wildly uneven affair that leaves one door open for mayhem in the next outing. Worth reading, but flawed.
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First Sentence: This is the Nightside.

Things are changing in Nightside. An elf--never trust an elf--hires PI John Taylor as an escort across Night. Then Larry Oblivion, the Dead Detective, asks to help him find his brother who disappeared during the Lilith War. But the biggest concern is Walker, who runs Nightside on behalf of the Authorities. He wants to retire and have PI John Taylor assume his position.

A book with a compelling opening is a joy, and Green writes great openings. I am always staggered by imagination and his ability to make the unreal seem real, unpleasant as that sometimes is.

This book blends humans--sometimes loosely defined as such--monsters and mythical characters, such as Puck; but not Shakespeare's Puck. To balance the graphicness, Green employs a delightful humor and includes references to contemporary culture and the occasional nod to Shakespeare. In fact, the book itself has a rather Shakespearean feel to it.

These are not pure fantasy books; there is some real substance and insightful observations and truth tucked in amongst the action, including a rather sad but honest observation on drugs. When John asks Walker whether the power ever goes to his head, Walker responds "...There isn't one of them that really likes or even respect me. It's the position, and the power that comes with it." Isn't that true for most people who are famous or powerful--people agree with them and laugh at their jokes not because of who they are but because of the power they hold.

At one point, Taylor talks about the value of the less important..."Is their pain any less? Their deaths any less final"...leading me to think of Shylock's speech about the Jews "...If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?..."

Green is an excellent writer and this is clearly a transitional book. I cannot help but look forward to my next visit to the Nightside.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UNCANNY (Para/Mys-John Taylor-Nightside/London-Cont) - VG
Green, Simon R. - 10th in series
ACE Books, ©2010, US Hardcover - ISBN: 9780441018161
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Latest volume in the Nightside series. These are fantasy novels about John Taylor, a private investigator in the Nightside. Which is London off the beaten tracks and round the dark corners. Where you can find anything and anyone you can possibly imagine. And everything that you can't.

This is the tenth in the series and whilst most of them are quite accessible for new readers there is a fair amount of backstory by now so you're better off starting with the beginning book Something from the Nightside.

Regular readers read on.

This one runs for two hundred and seventy five pages, and is divided into eleven chapters plus a short prologue and epilogue. John has a couple of cases over the course of the book, firstly escorting an elf across the city in order to deliver an important message. And then helping find a missing person.

At the same time Walker, the man who runs the nightside, has a job offer for John. One that he can't possibly refuse.

Although he's certainly going to try to...

As ever with this series there's a fantastic amount of invention, with interesting characters and concepts and sights being described in throwaway lines that make the Nightside such a fascinating creation. But this one, as mentioned in other reviews, does come in sections and also exists to set up changes to the series.

Roughly the first third is one long chase scene leading up to a plot point. Although this section is hugely entertaining, thanks not to least to a character called Ms. Fate. A superhero with certain gender issues.

Then there's a long flashback as one character fills John in on some important information.

And the missing person business plus the Walker business take up the rest of the book. This does offer some great scenes between John and Walker though and give you a lot of moral food for thought, as John has to face up to some tricky questions.

Also, as has happened since the series got the two of them together as a couple, Suzie barely features once again. I wouldn't mind to see them working together for the entire course of the story, but the reasons for it happening this time are not as contrived as you might initially expect and do have a bearing on the plot.

The epilogue comes back to something from earlier in the book and leads directly into the next novel in the series A Hard Day's Knight (Nightside).

So whilst it's not the best Nightside novel yet, it does have a lot of good points.
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VINE VOICEon 28 March 2010
This is the tenth book in the Nightside series and actually a pretty good one too, except for a couple of things that I wasn't happy about, well one in particular lol but I won't spoil it for you.

The humour is there, the macabre nature of the Nightside and it's inhabitants is there and the inevitable trip through the Nightside is there with bells on. If you like SRG and the Nightside series then you will like this one, and it does move the overall story arc of the series on a bit. We find out a lot more about Walker and what exactly he does in the Nightside, we are introduced to some new characters and reintroduced to some old characters, but a lot of my favourites - Suzie, Eddie, Dead Boy, are only mentioned in passing or in it briefly. They also manage to kill off a few people that I actually like so that's really what I'm not happy about. I'm giving it 3.5 stars because of the killing off of a couple of my favourite characters.

Oh and John may have a new job in the next book, or at least a lot of work and cleaning up to do.

Book reviewed 22 Jan 2010
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on 7 June 2015
in continuity an almost a filler for some odd reason but still worth it is you've stuck with the series for this far!
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on 13 October 2016
Bloody love these books Great read. I won't review the story because you need to start at book one :)
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on 7 October 2014
Another great instalment of the Nightside saga, gotta love John Taylor
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on 3 August 2010
One thing i have noticed about the Nightside series is that it sucks on the small details. It is inconsistent. Example:
Taylor previously learns of the Speaking Gun origin, yet he claims that he doesn't know where it comes from. Walker told him in the previous volume he would like Taylor to replace him yet he acts shocked now. Theres many others and it is seriously pissing me off. Otherwise a mediocre read that others reviewers have summed up, but the series seems to get worse as it goes on.
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on 21 March 2011
after reading some other reviews i was slightly worried about this book, i knew i was going to buy and read it as i've followed the seris from the begining, however i'm pleased to say in my opinion it was up to scratch. as always, it was fast paced, well written and kept you wanting more, i will accept the argument that, it may, at times, of felt like a filler for the next installment, but only so far; as many things get settled. get it, you'll enjoy it.
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on 3 October 2011
The book was super value and in superb condition, the postage was cheap and got my book within time stated by seller. Would definitely used this seller again, thank you.
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