All Hallow's Eve Review

Richard Laymon - Allhallow's Eve 4/5


                                                       




    All Hallow's Eve is an interesting novel for a variety of reasons. It's not your typical Laymon novel. By this time people knew what to expect from him so this to me felt as if he were showing the critics that he was capable of creating a novel that was void of its usual mayhem. Eve is Laymon's attempt at a straight horror novel and surprisingly it works. Laymon proves here that he is a great story teller, but there is the usual references to sex, but not as much as say Come Out Tonight. These are still Laymon characters and when I say that I don't mean that to be derogatory at all. Laymon's characters are all a little flawed and show us that everyone has a darkside. All Hallow's Eve is no exception except for the fact that the action is a bit subdued and a lot of the darker, more horrifying aspects are stripped away so you get a chance to see just how good Laymon is without the mayhem.

     A lot of people will tell you that this is by far the weakest Laymon novel and in some regards I disagree. To me it feels as if Laymon was once again trying to tap into mainstream success and in order to do that he had to change his style a little and there's nothing wrong with that. The novel itself is interesting and the house serves as a sort of catalyst for what's to come. There's enough there to keep you guessing and along the way we can see just how much the house actually plays into the overall plot. Laymon knows how to craft a story, and he's able to do this with a minimum amount of gore and sexual overtones.

     If you're just getting into Laymon though this isn't the place to start because it isn't like any of his other novels. Another thing that keeps this from being a perfect novel is the ending. You finally get to the moment and then Laymon unleashes hell. This is a classic set up but the ending is just weak. It felt as if it were an afterthought or something Laymon came up with simply because the deadline was approaching, I have no idea how or why this was able to slide past the publishers but it did. It was the only dull spot in an engaging novel.

     In terms of Laymon this is a decent four star effort that proves that he has enough talent to pull of a classic horror novel. The pacing is perfect and the characters are the kinds of people we expect to see in a Laymon novel. While he may have written this to silence the critics All Hallow's Eve is one of my favorite Laymon novels even if the ending was a bit weak. Once you finally get inside The Sherwood House Laymon lets loose and then we get to see what he's known for. Those last few pages are what made me a Laymon fan. He should have been huge but for some reason he never was and that is something I will never understand, He was a huge influence on my writing and All Hallow's Eve is a great novel that Laymon fans and non fans should read.


                                                 

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