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One Rainy Night by Richard Laymon

One Rainy Night (1991)

by Richard Laymon

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358845,953 (3.45)8

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English (6)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (8)
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One Rainy Night takes place in a small California town, where on one evening, black rain falls from the sky, and turns anyone who the rain lands on into a complete ultraviolent psychopath whose only concern is to inflict violent suffering on anyone they can get a hold of. The novel follows several different groups of individuals related to each other in some way as they try to survive this evening. The scenarios range from a babysitter trying to keep a child safe, to a cop trying to find his girlfriend, to a group of individuals barricaded in a restaurant.

The concept of the novel is interesting and there were some scenes that worked well. I wanted to really like this novel since I’m generally a fan of Laymon’s work, but there were several things holding this novel back. One thing is that there were some weak characters in this novel, especially a trio of teens and their girlfriends who didn’t need the rain to become fiendishly evil. They didn’t come off as real characters to me. I also thought that there was some inconsistency in how the characters reacted to the black rain that wasn’t well explained. There was also some over the top violence in some places. Overall, I thought it was an enjoyable read but not something that I would consider a great horror novel.

Carl Alves – author of Conjesero ( )
  Carl_Alves | Jun 25, 2017 |
One Rainy Night - Richard Laymon ****

I have been a Laymon fan for a number of years since first picking up 'Island', but after a while all his books seemed to blend into one. The last few that I have read (including Beast House) have all failed to grip me and dare I say it, become a little boring.

Fortunately One Rainy Night offered something a little bit different and was just enough to make me want to rediscover Laymon. Obviously all of his books follow a distinct pattern whereby the reader can expect to find gratuitous violence, rape and occasionally incest or paedophilia. Some people rate his books low as they cannot handle the subject matter but most readers these days seem to know what to expect.

This novel is no exception, containing graphic rape scenes and killings galore. A local black lad is burnt alive by a gang, and starts with the investigation into the killing just beginning. However two days later a thick black rain descends upon the town, turning whoever it touches into a psychopathic killer with a lust for blood. Some people welcome this change in their personality while other try to remain safe and look out for the safety of others. What Laymon attempts to convey to us is that whatever bad things can happen to us in life, it is our underlying morals that will steer any decisions we make.

The novel follows 4 groups of individual parties and explores how they cope with the deadly precipitation. I won't give away any spoilers but there are a number of twists and turns that will keep the pages turning (although I feel the ending was a little weak and not too hard to work out).

Well worth a read and an ideal introduction to the author. ( )
  Bridgey | Feb 11, 2014 |
This is a fantastic book, the kind that lingers in your mind with vivid images. Lots of gore and nudity, not for the faint of heart. ( )
1 vote IntrinsiclyMe | Apr 3, 2010 |
This book was very creepy. It made me uncomfortable as I read it, in the very best way. I loved it. ( )
  lesleydawn | Jul 3, 2009 |
One Rainy Night is my fourth Laymon book after In The Dark; Darkness, Tell Us and Among The Missing. I have learned not to expect any depth or character development in a Laymon book. All of this is thrown overboard in favor of suspense and action.

But in this one, I don't know. It just didn't hang together well. Don't get me wrong, the idea is killer. One night in the isolated town of Bixby, a rain comes. Simply going out into the rain will turn a person homicidal. It could have been Laymon's 'Salem's Lot. In the hands of Stephen King or Bentley Little this would have been a classic. But it isn't.

Part of the problem is that Laymon focuses on too small a group of people. After the first few chapters you forget that there are more than ten people in Bixby. Maybe between chapters it would have been helpful to show what else is going on in the town. Vignettes of the townspeople committing crazy, violent acts would have spiced up the narrative (who doesn't like a little ultraviolence?) and would have helped show what a wide ranging mess this supernatural rain has caused.

Also, it often seems like the characters aren't especially concerned. One of the groups you follow has the time to park it on a sofa and watch A Fistful Of Dollars. Why wouldn't they spend that time barricading themselves in?

Another thing is the crazies themselves. It seems like the rain drives people over the edge and turns them into animals. Great! Then later in the book they are acting more rational. Being scared off by threats of violence. Where was the madness we saw earlier? When some of the good guys get wet they can just sort of shrug it off. We aren't even told how they do it. It just seemed like Laymon changed the rules whenever it suited him.

If One Rainy Night were a movie, it would be the type of move where you are hoping for a remake to improve the original. The idea was there, it just wasn't followed through. ( )
  jseger9000 | May 11, 2007 |
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Für Wren und Ida Marshall, zwei der besten Menschen, die ich kenne. Möge das Glück der Iren immer mit euch sein.
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Das ist wirklich verdammt bescheuert, dachte Hanson.
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One Rainy Night depicts graphic violence and sex underscoring the dark side that supposedly lurks beneath us all. Once the mysterious thick black rain starts to fall, townsfolk begin to run amuck.
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