Book Reviews

Night Things by Michael Talbot

by Michael Talbot
Published by Valancourt Books on 2/3/2015
Genres: Dark Fiction, Fiction, Horror, Supernatural, Thriller
Pages: 189
Format: eBook
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Built by a madwoman during the Victorian era, Lake House is a 160-room mansion in the Adirondacks with stairways that lead nowhere, bizarre rooms designed to distort the senses, endless series of mazelike halls-and a century-long history of violent deaths. Lauren Montgomery, her son Garrett, and her new rock star husband Stephen Ransom have just arrived at Lake House, anticipating a long and relaxing summer. But what they don't know is that their rental home is actually a labyrinthine puzzle at whose center lurks something unspeakably evil . . . An inventive and chilling haunted house story in the vein of Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, Michael Talbot's Night Things (1988) is a page-turning mixture of horror and fantasy from the author of The Delicate Dependency.


Lake House is like some dark amalgamation of the Winchester House and Hill House. The angles are all off, there seems to be more room on the inside than the outside indicates, and Lake House has its own dark history. Unfortunately, most of the family staying over the summer are not aware of it.

I won’t delve into the story description too much, since the synopsis already does that. I will say that I thought this was an extremely well written, fast paced story. It doesn’t have the literary impact of say, Hill House, but it does indeed have an impact.

I loved the 2-3 story lines going on because they always left the me guessing. The character interactions between the wife and her new husband were kind of cliche, but I didn’t mind that so much because the narrative only stayed with them briefly and then quickly moved on to the mysteries within Lake House. There were a few of them, and they were out of this world.

For me, it’s rare that the ending of a haunted house story delivers. Usually the endings are sort of hokey and they’re mostly the reason I don’t read many HH tales these days. This book was a delight, well written and well paced, surprising and just plain fun.

Highly recommended to fans of literary horror fiction and haunted houses!

*I received a free copy of this book from Valancourt Books in exchange for an honest review. This is it.*

About Michael Talbot

Michael Talbot was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1953. As a young man, he moved to New York City, where he pursued a career as a freelance writer, publishing articles in Omni, The Village Voice, and others, often exploring the confluence between science and the spiritual.

Talbot published his first novel, The Delicate Dependency: A Novel of the Vampire Life as an Avon paperback original in 1982; though never reprinted, it is regarded a classic of the genre, frequently appearing on lists of the best vampire novels ever written, and secondhand copies have long been expensive and hard to find. His other horror titles, both cult classics, are The Bog (1986) and Night Things (1988).

But despite the popularity of his fiction among horror fans, it was for his nonfiction that Talbot was best known, much of it focusing on new age concepts, mysticism, and the paranormal. Arguably his most famous and most significant is The Holographic Universe (1991), which examines the increasingly accepted theory that the entire universe is a hologram; the book remains in print and highly discussed today.

Michael Talbot died of leukemia in 1992 at age 38.

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