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Night Music PDF, ePub eBook From the bestselling author of the Charlie Parker mysteries—"the finest crime series currently in existence" (The Independent)—comes a new anthology of chilling short fiction. A decade after Nocturnes first terrified and delighted readers, John Connolly, bestselling author of thirteen acclaimed thrillers featuring private investigator Charlie Parker, gives us a second volum From the bestselling author of the Charlie Parker mysteries—"the finest crime series currently in existence" (The Independent)—comes a new anthology of chilling short fiction. A decade after Nocturnes first terrified and delighted readers, John Connolly, bestselling author of thirteen acclaimed thrillers featuring private investigator Charlie Parker, gives us a second volume of tales of the supernatural. From stories of the monstrous for dark winter nights to fables of fantastic libraries and haunted books, from a tender account of love after death to a frank, personal, and revealing account of the author's affection for myths of ghosts and demons, this is a collection that will surprise, delight—and terrify. Night Music: Nocturnes 2 also contains two novellas: the multi-award-winning The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository and The Fractured Atlas. Night Music: Nocturnes 2 is a masterly collection to be read with the lights on—menace has never been so seductive.

30 review for Night Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    Char

    Night Music: Nocturnes Volume Two is an unbelievably wonderful collection of tales from a master. The only other short form John Connolly story I've read is The Wanderer in Unknown Realms, which I loved. Turns out that's part of a larger narrative: The Fractured Atlas-Five Fragments. This is a group of 5 tales of varying lengths involving an ancient, evil text. Who doesn't love a good story about an evil book? And here, there's 5, (count them, 5!),and they are simply delicious. Two of the other Night Music: Nocturnes Volume Two is an unbelievably wonderful collection of tales from a master. The only other short form John Connolly story I've read is The Wanderer in Unknown Realms, which I loved. Turns out that's part of a larger narrative: The Fractured Atlas-Five Fragments. This is a group of 5 tales of varying lengths involving an ancient, evil text. Who doesn't love a good story about an evil book? And here, there's 5, (count them, 5!),and they are simply delicious. Two of the other stories here are connected: The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository and Holmes on the Range: A Tale of the Caxton Private Library and Book Depository. These are killer pieces about characters in books coming to life and in what type of places they reside. I want to go there for a nice long visit. One of the reasons this collection is so perfect for me is all these stories about books. And book lovers. And book characters. And evil books. I can't resist! Plus, Connolly's characterization and writing are beyond compare. I loved this passage from the story The Wander in Unknown Realms : "There was a benignity to him that I liked, a happy disengagement from the futilities and ugliness of life's toil that one encountered in those who had discovered a way to take something for which they had only love and gratitude, and make it their means of support." Ain't that the truth? This was a lovely, dark collection. It ends with a sort of autobiographical essay called I Live Here ,which was enjoyable and included insights into John Connolly's boyhood experiences with horror fiction and movies. I found every story in this volume worthy of my attention and I can't say enough good things about it. My highest recommendation! *Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC. This is my honest review.*

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This will probably become a favorite collection for me and I now will start reading a lot of John Connolly's books. How have I missed him? Well I will miss him no longer. In this collection, Connolly presents us with his own take on the world of the unusual or rather ghostly, somewhat fantastical--OK, remove the somewhat. If you enjoy tales of the fantastic with an otherworldly bent and a definite literary edge, Connolly is your man and Night Music is your book. The first story, a bibliophile's d This will probably become a favorite collection for me and I now will start reading a lot of John Connolly's books. How have I missed him? Well I will miss him no longer. In this collection, Connolly presents us with his own take on the world of the unusual or rather ghostly, somewhat fantastical--OK, remove the somewhat. If you enjoy tales of the fantastic with an otherworldly bent and a definite literary edge, Connolly is your man and Night Music is your book. The first story, a bibliophile's delight, "The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository," deals with the implications of the characters of well-loved books taking on corporal form when their authors die. "The Fractured Atlas--Five Fragments" is a novella that deals in books by way of the occult and is as close as this book comes to the world of horror. Definitely has creepy moments. My absolute favorite, and candidate for having some of the most perfect lines of the entire book, is "Holmes on the Range." I strongly recommend it to anyone who has ever read (or watched) and enjoyed Sherlock Holmes in any of his various personas. Perfection. This collection of 12 stories ends with Connolly's discussion of his love of writing in this genre of the supernatural, the books that have influenced him, etc. I have now added Nocturnes to my reading list and will be checking out more of Connolly's backlist. Excellent writing, excellent stories. Excellent package and highly recommended if you enjoy stories of the unknown, the un-natural and the beyond, written in a very literate manner. A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    John Connolly serves up a wicked brew of short stories and two novellas in Night Music that might very well have you looking over your shoulder for the foreseeable future. There is a wonderful flavor of the old-fashioned about these tales. The Fractured Atlas was was my favorite in the mix. It will pull you into worlds other than the one we know. It is filled with obscure tomes, living, breathing books with whispery pages and long memories. Beware the man who doesn't like books and stinks becaus John Connolly serves up a wicked brew of short stories and two novellas in Night Music that might very well have you looking over your shoulder for the foreseeable future. There is a wonderful flavor of the old-fashioned about these tales. The Fractured Atlas was was my favorite in the mix. It will pull you into worlds other than the one we know. It is filled with obscure tomes, living, breathing books with whispery pages and long memories. Beware the man who doesn't like books and stinks because he is bad on the inside. Avoid the mud that carries a vile stench and remembers. This was chilling and excellent. Other standouts for me were The Blood of the Lamb, A Dream of Winter, The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository, and The Children of Dr. Lyall. A copy of this was furnished to me by Net Galley in exchange for a review. Thank you.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    John Connelly's first collection of short stories (Nocturnes) was a great book with many good stories. This book is equally good if not better. It contains both short stories and two longer novellas. The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository, one of the novellas is without a doubt my favorite story in the book. It's about a man that discovers that characters from books end up in The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository for real as soon as the author has died. But only t John Connelly's first collection of short stories (Nocturnes) was a great book with many good stories. This book is equally good if not better. It contains both short stories and two longer novellas. The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository, one of the novellas is without a doubt my favorite story in the book. It's about a man that discovers that characters from books end up in The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository for real as soon as the author has died. But only those really famous characters like Sherlock Holmes, Anna Karenina, and Dracula, etc. It was such a tremendous story and the “library” return later on in the book in one of the shorter stories. There is no Charlie Parker short story within this collection as it was in the last collection, but I did not mind because the stories are so good and so well written that even those that the subject wasn't really my cup of tea got at least 3-star rating. 4.5 stars I received this copy from Atria/Emily Bestler Books through Edelweiss in return for an honest review! Thank you!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    John Connolly’s “Night Music: Nocturnes Volume 2” gives the reader a high water mark for excellence. This compilation of stories, some short, some not so short arrives eleven years after “Nocturnes” (Volume 1) and should be on every ones reading list. Mr. Connolly displays his craft of the art of storytelling by supplying 13 well-crafted and amazingly powerful stories. Some are ghost stories, some a fairy tales and some are more unsettling than others, though all are outstanding. A couple of the John Connolly’s “Night Music: Nocturnes Volume 2” gives the reader a high water mark for excellence. This compilation of stories, some short, some not so short arrives eleven years after “Nocturnes” (Volume 1) and should be on every ones reading list. Mr. Connolly displays his craft of the art of storytelling by supplying 13 well-crafted and amazingly powerful stories. Some are ghost stories, some a fairy tales and some are more unsettling than others, though all are outstanding. A couple of the stories were published in the “Irish Times” so most readers have most likely nut run across them previously. Although it is difficult to choose my favorite stories in this volume as there is not a below average tale amongst them, I would have to choose two related tales, “The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository” and “Holmes on the Range.” The first, which opens this book, follows a middle aged booklover, Mr. Berger, a retired housing registrar, after he witnesses what looks like a suicide by train, a scene that strongly reminds him of the climactic moments from the novel “Anna Karenina.” When there is no body is recovered, Mr. Berger becomes obsessed with learning the truth behind what must have been a vision, and his investigation leads him to the establishment titled in this story, which includes a host of literature related secrets. “Holmes on the Range” is a much-shorter sequel to the first story, its title provids a clue as to the cast of characters in this story. The two “Caxton Library” stories are amazing stories of creativity and are in no way overdone. Another favorite tale in the book is “A Wanderer In Unknown Realms” which may just well be worth the price of the book. This story was previously released as a stand-alone book from Mr. Connolly’s own imprint “Bad Dog Books” in an edition of 750 copies and now commands a price of over one hundred dollars. It’s the story of madness, of obsession, and of books’ power to change the world and the people in it. Highly Recommended ! This copy is signed by John Connolly.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    John Connolly is a man who has the nearly unattainable ability to give "life" to each and every character he creates. The stories in this collection left me literally gaping at the sheer genius of their construction. Regardless of the length of the tale, Connolly is able to create an entire "world" with the strength of his words. I can point out many authors who have written a handful of extremely memorable short stories, but very rarely have I encountered such a discovery in a single collection John Connolly is a man who has the nearly unattainable ability to give "life" to each and every character he creates. The stories in this collection left me literally gaping at the sheer genius of their construction. Regardless of the length of the tale, Connolly is able to create an entire "world" with the strength of his words. I can point out many authors who have written a handful of extremely memorable short stories, but very rarely have I encountered such a discovery in a single collection of modern works! Just about everything in this collection will mentally take you away and deposit you into their unique "virtual reality". As if that weren't enough, so many of these stories were so commanding that I found myself going back to them in my own mind time and time again. I can honestly say that--even though some stories affected me more so than others--there is not a single thing I have to be critical about in regards to NIGHT MUSIC. John Connolly is a true artist at what he does. Some of my personal favorites include: --"The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository": A true book lover discovers his own paradise in the secret of Caxton's Private Library. The exquisite language used in this story really transports the reader into a world where virtually anything seems possible. I found this one beautifully haunting and poetic at once, and it is tied with one other story for my favorite in this collection. --"The Hollow King": I felt this to be one of the more horrific tales in this collection, with an atmosphere that I, nevertheless, found myself irresistibly drawn to. --"The Lamia": This was another emotionally disturbing tale detailing the life of a rape victim AFTER the occurrence, and a unique opportunity afforded her. . . --"Razorshins": A story that combines true crime in the Prohibition Era with a local "superstition". --"Lazarus": A disturbing look at the life of one of the Bible's most famous "miracles". --"Blood of the Lamb": A girl with Christ-like healing abilities gets a visit from representatives of the Vatican. This is the other story I consider tied for my personal favorite in this book. Although the material this tale is based upon contains a completely different set of emotions and circumstances, it is one that caught me thoroughly off guard, and I am still unable to get it out of my consciousness. A very memorable array of stories from first to last. This is a book you will want to go back to repeatedly! Highest Recommendation! *I received an advance e-copy of this book through NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paul Nelson

    Night Music is the second in John Connolly’s Nocturnes series of dark and chilling short fiction. Contained within are 12 stories, two multiple award winning novellas and a final section, I Live Here where the author talks of his fictional and supernatural influences. My favourite story, the one that nudged past the others, as Mr Connolly does set the bar pretty high, had to be The Fractured Atlas - Five Fragments. Which is a novella comprising of 5 loosely linked stories concerning a book of pow Night Music is the second in John Connolly’s Nocturnes series of dark and chilling short fiction. Contained within are 12 stories, two multiple award winning novellas and a final section, I Live Here where the author talks of his fictional and supernatural influences. My favourite story, the one that nudged past the others, as Mr Connolly does set the bar pretty high, had to be The Fractured Atlas - Five Fragments. Which is a novella comprising of 5 loosely linked stories concerning a book of power. Of the five the one I enjoyed most was The Wanderer in Unknown Realms where Mr Sorter is hired by a lawyer to investigate the disappearance of his client Lionel Spalding. Spalding had been buying books of the occult, spending large sums of money and the book he sought was The Atlas of Unknown Realms a book of maps, alleged realms beyond our own. The dark atmosphere and slow building tension are perfect, deep and edgy it felt like a much longer piece, which for me is the sign of an excellent short story. The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository is an award winning story where famous characters of fiction come to live when their authors die, discreetly hidden in a small town in the countryside. So when newly arrived Mr Berger sees a woman throw herself into the path of a train, the resulting lack of body and the fact that she mimicked and even looked as Anna Karenina would have looked has him thinking. This sees Mr Berger embark on an obsession with the incident which brings him to our Private Lending Library. A second story Holmes on the Range is also based around the lending library and unexpected events when Arthur Conan Doyle decides to kill off Sherlock and Dr Watson. The idea and premise of the library is liberating and kind of like a heaven for your favourite characters, wonderfully imaginative. Other stories worth a mention are Razorshins where a creature of nightmare haunts Maine in the prohibition era and sad little tale A Haunting about love and heart breaking loss. Night Music is an absolutely top notch collection of dark supernatural tales guaranteed to scupper your feelings of calm, from an author right at the top of my list of favourites. I enjoyed reading John Connolly’s thoughts and reminisces as much as the stories themselves and Nocturnes volume 2 comes highly recommended. Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jon Recluse

    A new John Connolly book is always an event, and his latest collection is no exception. Having already proven himself a master of Dark Fiction, it goes without saying that the short tales of horror here are all gems....dark, compelling and powerful journeys into the shadows that will thrill and chill any horror fan. Connolly's homage to the sub-genre of forbidden texts, The Fractured Atlas-Five Fragments alone is worth the price of admission. But.....the crown jewels of this collection are someth A new John Connolly book is always an event, and his latest collection is no exception. Having already proven himself a master of Dark Fiction, it goes without saying that the short tales of horror here are all gems....dark, compelling and powerful journeys into the shadows that will thrill and chill any horror fan. Connolly's homage to the sub-genre of forbidden texts, The Fractured Atlas-Five Fragments alone is worth the price of admission. But.....the crown jewels of this collection are something completely different, unexpected gifts for the book lovers in us all. With the novella, The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository, and it's companion short story, Holmes on the Range: A Tale of the Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository, Connolly has outdone himself, creating a special place where the characters of literature appear once their creators have passed away. In my opinion, the very best stories, in any genre, are works of imagination and originality, true classics inspire the imaginations of their readers. These are true classics, in every sense of the word....a heartfelt gift from Mr. Connolly, not only to the authors and books that inspired him, but to every lover of books...giving us a place that we would give anything to visit....and that fills our dreams, wondering who else may be wandering about there. I will be returning to these stories often, as often as I've returned to The Caxton in my mind. And finally, we come to I Live Here, an autobiographical essay where Mr. Connolly shares the books and authors that inspired him, told with a delightful candor, humor and even a chill from unexpected places. It goes without saying, my highest possible recommendation. This was an eARC from Netgalley, offered in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    2 novellas and several shorts highlight John Connolly’s writing skills with both the longer novella and the short story formats. The guy can flat out tell a story no matter what the length and I truly enjoyed every one of these stories. There is an old school flavor to a few of these and if you read the closing autobiographical essay “I Live Here” you’ll know why. Expertly done, as I have come to expect from Mr. Connolly. If you haven’t read him before, then you better start cracking. You have so 2 novellas and several shorts highlight John Connolly’s writing skills with both the longer novella and the short story formats. The guy can flat out tell a story no matter what the length and I truly enjoyed every one of these stories. There is an old school flavor to a few of these and if you read the closing autobiographical essay “I Live Here” you’ll know why. Expertly done, as I have come to expect from Mr. Connolly. If you haven’t read him before, then you better start cracking. You have some work to do… Be sure not to miss out on the Parker series either. Trust me. You will not regret it. *I received an advanced copy of this release from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Right up front I have to admit that I am a huge fan of John Connolly. For me he is right up there with Robert McCammon, Richard Matheson and Stephen King as writers of dark fiction. I wouldn’t call any of them horror writers per se, although they don’t seem particularly offended by it as horror is probably their first literary love anyway. What separates these giants, in my opinion, is that I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Right up front I have to admit that I am a huge fan of John Connolly. For me he is right up there with Robert McCammon, Richard Matheson and Stephen King as writers of dark fiction. I wouldn’t call any of them horror writers per se, although they don’t seem particularly offended by it as horror is probably their first literary love anyway. What separates these giants, in my opinion, is that their work, while horrifying at times, never fails to dig deeper into the humanity of the situation. Their characters are complex, often conflicted, and the stories are deep in meaning and emotional impact. Plus, they propel their stories forward in such a way that I can’t help but read them in as few sittings as possible. I love Connolly’s Charlie Parker series and recommend The Book of Lost Things to anyone I find, but I have limited experience with his short stories so I was very interested to read Night Music. Given that many of these stories are interrelated and some of them novella length, this isn’t really a traditional short story collection—it has a cohesiveness that made it even more enjoyable for me. The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository and its companion piece Holmes on the Range show that Connolly is not only a mature writer—but like the greats mentioned above, at heart he is still that young man that fell in love with the books he read in his youth. These two stories are homages to great literary characters, and to their writers. I don’t want to spoil even a word of these two stories so I will just say that if you love literature and great characters from Dickens, Doyle etc. these two stories are at times hilarious, and at all times tremendously clever and just plain fun to read. The Fractured Atlas stories, which tell of a diabolical and hopefully mythical book, is another connected set of tales that have an overarching Lovecraftian type of theme to them. Each story provides a different perspective, and often different time frame, to the overall story of the book. And it is a great story that emerges like peeling the skin off of an onion. There are a couple of classic style stories such as “Razorshins” and “The Lamia” as well as some that travel unusual territory like the brilliant bit of heresy “Lazarus.” While on the subject of heresy, I have to give a shout out to “The Blood of the Lamb” which is one of the most chilling stories that I have read in a long time. The ending is like stepping into an elevator shaft. Connolly is very generous in that all of the stories are annotated and give you the details on how they came to be, because as we are told, songs and short stories are not written, they are already there and are merely discovered. In “I Live Here,” Connolly treats the reader to an extended, and often hilarious, autobiographical section in which he mentions the authors and works that impacted him, as well as, perhaps as interestingly, those that didn’t. I thoroughly enjoyed this section. It felt like the wizard came out from behind the curtain, pulled up a chair, and proceeding to tell you how all of the magic worked---or at least where it came from. However, don’t get too comfortable because “I Live Here” will give you chills as you are asked quite seriously are there people assigned to guard actual dangerous places so that people stay away? What if Hill House (or Hell House for that matter) was in your neighborhood? Would you want to visit? Could you stop yourself? Of course 5 stars. It’s Connolly so it is brilliant.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    Though I seem to have abandoned the Charlie Parker series, which despite being thoroughly excellent just went on and on and on, this collection was still something on my radar. Connolly is, after all, a very talented author. And sure enough, Night Music showcases that talent thoroughly, although not without some caveats. The book is 9/10th fiction and 1/10th essay on how that fiction came to be, not story introductions per se, but instead a glimpse into Connolly's psyche to help the readers unde Though I seem to have abandoned the Charlie Parker series, which despite being thoroughly excellent just went on and on and on, this collection was still something on my radar. Connolly is, after all, a very talented author. And sure enough, Night Music showcases that talent thoroughly, although not without some caveats. The book is 9/10th fiction and 1/10th essay on how that fiction came to be, not story introductions per se, but instead a glimpse into Connolly's psyche to help the readers understand the inspirations, motivations and ideas behind the words. One doesn't need to read the essay to understand that Connolly's main inspiration (with notable exception of the most popular modern genre author) is classic horror of bygone days, namely M.R.James. In fact Night Music stories read very much like old time pastiches in pacing and manner and subject matter, albeit considerably more readable. Books are, of course, a thing of personal preference and personally I don't care much for classic horror, I find it quite slow and frequently tedious and plodding. Connolly obviously loves them enough to emulate them. If M.R.James is your idea of a good read, you'll love Night Music passionately. If not, there is a good chance you'll still love it or at least like and appreciate it as I did. There is much to admire and enjoy here, although none as much as the Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository, which is an absolute literary delight, a bibliophile's dream and one of the best fictional places of its kind since Ruiz Zafon's. The companion story (the two of them bookending the collection) is also absolutely terrific and one of the most original take on the famous detective oeuvre out there. Very, very clever, both. The rest of the stories are good, solid, but not amazing. The cosmic horror novella, for example, is thoroughly well written, original, creative, but it reads so very slowly. The two aforementioned stories are really the stars of the show here. The essay part is interesting, it makes one think Connolly might have a future in nonfiction writing. He's witty, erudite, highly opinionated (and quite so) and funny. Personally I'm not sure one should really get to know the creative types behind the creations to maintain the impartial, pure enjoyment of those creations, but alas, the essay was read and now I have a fair idea of Connolly as a person. So there it is, along with some decent critical analysis of classic horror. Pretty good read, this anthology, although one that felt very long, certainly longer than page count warranted. Much to enjoy for Connolly's fans & genre aficionados. Recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    It’s hard to believe actually that it’s been that long since Nocturnes – I’m a fan of short stories and novella’s, they fill in reading gaps and can be particularly beautiful and intriguing to read when in the right hands and of course they are definitely in the right hands here. Night Music contains a selection of short haunting stories and two longer novella’s – one of which, The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository, has become one of my favourite tales of all time. I actually rea It’s hard to believe actually that it’s been that long since Nocturnes – I’m a fan of short stories and novella’s, they fill in reading gaps and can be particularly beautiful and intriguing to read when in the right hands and of course they are definitely in the right hands here. Night Music contains a selection of short haunting stories and two longer novella’s – one of which, The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository, has become one of my favourite tales of all time. I actually read it twice. In fact I might read it again after writing this review… The collection definitely has something for everyone, including an essay that gives us some insight into the mind of the author, one of those times I think gosh, he should write some non fiction too – These read very differently to the Parker novels – but in a way are all the more brilliant for it, another string to the bow of an extraordinarily talented writer. Connolly’s prose is intuitive and absorbing, taking the reader to the dark side and enveloping them in a different world – I am hoping that we don’t have to wait another decade for more like this – a bit of a masterclass in the art of the short story, whilst this author and Mr King are still writing them, I don’t think we need fear the death of the format. Fantastic. Highly Recommended.

  13. 4 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    What the bobbins is this. The first story reads like it was written by a clever 14yo and the second one has switched POV back and forth about five times in a page and a half. I normally love Connolly's work, as well. DNF in favour of something that's been edited. Edit: Apparently the 14yo-type story is multi award winning and now I'm really confused. It's about the idea that popular characters from literature come alive, their life dictated by their book, and if you change the original book you c What the bobbins is this. The first story reads like it was written by a clever 14yo and the second one has switched POV back and forth about five times in a page and a half. I normally love Connolly's work, as well. DNF in favour of something that's been edited. Edit: Apparently the 14yo-type story is multi award winning and now I'm really confused. It's about the idea that popular characters from literature come alive, their life dictated by their book, and if you change the original book you change all the copies in the world. That's not exactly a brand-new never-before-conceived bit of spec fic, is it? Which, fine, not all ideas have to be new, it's all in the treatment. But there's nothing new or unexpected in the treatment here--to absolutely nobody's surprise the hero falls in love with a pretty tragic female character and changes her ending--and while it's perfectly readable and very nicely written in itself, why you'd put it at the start of a collection, still less give it an award, I could not say. Disappointing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mallory

    I bought this book long ago, it was probably one of my first John Connolly books I purchased besides The Book of Lost Things. However, I wanted to read the first volume before-hand as I prefer to read things in order. I loved the short stories in this book! It's hard to narrow down my favorites, but I'd say the following are my top three: The Caxton Lending Library & Book Depository might be my top favorite. I just love the idea of infamous literary characters comes to life! The other longer I bought this book long ago, it was probably one of my first John Connolly books I purchased besides The Book of Lost Things. However, I wanted to read the first volume before-hand as I prefer to read things in order. I loved the short stories in this book! It's hard to narrow down my favorites, but I'd say the following are my top three: The Caxton Lending Library & Book Depository might be my top favorite. I just love the idea of infamous literary characters comes to life! The other longer take, The Fractured Atlas, touches on the occult and little bit of horror. And lastly, Holmes on the Range is a must-read for any Sherlock Holmes fan! If you're into the paranormal, and love great writing definitely read this. If you're already a John Connolly fan, you'll enjoy reading these as well as learn how and where John has received his influence for writing over the years.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Superb collection of off-beat and unusual tales, all exquisitely imaginative. 'The Fractured Atlas - Five Fragments' would have to be my favourite, what with it being about the intangible evil of an ancient book (what reader of horror fiction couldn't love that idea?) And the five tales that make up the whole are so very cleverly assembled into one, fiendish whole. 'The Djinn' was the stand-out fragment for me, and I adored the character Eliza Dunwidge, the occult book dealer. ( 'What have you Superb collection of off-beat and unusual tales, all exquisitely imaginative. 'The Fractured Atlas - Five Fragments' would have to be my favourite, what with it being about the intangible evil of an ancient book (what reader of horror fiction couldn't love that idea?) And the five tales that make up the whole are so very cleverly assembled into one, fiendish whole. 'The Djinn' was the stand-out fragment for me, and I adored the character Eliza Dunwidge, the occult book dealer. ( 'What have you brought with you, Maggs? came the voice, muffled but still understandable from the other side of the door. 'A book, Miss' he said. 'It's an odd one'. 'It's a dangerous one, Maggs. I can smell it. I can hear it. It whispers. You ought not to have come to me with it'.) And then, of course, my reason for buying the book in the first place; 'The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository'. I couldn't resist the appeal of a story about a library where famed literary characters 'retire' upon their authors' demise. It's one of those ideas you can't believe hasn't been done before (perhaps it has, but I'd wager never done this well), and does make you wonder what your own favourite characters get up to if they suddenly sprang into existence? (But not Eliza Dunwidge - the real world doesn't need one of her!) Overall this was a fantastic collection and Connolly is fast becoming a firm new favourite of mine.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mommacat

    John Connolly is best known for his Charlie Parker series of books, but he likes to take time off now and then and write even darker fiction. For fans of the really dark stuff that's a real treat as Connolly is arguably one of the best writers of fiction in the world today. As the title says, NIGHT MUSIC is the second volume of short stories that he has published with Simon & Schuster/Atria Books. There are two novella length stories, one short, dark essay; the rest are "regular" (if you wil John Connolly is best known for his Charlie Parker series of books, but he likes to take time off now and then and write even darker fiction. For fans of the really dark stuff that's a real treat as Connolly is arguably one of the best writers of fiction in the world today. As the title says, NIGHT MUSIC is the second volume of short stories that he has published with Simon & Schuster/Atria Books. There are two novella length stories, one short, dark essay; the rest are "regular" (if you will) short stories. They run the gamut...there are stories about books, mythical creatures, even a fairy tale! I love when Connolly writes fairy tales...sigh... But, whatever you like to read, I will say that these are different than the Parker series. So take a break with John and see what he like to do in his off time. I had a blast. I hope you enjoy it too. I received my copy of NIGHT MUSIC: NOCTURNES VOLUME 2 from Atria Books: A division of Simon & Schuster in exchange for my review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Certain authors are just born to write short stories. And John Connolly is one of them! This is my first time reading one of his books. And now I am a big...no scratch that, I've crossed over to the dark side and turned into a huge fan. First off, it was the cover that caught my eye; creepy, dark, mysterious...perfect for the October release. And I am a sucker for awesome typography/graphic design. And the stories? All of them delightful in their own way. Some are pretty dark and scary (The Fractu Certain authors are just born to write short stories. And John Connolly is one of them! This is my first time reading one of his books. And now I am a big...no scratch that, I've crossed over to the dark side and turned into a huge fan. First off, it was the cover that caught my eye; creepy, dark, mysterious...perfect for the October release. And I am a sucker for awesome typography/graphic design. And the stories? All of them delightful in their own way. Some are pretty dark and scary (The Fractured Atlas), others downright terrifying (The Lamia) and the first and last, both featuring The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository (now that is a mouthful) are more fantastical and whimsical in tone. These two are also my favorites. Nice finishing touch is the essay with some musings of the writing kind. To sum it up: This Connolly can tell a good tale! Review copy supplied by publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a rating and/or review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kati

    I was so looking forward to this collection of short stories. I read the first volume a few years ago and fell in love. But this collection fell flat for me. I can't quite put my finger on why. The stories weren't bad, exactly, but they didn't seem to be the usual John Connolly quality I've come to expect after reading the first volume (as well as The Book of Lost Things). I felt the same way after reading the 3rd installment of the Samuel Johnson trilogy: it wasn't bad but when compared to prev I was so looking forward to this collection of short stories. I read the first volume a few years ago and fell in love. But this collection fell flat for me. I can't quite put my finger on why. The stories weren't bad, exactly, but they didn't seem to be the usual John Connolly quality I've come to expect after reading the first volume (as well as The Book of Lost Things). I felt the same way after reading the 3rd installment of the Samuel Johnson trilogy: it wasn't bad but when compared to previous installments, I know it could have been better.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling

    A great collection of short ( and not so short) stories.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Delightful collection of supernatural short stories that are all well written and enjoyable. I read this book in bite-size chunks, reading one or two short stories a night before bed. My two favourite stories were the very first, "The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository" which follows the idea that an authors characters can come to life in this library after they die, and "Holmes on the Range", a story that any fans of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy and is a companion to the first. Delightful collection of supernatural short stories that are all well written and enjoyable. I read this book in bite-size chunks, reading one or two short stories a night before bed. My two favourite stories were the very first, "The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository" which follows the idea that an authors characters can come to life in this library after they die, and "Holmes on the Range", a story that any fans of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy and is a companion to the first. Each story was unique and detailed, with complex and emotional characters, despite their short length. I especially enjoyed the annotations and personal comments, as well as the autobiographical section which alternate between being intriguing, intellectual, amusing... and chilling. It was a refreshing view behind the curtain. In all honesty I preferred these short stories far more than the first few Charlie Parker books I read; I think it takes a certain type of skill to hook and engage the reader, and to bring characters to life with a short, and John Connolly definitely has that skill. I was provided with an advanced review copy of this title by Atria Books through NetGalley.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Aina

    Nocturnes is one of my absolute favourite short story collection so I was really excited to get my hands on Night Music. Unfortunately I found it to be disappointing. Not to say the stories aren't appealing or the writing isn't evocative, but mostly there's nothing original about them. There's one about an ancient mythic creature from the woods, another about a man seeing the ghost of his wife, another about a miracle girl who can heal; all stories I've read variations of before. But mostly I di Nocturnes is one of my absolute favourite short story collection so I was really excited to get my hands on Night Music. Unfortunately I found it to be disappointing. Not to say the stories aren't appealing or the writing isn't evocative, but mostly there's nothing original about them. There's one about an ancient mythic creature from the woods, another about a man seeing the ghost of his wife, another about a miracle girl who can heal; all stories I've read variations of before. But mostly I did not care to read about Lazarus or Sherlock Holmes or Anna Karenina, if I wanted to read about them I'd find their books. The main novella brings up ideas about the power of books and universes, but it's hard to get into. The closing non-fiction essay is a notable look into the author's life (and his fanboyism of Stephen King) but by then I was pretty tired of reading about people reading books, when the book should be talking to me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gatorman

    Enjoyable collection of short stories and novellas from Connolly. Not as good as the original Nocturnes but still a worthwhile read. The last story, a non-fiction piece entitled "I Live Here", was a pleasant surprise and an interesting look into Connolly's love of mystery and the supernatural.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chantel Coughlin

    John Connolly is brilliant, in case you didn't know. I've loved everything I've read of his, and this new anthology is no exception. My only complaints? 1. this book is only being released as paperback. 2. the cover will not match the paperback cover of Nocturnes. Guess I'm just a book snob... ;-)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jasper

    originally posted at; http://thebookplank.blogspot.com/2015... John Connolly is best know for his Charlie Parker series a supernatural thriller series. A few years ago he released his first short story collection Nocturnes, this October he will add a the sequel, Night Music to the series. I have heard a lot of good new about John Connolly by several other bloggers. I have had his books on my to read list for a long time, but I have to admit that Night Music is my first book that I read of John Co originally posted at; http://thebookplank.blogspot.com/2015... John Connolly is best know for his Charlie Parker series a supernatural thriller series. A few years ago he released his first short story collection Nocturnes, this October he will add a the sequel, Night Music to the series. I have heard a lot of good new about John Connolly by several other bloggers. I have had his books on my to read list for a long time, but I have to admit that Night Music is my first book that I read of John Connolly. Night Music is as I mentioned a collection of short stories, and non featured I think a Charlie Parker story inside, so I can't judge on that. But John Connolly did convince me from his first story in Night Music. A lot of people that I talk to think, that when you read short stories all within one genre, that is gets boring, well I always say that they are wrong. There is so much to explore with in a theme of an anthology. And when it comes down to the short stories that are featured in Night Music, they are really diverse, ranging from stories that have a high supernatural influence, stories that are inspired by other books (will get to that), and the traditional horror story and/or the combination of it. There are a complete of thirteen different stories, could this be a sign of foreboding? Amongst these thirteen stories there are two well know novella's, one with which John Connolly won the Edgar Award back in 2014. Below you can find the complete list of the stories in Night Music. 1. The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository 2. The Blood of the Lamb 3. A Dream of Winter 4. The Lamia 5. The Hollow King: From the Universe of the Book of Lost Things 6. The Children of Dr. Lyall 7. The Fractured Atlas - Five Fragments i. The Dread and Fear of Kings ii. The Dijnn iii. Mud iv.The Wanderer in Unknown Realms v. And In Darkness Shall We Dwell 8. Razorshins 9. On The Anatomization of the Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier 10. A Haunting 11. Lazarus 12. Holmes on the Range: A tale of the Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository 13. I Live Here. In short story collection the first story should just have a certain kick to it, it should pique the readers interest to read the other stories. This is what John Connolly manages just superbly. The first story The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository won the Edgar Award and I can clearly see why. The story picks up with some thrilling elements following Mr. Berger, who has always been a very passionate about book and after he looses his mother he even more turn to them. One night he stumbles upon something weird that he can relate to a classic work of fiction and he finds a new goal in life finding that women again. This in the ends brings him to the Caxton Private Library. This is far from your ordinary library, granted it is a home for something book related. The Caxton Library is a home for characters. Yes thats right, characters from books. But only characters from authors that have passed away. and thus Mr. Berger gets his answers. And so much more as you don't stumble upon the Library, it stumbles onto you. The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository is a very fine story indeed. The Lamia is a terrifying story in the sense that it is something that could very well happen our day. This is a powerful story about domestic violence and about getting even. In the past Carolyn has been heavily abused by her husband, though they have been separated for a while he keeps on appearing an whether it is a figment of her imagination or real is hard to tell. Carolyn is on the brink of giving it up all together until she receives a letter that states " I can help you" with a name and address written on it, it's an invitation. Not knowing what Carolyn can expect she goes albeit reluctantly. During the meeting it becomes clear what it is all about, she doesn't want to do it at first but in the end is convinced to help. Did she feel regret? No. And she shouldn't. You can accept this as a supernatural horror story or as something more a story with a message. Razorshins is a myth-story. It takes place in the time when bootlegging was popular during the Prohibition. A famed creature called Razorshins is said to roam certain parts. The story is actually a retelling of several events in history and how things went down. I have to say that there is quite a lot of backstory given in this story about The King Solomon and the whole business. The thing that makes this story scary is the fact that Razorshins actually is speculated about there isn't a concrete creature sketched that causes the death/dissaperances. THe end message is clear though.Everything requires payment. On The Anatomization of the Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier is a truly terrifying story. The Anatomization of the Unknown Man is a piece of art about the opening of the body. It begin rather innocent telling a bit of background turns to a horrific story wherein it soon states that the artist in quest Frans Mier doesn't even exist. And from this point onwards you know that you are in the mind of a psychopath. It's a scary story that gave me chills across my spine. Holmes on the Range is a brilliant example of once again using the Caxton Library and Book Depository. If you are familiar with the history of Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle you know that Sherlock was killed in the story the Final Problem. This also caused Sherlock to come to the Caxton Library. Everything seemed fine enough as Holmes and Watson got settled. But not for long as Arthur Conan Doyle started to write the Hound of Baskervilles, which took place before The Final Problem, there by renewing Sherlock Holmes. Do you know where I am hinting at? Calling Holmes back to life, though not necessarily making the current Holmes disappear but more likely of calling a new Sherlock into being, it is thus that Sherlock has to convince Arthur of the possible problems that might arise if more new stories are being written with him in the lead. As I already said, a great story that shows a nice utilization of the Caxton Library idea. I live here is a perfect ending to the anthology where John Connolly discusses the theme of supernatural fiction in a great way highlighting different elements and what makes several writers unqiue in their field. A real eye opener, And the best thing is that is it based on a true story. Guess who? Night Music is an anthology that completely surprised me. I hadn't expected to be send a review copy by Hodder and Stougthon but I am sure glad that they did. This being my first book by John Connelly I didn't know what I was about to read but with these powerful thirteen short stories he has already won me over. Night Music features a great variety of short stories, from a more supernatural influenced one that can be found in the Caxton Library or the truly horrifying and terrifying of Razorshins and The Lamia, an other noted story is definitely The Fractured Atlas. All in all this anthology is definitely a winner. Creepy stories, perfectly suited from the coming fall/winter period. Read it with the lights on. Just to be sure.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nael

    This is definitely a good book, a collection of short stories with two novellas and an essay at the end of the book. Honestly i was not interested in the essay and was bored halfway through, since i have no interest in Connolly's opinion about old horror stories and movies so i couldn't continue reading, also i didn't read the story before it: Holmes on the Range: A Tale of the Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository since based on my experience with the first story in the book (a No This is definitely a good book, a collection of short stories with two novellas and an essay at the end of the book. Honestly i was not interested in the essay and was bored halfway through, since i have no interest in Connolly's opinion about old horror stories and movies so i couldn't continue reading, also i didn't read the story before it: Holmes on the Range: A Tale of the Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository since based on my experience with the first story in the book (a Novella)- The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository- i realized it would have some Sherlock Holmes major spoilers and i didn't finish Conan Doyle Canon yet, so i skipped it for later times when i finish it. Anyway, the stories are well written and has Connolly's feel all over them, it's a fantastic book, and though many reviewers referred to The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository as the best in the book, I however believe that "The Fractured Atlas" is the best among them -Which is also a Novella-, very eerie and creepy, haunting, well written and can catch you interest from the very beginning.it is divided into 5 parts, the first three parts each is a different story in it self which makes you feel that they are not connected, however the fourth part connects them all in a tightly knot, and things starts making more sense with the eventual conclusion in the fifth part. In this book you can find stories of life after death, super powers, haunted books, creatures, science and despair, every story catches your interest differently and then IT ENDS, which is a major BUM since you begin to get familiar with the characters and the story, but then it ends before it begins and then you have to start all over again with a new story and a new setting, but that's not the fault of Connolly or the book itself, it's the fault of short stories in general so yeah that's the only negative aspect to it. In general it is definitely a good read and highly recommended, SPECIALLY if you read at night.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jenni DaVinCat

    Although I did enjoy the first collection of short stories more than this collection; Night Music has some pretty incredible longer stories. Novellas, if you will. Lengthwise, it was just about as long as the first collection of short stories but Night Music contains far fewer stories as a whole. Connolly seems to have taken the Gaiman short-story route in setting some of his stories within the universe of other books he has written. I fully expect a full length Caxton Public Lending Library nov Although I did enjoy the first collection of short stories more than this collection; Night Music has some pretty incredible longer stories. Novellas, if you will. Lengthwise, it was just about as long as the first collection of short stories but Night Music contains far fewer stories as a whole. Connolly seems to have taken the Gaiman short-story route in setting some of his stories within the universe of other books he has written. I fully expect a full length Caxton Public Lending Library novel at some point in time, it's evident that the author loves that universe and I definitely enjoy reading about it, even if it has spoiled some classic books that I had been meaning to read. I guess it's my own fault there. I'm not entirely sure that the length of the last non-fiction story was necessary. Of course I love to hear how authors became inspired to write the way that they write, but it was an incredibly long essay that had a lot of complaining in it. I was completely surprised that Connolly didn't list Gaiman as an influence on him. To me, Connolly creates universes very similarly to the way Gaiman does in which magic and the supernatural seem perfectly logical and reasonable. It's easily believable and magical at the same time, which is not something Stephen King can do, even though Connolly cited him as one of his major influences. Maybe it's just me. I like Stephen King just as much as the next person (although there are waaaaay more skilled authors in the same genre) and he most certainly paved the way for the popularity of the genre but saying Stephen King influenced you at this point is like saying you own a cell phone. Common. The last non-fiction story aside, the remaining stories were very entertaining. The 5 Atlas novella was incredibly intriguing. I certainly enjoyed reading this book and hope that Connolly puts out some more stand-alone novels in the future!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    It was a hard decision but I finally decided to DNF this book. I originally started this as an October read for Halloween. But two months later, I decided that it’s probably time to shelf the book and move on to a new adventure. Don’t get me wrong though. Night Music is an excellent collection of eerie, spine-chilling, and grotesque short stories that make for a fun read on a stormy autumn night. I especially enjoyed The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository and The Fractured Atlas. It was a hard decision but I finally decided to DNF this book. I originally started this as an October read for Halloween. But two months later, I decided that it’s probably time to shelf the book and move on to a new adventure. Don’t get me wrong though. Night Music is an excellent collection of eerie, spine-chilling, and grotesque short stories that make for a fun read on a stormy autumn night. I especially enjoyed The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository and The Fractured Atlas. Connolly is great at crafting these beautifully dark tales full of mystery and intrigue. Who knows, maybe by next October, I’ll pick it up again and actually finish it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lavender

    I enjoyed how the stories were mildly disturbing and incredibly thoughtful. The stories were both imaginative and in-depth analysis of human nature. I also appreciated how the characters were personal and developed, even though we only know them for the short stories they're in.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ninvella

    If 'why' was the first and last question, then 'because I was curious to see what would happen' was the first and last answer. A version of it had been spoken to God Himself in the Garden of Eden, and it was always destined to be the reason for the end of things at the hands of men. Lo que más me ha sorprendido de esta colección de relatos es que son bastante variados, pasando de la fantasía al género de terror directamente, y además diferentes en cuanto a su extensión. Es verdad que uno de lo If 'why' was the first and last question, then 'because I was curious to see what would happen' was the first and last answer. A version of it had been spoken to God Himself in the Garden of Eden, and it was always destined to be the reason for the end of things at the hands of men. Lo que más me ha sorprendido de esta colección de relatos es que son bastante variados, pasando de la fantasía al género de terror directamente, y además diferentes en cuanto a su extensión. Es verdad que uno de los problemas que suelen tener las colecciones de relatos cortos es que es difícil situarse cada vez que empiezas uno nuevo: nuevos personajes, nuevas historias. Pero en este caso, cada historia era tan interesante que me he sumergido en ella en pocos minutos. Mi favorito sin duda alguna: The Fractured Atlas , uno de los más largos además, y quizá por ello de mis preferidos. Ha sido realmente inquietante, pero bastante menos oscuro que otros. Probablemente el más terrorífico haya sido The Children of Dr Lyall , un poco parecido al anterior pero con niños siniestros y deformes caminando por las paredes. Literalmente. Horrible pero de mis preferidos Con un inicio más clásico de cuento de hadas estaría The Hollow King , pero que acaba siendo más parecido a una pesadilla que una verdadera historia infantil. Entre los que más me han gustado de esta colección están también On The Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1673) by Frans Mier y Lazarus, bastante extraño y siniestro este último. La verdad es que en general me han gustado muchos (obviamente, algunos más que otros, pero eso es lo bueno de las colecciones de relatos, que hay para todos los gustos); y sin duda echaré un vistazo al resto de libros de este autor.

  30. 5 out of 5

    James Adams

    Obviously, I loved this book. A big reason for that is Connolly's writing style, not too rich, but not tepid either, with just enough quirk and warmth to be unique. And then there was the fact that many of the stories fall into favorite subgenres of mine, said bias making me reluctant to recommend it to everyone. The last entry, which is where I started, is a nonfiction account of both how he got into horror, both as fan and writer, and of a peculiar, ambiguous incident. This "story", I Live Here Obviously, I loved this book. A big reason for that is Connolly's writing style, not too rich, but not tepid either, with just enough quirk and warmth to be unique. And then there was the fact that many of the stories fall into favorite subgenres of mine, said bias making me reluctant to recommend it to everyone. The last entry, which is where I started, is a nonfiction account of both how he got into horror, both as fan and writer, and of a peculiar, ambiguous incident. This "story", I Live Here is one of my favorites, but if you have no interest in seeing where artists get their inspiration, give it a miss. The Fractured Atlas, all five parts of it, strongly reminded me of Thomas Ligotti's short stories, though this may have more to do with shared inspiration than direct homage. Either way, this series of stories revolving around sinister books was truly compelling. The other two stories about books are also linked, but are both more whimsical and meta. They are also a great deal of fun, if you are of a scholarly bent. There is a dark fairy story tied to one of Connolly's novels, The Book of Lost Things, two gentle, non-horror ghost stories, a strange zombie tale, a revenge story, and, one of my favorites, Razorshins, a supernatural gangster story. The best of these are haunting and powerful, the worst merely workmanlike, but the collection definitely leans toward the former. All in all, this is a great collection, and I look forward to reading it's predecessor, Nocturnes, soon.

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