The Overnight

Ramsey Campbell

Tor Books

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A bookstore can be a wonderful, welcoming place of both commerce and curiosity. That's the goal for Woody, an American recently transferred to England to run a branch of Texts. He wants a clean, orderly store and lots of sales to show his bosses when they arrive from the States for a pre-Christmas inspection. Not easy given the shop's location in a foggy strip mall.
And things keep going wrong. No matter how often the shelves are put in order before the doors are locked at night, when the staff returns in the morning, books are lying all over the floor, many damp and damaged beyond repair. The store's computers keep acting up-errors appear in brochures and ads and orders disappear completely. And even when the machines are turned off, they seem to glow with a spectral gray light.

The hit-and-run death of an employee in the store's parking lot marks a turning point. One employee accuses another of making sexual advances and they come to blows. Between one sentence and the next, one loses his ability to read. The security monitors display half-seen things crawling between the stacks that vanish before anyone can find them.

Desperate, Woody musters his staff for an overnight inventory. When the last customers reluctantly depart, leaving almost-visible trails of slime shining behind them, the doors are locked, sealing Woody and the others inside for a final orgy of shelving.

The damp, grey, silent things that have been lurking in the basement and hiding in the fog may move slowly, but they are inexorable. This bookstore is no haven. It is the doorway to a hell unlike any other.

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Book Excerpts

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  WOODYWhat time Is this supposed to be? He seems hardly to have slept but already there’s the travel alarm. No, it’s the cordless phone that comes with the house and is forever wandering off. The muffled shrilling makes him feel jet-lagged all over again, though it’s months since he moved to England. He sprawls out from under the quilt that’s meant to protect him from the northern English weather, only to find he’s left the phone downstairs. A robe would be welcome, but the tag is twisted around the hook on the door and the phone may not wait Maybe it’s

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Reviews

Praise for The Overnight

"A gripping horror extravaganza. Campbell is at the top of his form here, infusing every scene and scrap of dialog with a sense of inescapable menace and manipulating nature-imagery in such a way as to give it a malignant supernatural character. A richly textured tale of modern horror with classic roots, it confirms Campbell's reputation as one of the most formidable dark fantasists working today."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Darkest Part of the Woods

"Campbell's masterpiece. The strongest invention here is the horror out of space and time that's centered in Goodmanswood. Magically fresh and memorable."
--Kirkus Reviews on Darkest Part of the Woods

"A master storyteller of horror fiction, Campbell brings his landscapes to life, imbuing them with personalities and motives that are as inhuman as they are beautiful and terrible. Eloquent and complex, this dark fantasy belongs in most horror collections."
--Library Journal on Darkest Part of the Woods

"Campbell draws the reader into the story slowly, accumulating a wealth of detail and family dynamics. Next he introduces an escalating feeling of suspicion and mistrust in his characters' minds, letting their dread slowly seep into the narrative itself. By the time the supernatural elements come into play-and some of the imagery here is among Campbell's most disturbing-the effects are both claustrophobic and epic. One of the most unsettling voices in horror literature, back in fine, eerie form with The Darkest Part of the Woods."
--Fangoria on Darkest Part of the Woods

"Pure dark magic."--Cemetery Dance on Darkest Part of the Woods

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About the Author

Ramsey Campbell

Ramsey Campbell is one of the world's most renowned and honored horror writers. He has won more British Fantasy and World Fantasy Awards than he has fingers, plus three Bram Stoker Awards. Campbell is the author of such classic works of horror and dark fantasy as Obsession, The Fact That Must Die, The Nameless, Incarnate, and The Influence, and more recent novels, The Darkest Part of the Woods and Nazareth Hill. His short fiction has been collected in several volumes include Alone With the Horrors and Scared Stiff. Campbell lives with his wife, Jenny, in Merseyside in England.

Ramsey Campbell

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Overnight
Ramsey Campbell

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Tom Doherty Associates
Tor Books
April 2006
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429910828
ISBN10: 1429910828
400 pages
$7.99
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