Book name: Friday Night in Beast House
Author: Richard Laymon
Format: ebook, print
Publication Date: 2007
Star Rating: 4/5
This natty little novella is set in the same location as Richard Laymon's much-loved 'Beast House' trilogy. It was published posthumously.
Mark Matthews is as horny as any sixteen year old can be, and his lust for Alison, who he's encountered at school and who plagues his thoughts, occupies almost every waking moment.
Like any self-respecting teenager, he lets himself be manipulated into agreeing to whatever conditions she imposes on him when he finally plucks up the courage to ask her out.
When she coolly insists that their date take place at midnight inside Beast House, now a museum to previous bloody murders, he doesn't flinch.
In fairness to Mark, he steps up. Much of Friday Night in Beast House is devoted to the disgusting series of torments he is prepared to put himself through in the interest of having sex with Alison later that night.
Hiding out inside the busy museum, terrifying small children visiting with their parents, dodging security-conscious staff members and even lowering himself into the beast's hole to wait out the hours until the dead of night do not put Mark off.
By midnight, he's lingering outside Beast House, with an entrance route planned out and a surprise to show Alison: a pair of glasses he found while hiding down the hole. She identifies them as those of her missing friend, but is still determined to explore the tunnels where the beast is rumoured to live.
The story is quite simple, and the book is not a long one, but the length was perfect for the tale to be told. I was left wanting more, but this would be supplied by the existing 'Beast House' trilogy, so for me this novella was the ideal introduction.
The story featured all the slasher components, which Laymon brought together seamlessly. Both Alison and the cute police officer who almost prevents Mark from making it to the museum at all were suitably perky and slutty.
The hero can think of nothing but popping his cherry, and a low level of sexual frustration pervaded the entire story. Finally, his extensive efforts in hiding himself away in the museum were rewarded, but this is full-on gore unrestrained by much in the way of subtlety, so the climax of the action was pretty violent and bloody.
Fans of Laymon's work will enjoy seeing a new angle on a favourite place, and a new reader will find a ready introduction to a vivid and bloodthirsty setting.
Friday Night in Beast House absolutely captured the immature simplicity with which any self-respecting sixteen-year-old boy regards sex and violence, and the hopeless addiction he feels for both. I loved every moment of its pretty tasteless action, including the ridiculously over the top ending.
Thank you for reading my review of Friday Night in Beast House by Richard Laymon.
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