Thursday, 27 August 2015

Review: The Night of the Long Knives by Fritz Lieber

I was one hundred miles from Nowhere ― and I mean that literally ― when I spotted this girl out of the corner of my eye. I’d been keeping an extra lookout because I still expected the other undead bugger left over from the murder party at Nowhere to be stalking me.
Welcome to Deathland, a postapocalyptic nuclear desert where kill or be killed is the law of the land. The radiation-damaged survivors of this ravaged region are consumed by the urge to murder each other, making partnership of any sort a lethal risk. But when two drifters forge an uneasy truce, the possibility of a new life beckons.
Written by a multiple Hugo Award–winning author and one of the founders of the sword-and-sorcery genre, this novel-length magazine story first appeared at the height of Cold War paranoia. Fritz Leiber's thought-provoking tale addresses timeless questions about the influences of community and culture as well as the individual struggle to reform.


I've been in s slump when it comes to post-apocalyptic stories. I wasn't really sure why. Might have been my recent selections were variations on "how can we quickly turn everyone into zombies so we can get on with the scenes involving axes and shotguns."

That would be it.

The Night of the Long Knives is very, very different. As a "Classic" edition from Dover Publications, it promised to offer a very different style of writing, one I enjoy reading the likes of Dick and Bradbury, and I was not disappointed.

I have to admit I didn't read the part of the blurb about social commentary until after I finished the book. For me, growing up in the seventies, there was still the very real fear of nuclear disaster so I was quick to align myself with the post-nuclear setting. Also, it skipped the whole "how we wiped ourselves out" part and dunked us head-long into life as it is after the disaster.

I liked the futuristic elements and the rebuild society. The mystery of the flying craft the characters find themselves in and their decisions to remain mistrustful and look after themselves first. And of course the knives.

The Night of the Long Knives is not a long read, as they go, and I enjoyed the characters and story. Definitely recommended.

I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment