Published soon after his unexpected death on St. Valentine’s Day 2001, this short novel, the fourth book in The Beast House Chronicles, once again displays Laymon’s talents as a master storyteller.

Set in fictional Malcasa Point, Friday Night in Beast House begins with sixteen-year-old Mark sitting on the edge of his bed debating with himself whether or not to telephone Alison for a date. When he finally musters enough courage to do so she, to his surprise, accepts…on one condition: Mark has to get her inside Beast House the following night, after it closes.

From there the story plows ahead—to a somewhat unexpected conclusion—in a straight and narrow path, with few side trips. Laymon, no prose stylist, seems almost in a rush to tell the tale before it opens razor-toothed jaws and swallows him whole. All in all, that’s not a bad thing as it allows the reader to focus his/her attention solely on the action and dialogue occurring within the pages, thus forsaking any chance of ennui setting in…or even comfort.

While not a great book, I found Friday Night in Beast House fun, fast-paced and perfectly suited for a little decadent, nightmarish escape from reality.

Rating 8/10 - Reviewed by Gary West

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