Night Music is the second collection of short stories from John Connolly, following on from the wonderful Nocturnes, published in 2004. The stories within this collection are quite varied, and you may have come across them elsewhere – The Wanderer in Unknown Realms, for example, was published as a Kindle short story in 2013, although here it has been extended to form part of a longer novella.
Here are a few of my favourites from the collection:
The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository is something of a bibliophiles dream, and there were elements of Jasper Fforde in this tale (although it is very different in tone) in which characters from famous literary works become ‘real’ when they achieve a certain level of fame (or infamy, in some cases). Whilst I loved the two tales in the collection that involve the library, there are spoilers for certain novels in here. Inevitable, possibly, given the nature of the story, but something to be aware of.
The Children of Doctor Lyall – wonderfully creepy, this is a tale of two thieves who get more than bargain when they break into a house. This story had a wonderful twist to it.
A Haunting – this is beautiful little ghost story about a man who has recently lost his wife.
On The Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier is, at 6 pages, one of the shortest stories in the volume. This was a little unusual, and as I read it I felt that the conclusion was inevitable, and yet it was still somehow shocking.
I didn’t enjoy Night Music quite as much as Nocturnes, but this is still a wonderful collection of short stories and novellas that will delight Connolly’s fans. Additionally, the cover isn’t a patch on Nocturnes, which is just stunning: