Night Music: Nocturnes Volume Two is an unbelievably wonderful collection of tales from a master.
The only other short form John Connolly story I've read is The Wanderer in Unknown Realms, which I loved. Turns out that's part of a larger narrative: The Fractured Atlas-Five Fragments. This is a group of 5 tales of varying lengths involving an ancient, evil text. Who doesn't love a good story about an evil book? And here, there's 5, (count them, 5!),and they are simply delicious.
Two of the other stories here are connected: The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository and Holmes on the Range: A Tale of the Caxton Private Library and Book Depository. These are killer pieces about characters in books coming to life and in what type of places they reside. I want to go there for a nice long visit.
One of the reasons this collection is so perfect for me is all these stories about books. And book lovers. And book characters. And evil books. I can't resist! Plus, Connolly's characterization and writing are beyond compare. I loved this passage from the story The Wander in Unknown Realms :
"There was a benignity to him that I liked, a happy disengagement from the futilities and ugliness of life's toil that one encountered in those who had discovered a way to take something for which they had only love and gratitude, and make it their means of support."
Ain't that the truth? This was a lovely, dark collection. It ends with a sort of autobiographical essay called I Live Here ,which was enjoyable and included insights into John Connolly's boyhood experiences with horror fiction and movies.
I found every story in this volume worthy of my attention and I can't say enough good things about it. My highest recommendation!
You can buy this book here: Night Music.
*Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC. This is my honest review.*