I've been watching and reading horror for a long time. I first saw The Wolf Man movie from 1941 as a kid in the mid 70s. Days after watching that movie I got myself a full over head rubber wolf mask and had a blast trying to scare people late at night. And ever since then, I've been watching and reading horror, but nothing could prepare me for the likes of Richard Laymon.
In fact, Richard Laymon took me into some creepy dark places, I never thought I would go. As I would read one of his books, I would say to myself, he's not going there is he? No way, he is going there! Almost nothing was off limits with Laymon, and as I researched him, I found that he did quite well selling outside of the USA. I will admit, I could see him getting censored like crazy over here in the United States.
After reading some of his books, I found some of his horror to be campy and cheesy at times, but then he would just go insane with the evil characters, and do things no one would ever expect in a horror novel. I was familiar with Stephen King growing up and some Dean Koontz, but Laymon, holy balls of fire, this guy could get under my skin and leave a horrifying stench where I would need to take a two day shower with bleach. If you've never read Laymon, you might think I'm exagerrating, but I'm not. I grew up watching the Friday The 13th films, so I had my fill of gore, but Laymon was a master of not just going into the dark areas, but the real DIRTY nasty ones.
I've read online where many other readers of horror have said Laymon goes too far and that it's too much. But did he go too far with some or most of his horror books? I guess it's really a matter of personal taste and tolerance. To be honest, I've not read every one of his books, but I've read The Woods Are Dark, Island, Endless Night, and In The Dark, just to name some of them, and I did find them revolting and disturbing, but you know what, that's horror writing! If you want some horror you better be ready for it!
Interestingly, Richard Laymon has a lot of fans, and he has a good number of folks who strongly dislike his work. Personally, some of his work is really good and fun to read, in sick kinda way. Of course, I might need some therapy, but in today's world who doesn't? Look at the world today, and you'll see people going bonkers and doing unforgivable acts of violence. People dying in horrific ways that have no reason or explanation whatsoever. In fact, anything in this world can happen, and as horror writer Bentley Little once said, life's a crap shoot! And speaking of crap shooting, Laymon dives head first into a dark pit of hellish suffering, slaughter, sexual perversion, madness, and gore, and wants you to come along for the ride. As a writer, it's his job to shock, awe, thrill, kill, disgrace, disgust, and offend you!
Some of the best horror authors really get people upset and running to the toilet to vomit and dry heave. Personally, I thought one of Richard Laymon's best books was ENDLESS NIGHT, which I found to be completely riveting. In fact, I really cared for the characters in this book (the two main heroes -- Jody and Andy -- who were trying survive), which surprised me, because in some of the books by him I've read, I did not care for the characters, but ENDLESS NIGHT is a book I would highly recommend, and get ready to be outraged, sickened, and distressed over what the killers do in this novel.
Laymon gets super GRUESOME in this book, and like I said, not too may horror authors can go to the depths of depravity and appalling acts like Laymon. There will always be critics of Richard Laymon who do not like his writing style, his plots, his characters, his brain-blowing violence and mayhem, but you know what? For good or bad, he's got people talking and he's got a large cult following reading him. He's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, and I don't think he ever wanted to be ... He just wanted to write novels that were shocking and fun for him and for those who dared venture into his world, his DARK DREAMS! Click here to get horror novel ENDLESS NIGHT NOW!