Review: Something From the Nightside by Simon R. Green

 Something From the Nightside (Nightside #1)
paperback, 230 pgs.
Published May 27th, 2003 by Ace
Source: Library

John Taylor is not a private detective per se, but he has a knack for finding lost things. That’s why he’s been hired to descend into the Nightside, an otherworldly realm in the center of London where fantasy and reality share renting space and the sun never shines.

For John Taylor, there’s no place like home…

Wow.  Ummmm… yeah.  This is one very strange, very weird, very off the wall.  Well, at least this first one is.  When I finished the book I wrote down the words that came to mind.  Ridiculous, strange, creepy, creative, unique, mind boggling, different, freaky, weird.  Yeah, some of those mean the same thing, but seriously, I think all of them apply.  After I read the book I immediately told my husband I had to tell him about the book because it’s like it was so freaking weird that I just had to share.  And well, if my husband were to read {he doesn’t read AT ALL} this would be the kind of book he would pick up.  He agreed it was weird sounding but unfortunately didn’t seem very interested in reading it *super sad face*.

Okay, so this book is something I would think I wouldn’t really like but I decided I did.  I’m not sure why, but I was totally engrossed in the book the entire time.  It’s not something that I recommend reading before bed, but it is a very fast read.  It reminded me a bit of the R.L. Stine books, but an adult version.  And with some big twists instead of the more simpler stuff like he did.  But odd.  Very odd kind of story.

I didn’t love John Taylor, but yet I didn’t dislike him either.  He’s kind of hard to get.  He didn’t seem to come across real clear to me.  He’d contradict himself, I guess.  Like not being able to be scared, but then he’d be terrified of something.  But a lot of the time I liked his snark.  His bluntness.  I think he might grow on me and this is the first in a series so it’s not really surprising I don’t love him yet.  And it’s a really really short book.  

So some weird things:  in Nightside there are sometimes ‘timeslips’.  Like you can be walking along and suddenly your in a different time but if you keep walking you’ll walk out of it.  There are horses that talk and run their own carriage.  The ‘driver’ is there more as protection.  There’s a diner in Nightside that’s from the 60’s.  Like literally from the 60’s.  It’s like a ghost diner or something.  But you can get a real coke, like the ones from the 60’s {which apparently are much better then the ones now…}.  There’s a place where people who have been abducted by aliens can hide out.  Just a huge warehouse where people literally have bombs strapped to them so they can blow themselves up if the aliens come again.    Just a few of the crazy places…

The story itself was pretty off the wall and crazy but if your into that kind of thing {or not, cause I didn’t think I was…} then it might be for you.  It has creepy moments, some gore, and is definitely for an adult reader.  It’s not one I would easily recommend just because it’s so different.  But if it sounds like your thing give it a try!


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  1. It sounds really, really trippy. Like, acid-trip trippy. Despite the fact that it’s fantasy/paranormal, I think I might be with your husband on this one.

  2. Ooooo this sounds so interesting! I usually really enjoy those books that are so unique and bizarre that you have to find someone to talk to them about because you can’t keep all the weirdness to yourself:) The time slips would freak me out if I ever walked in one, I would completely panic and probably get stuck in there instead of just continuing on my way so I could walk out:) Thanks for this review Candace!

  3. Mary- it’s definitely trippy, but yet the author makes it work which is surprising. I mean, makes it seem like it almost could happen. Your not just like laughing at the ridiculousness of it. However, it is not a book that will be for everyone!

    Jenny- Exactly! I HAD to talk about it! Unfortunately all I had was my hubby who could care less about anything in books. Any book.
    It is cool to read stuff that is so far off normal that it kind of zaps us out of any sort of funk or routine we may have found.

  4. I agree with Mary, sounds trippy. But you know what, I like trippy. I like the idea of an R.L. Stine-ish book for adults. Great review!

    P.S.–I’ve tried like heck to get my fiance to read my books (any of them!) and he just won’t. He only reads graphic novels. The sad thing is, he has a B.A. in English Literature. *Sigh*

  5. Certainly sounds interesting – it’s fun to read a wierd book sometimes!

    My other half is also not a reader….such a shame, he loves fantasty games so I think he could actually enjoy reading if he gave it a chance!

    At least you have the rest of us to share your book love with 😉

  6. I feel about the same as you do about Simon Green’s series. They’re all pretty weird, even for urban fantasy. I guess I prefer my UF to be a *little* more down to earth and, like you, while I didn’t dislike the main character, I didn’t exactly connect with him either. That’s the way I feel about Dresden Files too, although that series is more down-to-earth. Not quite as out there.

  7. The idea of an otherworldly place in the middle of London really reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.

    Hmm…I’ve never read Simon Green before…but I’ll have to think about it now! I’m not sold on this book yet, but I have to admit-your reaction intrigues me!

  8. John Taylor — I think that has to be the best name ever LOL!! x) But oh my gosh, Candace, this book sounds so freaky! The way you describe it reminds me of walking down a strange hallway all alone in the dark with just a flickering lamp in your hands… if that makes sense LOL! It makes me scared but curious at the same time!

    Awesome review, Candace! :) John Taylor kind of intrigues me too — I love characters with snark!

  9. Ha! Fun review. I think I can tell from the cover that it would be a bit strange, but isn’t it fun to take a chance on a book and then find that it was well worth the risk!

    I hadn’t even ever heard of this book, so thanks for the review!

  10. Lol yeah this isn’t the book for me, Johnny might actually like it though. I just don’t do well with crazy plot lines and that much gore.

    Thanks for the great review. :)

  11. I LOVE this series!! I’ve never read the books, but listened to the audio version of them. The narrator does a fabulous job of catching that snark, and I admit to laughing my ass off sometimes!! It isn’t for everyone, but those that like the off-beat and weird will hopefully like this series too. I always try to turn people on to it, but like you said, it’s not for everyone!!

  12. Just started reading Something From The Nightside. I’m with you on being a little ambivalent on John Taylor. He’s a curiosity, but I’m having trouble feeling a lot of real empathy for him. Also, there is something in Green’s writing style that feels a little… I don’t know… sterile? Kinda a little too bare-bones? BUT, the book is definitely nuts enough to keep my attention. Good to see I’m not the only one just discovering this book.

  13. LOL wow. This does sound quite… weird. o: But omg, now I’m so curious… I seriously need to add it to the wishlist. It sounds so weird and crazy it just became a have-to-read for me, lol. And I’m sorry your husband wasn’t interested in reading it. ;o My boyfriend is the same. Even those he ARE interested in, he doesn’t wanna READ. He tells me to tell him when they come out as a movie, lol.

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