"The Woods Are Dark plunges forward
like a Tobe Hooper film based on a scenario by Charles Manson. Gruesome, frenetic,
— Dean Koontz
"The Woods Are Dark is a roller-coaster ride through hell. More
disgusting than The Cellar."
— Gary Brandner
The Woods Are Dark (The Original, Uncut Version)
by Richard Laymon
Featuring a special introduction by Kelly Laymon explaining the history of
the manuscript, how this version came to exist, and why this edition is more
than just 50 pages of deleted scenes added back in, but instead a totally different
novel you've never read before!
About the Book:
Neala and her friend Sherri only wanted to do a little backpacking
through the woods. Little did they know they would soon be shackled to a dead
tree, waiting for Them to arrive. The Dills family thought the small motor lodge
in the quiet town of Barlow seemed quaint and harmless enough. Until they, too,
found themselves shackled to trees in the middle of the night, while They approached,
hungry for human flesh....
When this classic novel was first published in 1981, it was heavily cut, with
nearly fifty pages removed. What remained was rewritten by both Laymon and a
Warner Books line editor. Now, for the first time ever, the missing text has
been completely restored—along with Laymon's original words and vision — and
the novel can finally be read the way it was intended.
An excerpt from Kelly Laymon's special introduction to this edition:
"The version you're about to read was the one that was first submitted
to Warner Books... Those of you who have read the Warner edition will notice
that the two books are very different after, say, Chapter 8 or so. How did I
do it? Especially since my father said it couldn't be done? I'm not sure. It
was all there. But the pieces weren't in the same place. There were boxes of
thirty year old manuscripts and I had played with the various drafts many times
over the last six or seven years. I always believed it could be done. I sure
had false starts though. I had to get to know each draft of the manuscript.
Not by the content of the pages, but by the pages themselves. I evaluated them
based on page numbering styles and other forms of continuity. I didn't want
to read any draft until I had settled on what I believed was the true manuscript...."
"If you've missed Laymon, you've missed a treat!"
— Stephen King
"No one writes like Laymon and you're going to have a good time with anything
— Dean Koontz
Laymon was born in Chicago in 1947. He grew up in California and has a BA in English
Literature from Willamette University, Oregon, and an MA from Loyola University,
He published more than sixty short stories in magazines such as Ellery
Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, and Cavalier and in anthologies, including Modern Masters of Horror, The Second Black Lizard Anthology of Crime, and Night Visions 7.
His novel Flesh was named Best Horror Novel
of 1988 by Science Fiction Chronicle and also shortlisted for the prestigious
Bram Stoker Award, as was Funland.
Richard Laymon is the author of more
than thirty acclaimed novels, including The Cellar, The Stake, Savage, Quake,
Island, and Body Rides. He won the Bram Stoker Award for his Cemetery
Dance novel, The Traveling Vampire Show.
Over fifty authors contributed to a tribute anthology entitled In Laymon's Terms.
His latest book with Cemetery Dance is The Woods are Dark (The Original, Uncut Version).
Published in two states:
• Trade Hardcover Edition featuring a cloth binding ($40)
• Traycased Lettered Edition of 52 lettered copies with a bookplate signed by Richard Laymon, bound
in leather with a satin ribbon page marker and additional full-color artwork