The Night Cyclist by author Stephen Graham Jones
Stephen Graham Jones is a name I see on a lot of book covers. He pops up a lot on my Goodreads and Instagram feeds but before now I had never read one of his books. I finally decided to give him a try and checked out the first instantly available one I saw on the library app I use. Now, I did not realize that The Night Cyclist is actually a short story of about 30 pages but it seems fitting as an introduction to the author.
The other thing I didn’t realize is that the author currently lives in Boulder, Colorado (my state of residence) and likes metal music. It’s distinctly possible that we’ve crossed paths at a concert and didn’t realize it! Well, I’ll keep my eyes out at the next one and probably never approach him if I do recognize him because that’s weird and I don’t want to bother him trying to enjoy a show. We’ll just head bang in the same building and that’ll be fine.
Back to the book. The Night Cyclist is a short horror story about a man desperate to cling on to the last of his youth. He used to be athletic and ride his bike with a fury to win races against any opponent. Now he works the night shift as a chef and is reeling from a recent breakup in which his partner deemed him immature.
One night, riding his bike on the way home from work, he sees a couple of dead and obviously murdered bodies on the side of the road. The bikers have been at war with the automobile drivers and hikers of the area and this seems to be the pinnacle of that fight. He ignores the bodies but catches them on the news later.
He sees a clue in the background of the coverage and decides to investigate for himself. From here he gets way too involved with the likely suspect and tries to keep himself young and feeling alive by chasing him down.
The story gets into supernatural territory and is a fun twist on an existing horror genre. (Revealing which one would be a bit of a spoiler). Overall, the story is about growing old, mid life crises, and ultimately the second chances that we receive or must give ourselves.
It’s a fun and entertaining read when you’re looking for something to fill 45 minutes to an hour or so. I read it in the bath and the length was just right for me to relax in some boiling hot water.
I will definitely be checking out more from author Jones and will attempt one of his full length novels next. I’m glad I finally gave this author a try. I’m always searching for some solid horror, I find all sorts of movies but rarely any books that I really enjoy or find scary. Please give me recommendations!
4/5 cyclists 🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼🚴🏼
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