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"David Quantick is one of the best kept secrets in the world of writing. He''s smart, funny and unique. You should let yourself in on the secret." - Neil Gaiman From Emmy-Award winning author David Quantick, Night Train is a science-fiction horror story like no other.

A woman wakes up, frightened and alone. The room shaking and jumping like it''s alive. The noise is terrifying. Where is she? Stumbling through a door, she realizes she is on a train carriage. A carriage full of the dead. A personal hell unfolding in an apocalyptic future. This is NIGHT TRAIN. A terrifying ride set on a driverless locomotive, heading for a collision somewhere in the endless night. How did the woman get here? Who is she? And who are the dead? As our heroine makes her way through the train trying to find out what happened to her, she meets a former strongman, a trained killer, and a collection of strange and terrifying creatures. Each step takes her closer to finding out the secret of the Night Train.

Review

Financial Times pick for top 5 sci-fi books of 2020

"The style, content and characters of this dark, witty and surprisingly moving novel make David Quantick a Kurt Vonnegut for a new generation." 
Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes

"I hadn''t planned to read all of Night Train in one sitting, but I found myself doing just that. David Quantick''s novel sets up a vast mystery and barrels deliriously toward a conclusion you''ll never see coming like, I don''t know, some kind of railed vehicle that operates in the dark."
David Wong, author of John Dies at the End

“A dark, nightmarish journey into a brand new sort of Twilight Zone, David Quantick’s Night Train is breathless, frantic, and creepy as hell. You’ll never see the twists coming.”
Christopher Golden

"Starting a trip on Night Train is like waking up in a scary game with no rules. I enjoyed trying to work out the parameters of this strange new world with Garland and exploring its ever-more-surreal carriages. When we finally start to discover where we are, we realise there''s no going back. Night train is pacy, amusing and gory and an entertaining companion on a dark journey."
Louis Greenberg

"Darkly funny."
The Independent

"Revels in strangeness and snarky dialogue."
Financial Times

“An unnerving horror story...  Quantick delivers a fine sense of mystery.”
Morning Star

"Quantick presents a dark mystery of slowly uncovered memories in the midst of claustrophobic horror with skill and verve, creating a story that should satisfy any curious reader, genre fan or otherwise. Recommended for those who enjoy a little mystery or horror in their sf dystopias."
Booklist

"At times horrifying, at other times laugh-out-loud funny, and always entertaining, Night Train is a ride unlike any other." 
Foreword Magazine

“Quantic holds the pacing taut and sustains the tension for 270 pages before finally revealing the truth. Meanwhile, his characters’ sarcastic deadpan helps.” "Captivating yet hilarious." -New York Journal of Boonks 

"Either a stone-cold classic that will last for decades if not centuries, or, at the very worst, the best summer read you’ll have this year. " - Sublime Horror

"Surreal and very clever read" 
Horror DNA

PRAISE FOR THE AUTHOR
"David Quantick has a medical condition whereby he literally cannot be unfunny."
Caitlin Moran

"David Quantick is one of the best-kept secrets in the world of writing."
Neil Gaiman

"If you choose to only live in one alternative reality make sure it’s the one in which you read Sparks by David Quantick."
Ben Aaronovitch

"Unfolds like The Da Vinci Code, only with a sense of humour and better grammar." The Independent

"Ingenious, likeable, funny and entertaining." The Spectator

About the Author

David Quantick is an Emmy Award-winning television writer for such shows as  Avenue 5, Veep, The Thick of It and  The Day Today. He is the author of  All My Colors, Sparks, The Mule, and two writing manuals:  How To Write Everything and  How To Be A Writer.

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3.7 out of 53.7 out of 5
140 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

BridgettTop Contributor: Eye Makeup
2.0 out of 5 stars
I had to force myself to keep reading...
Reviewed in the United States on September 29, 2020
So, uh... Hmmm... Well then... Yea... I think Night Train was supposed to be a horror novel, but it definitely was not. I''d say it falls more into the science fiction/mystery realm. But no matter the genre, this wasn''t a great story. The... See more
So, uh...
Hmmm...
Well then...
Yea...

I think Night Train was supposed to be a horror novel, but it definitely was not. I''d say it falls more into the science fiction/mystery realm. But no matter the genre, this wasn''t a great story.

The synopsis sounded so intriguing, although I admittedly didn''t find the book cover particularly enthralling. Unfortunately, the story was choppy, the plot holes were numerous, the characters were not remotely believable, and the dialogue...oh, that dialogue...it was dreadful. When you''re facing death, there is usually tension and suspense...not corny jokes and goofy asides.

I think that was my biggest gripe...as the characters explored this mysterious train, there was zero tension. They''d face a bizarre creature, then immediately go right to sleep. Shouldn''t at least one of them stay awake as a lookout? There was also a weird fascination with food...they were constantly eating. And let''s be real here...how long does it take to walk through train cars? These folks would walk through two, then need a nap and more food.

So much about this story simply didn''t make sense. I had to force myself to keep reading, which means I absolutely am not recommending this one.

1.5 stars

Available September 29, 2020.

**Despite my negative review, I''d like to offer my sincere thanks to Edelweiss and Titan Books for my review copy.
6 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars
A derivative, nonsensical fairy tale
Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2021
Did you like Snowpiercer? Black Mirror? The Books of Babel series? Did you want elements from all those--and more--thrown in a cheap blender and poured into a cheap plastic cup? Then Night Train is for you! Night Train''s premise is intriguing enough: A woman... See more
Did you like Snowpiercer? Black Mirror? The Books of Babel series? Did you want elements from all those--and more--thrown in a cheap blender and poured into a cheap plastic cup? Then Night Train is for you!

Night Train''s premise is intriguing enough: A woman named Garland wakes up on a strange train and sets off to discover the truth behind it. But all too quickly Quantick dials the weirdness up to nonsensical levels and continues on this vein for hundreds of pages, layering oddity upon oddity--monsters, robots, mad scientists--in a LOST-esque fashion of constantly building mystery while withholding truths, including the very memories of the main character through the use of the ur-cliche, amnesia. No specific spoilers but when the payoff finally arrives, it is thoroughly underwhelming and muddled, feeling lifted straight out of Black Mirror''s done-to-death playbook.

Sadly, there is a moment (again, no spoilers) about 80% through when it seems like the story is going to take an intriguing post-modern turn to talk about the very nature of stories and authorship. While there is a good chance that would have been pretentious, it also would have been far more interesting and novel than what we got.

It''s hard to tell if Quantick knew how much he was lifting from other sources, but certainly one of his editors or beta readers should have given him a heads up on how similar Night Train is to several popular works, including elements from Snowpiercer and Black Mirror. Even worse for Quantick is his ham-handed approach to emotion and sentimentality between characters, causing me to roll my eyes consistently for the last third or so of the book. In general the writing is... fine, and at other times uneven and droll. Had the narrative been more compelling this might have not been an issue, but it''s hard not to feel like Quantick took a novella-length idea and bloated it out to full price.

Perhaps my biggest disappointment here is Neil Gaiman''s on-the-book-jacket endorsement of Night Train, which was a huge reason I picked this up in the first place. While Gaiman''s technical writing skill has never been his strong suit, his ideas and worlds are usually interesting enough and I assumed Gaiman''s endorsement meant I could expect the same from Night Train. Instead it seems to be another instance of a privileged, elite group of artists referring business and acclaim to one another despite the quality of the work.

TWO STARS (closer to 1.5 stars actually), with stars awarded for premise, basic competency, and ideas (even though they were not fully realized).
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Tom Clark
1.0 out of 5 stars
Does not live up to the description.
Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2020
If I could give this a minus, I would. I chugged through half this book not connecting with any character and half knowing what was happening. There’s a dog like thing? You go in and out of the character’s consciences or memories and not knowing how it relates to anything.... See more
If I could give this a minus, I would. I chugged through half this book not connecting with any character and half knowing what was happening. There’s a dog like thing? You go in and out of the character’s consciences or memories and not knowing how it relates to anything. Slow slow slowwwwww moving book and boring. As I said, I made it halfway and decided to jump train. I preordered this book because the description sounded exciting and scary. I was neither of those things during this book. I was utterly bored.
3 people found this helpful
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Adam M Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars
A Train Running Along Several Tracks
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2020
Quantick has a unique style that takes some getting used to. The three main characters are not believable, but I don’t think they are meant to be. I appreciated the use of interludes to explore the past of these characters, who all have unique backstories that bring in... See more
Quantick has a unique style that takes some getting used to. The three main characters are not believable, but I don’t think they are meant to be. I appreciated the use of interludes to explore the past of these characters, who all have unique backstories that bring in varying elements of science fiction. The synopsis on the back of the book sells it as a horror novel, but it doesn’t follow the regular beats of that genre. If you go in thinking you are reading Dean Koontz, you will be let down within the first chapter. If I had to compare the setting of this book to anything else out there, I would honestly say it fits in the realm of the popular video game Final Fantasy 7. Without spoiling the plot, this book would translate well into a video game and reads like one...dialogue included. Overall, I enjoyed this quick read and will most likely pick up Avenue 5 and The Thick of It.
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Ryan Wackerly
3.0 out of 5 stars
A fun entertaining read
Reviewed in the United States on October 20, 2020
I read this book after it was named in an article as one of 2020''s most anticipated horror novels. It''s not horror-it won''t scare you, but it was enjoyable to read. Maybe a little Too Much like SnowPiercer and Victor Pelevin''s The Yellow Arrow.
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Shoshona19
1.0 out of 5 stars
Please don’t make my mistake and read this book.
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2020
It is like listening to someone very stoned recount a dream they had after watching Snowpiercer. I am mad at myself for starting this book and even madder for finishing it.
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Larissa
1.0 out of 5 stars
I wish they had kept this book a secret.
Reviewed in the United States on May 3, 2021
I wish they had kept this book a secret. The opening starts off well. The first section is creepy and leaves the reader with a lot of questions. Trouble is, you end up with more questions than details in this book. The ending is sudden and offers very little in... See more
I wish they had kept this book a secret.

The opening starts off well. The first section is creepy and leaves the reader with a lot of questions. Trouble is, you end up with more questions than details in this book. The ending is sudden and offers very little in terms of a conclusion.
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Top reviews from other countries

Vee
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Worst book ive read in years
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 8, 2020
I was really disappointed with this book. It wasn’t because of the story or the idea because that offers something that intriguing. The reason I disliked this book is 100% because of the writing. This is easily the worst written book I read in a very long time. It felt like...See more
I was really disappointed with this book. It wasn’t because of the story or the idea because that offers something that intriguing. The reason I disliked this book is 100% because of the writing. This is easily the worst written book I read in a very long time. It felt like I was reading the first draft of a story, not the finished publishable version. I felt like David Quantick didn’t know who his characters were or what they sounded like. They seemed to flit from sentence to sentence with rarely a train of thought or the believability of how a conversation would flow. The characteristics of the three main protagonists seem to be interchangeable at a moment’s notice and it was absolutely infuriating that they did not have appropriate reactions to the bizarre situation they find themselves in. It reads like it was written by a child. He said “this” and then she said “this” and then they went to sleep. In addition, the writer seems hellbent on using as many … (dot-dot-dots) in-between paragraphs as humanly possible. Even if they weren’t needed or appropriate to use. I think 8 …’s was the most I counted on one page! That wasn’t the other thing breaking reading down into an odd feeling. The book is 311 pages, split into 7 chapters. This makes for the some rather large chapters and much like the dot-dot-dots, it didn’t feel like it was broken down in suitable places. Not only, do I feel like the writer didn’t know who his characters were but I also believed that he struggled to commit to a genre. The book had splashes of horror and sci-fi and supposedly comedy, although I must have totally missed the comedy bits. However, neither of these were done well or blended seamlessly. I brought this book on a whim on the basis on the description on the back of the book and also the amount of praise that was splashed all over it, in particular Neil Gaiman who apparently said “David Quantick is one of the best keep secrets in writing”. If Neil Gaiman did say that, then my opinion on Neil Gaiman has dropped dramatically. Ive made a note of everyone on the cover who has been quoted as commenting positively on this book and writer and will make sure never to believe them again. However, I don’t want my words to be a complete panning of this book as there is a morsel of a good idea. The story itself is of a woman waking up on a train and not knowing how she got there and as she travels through the carriages encounters a variety of strange and bizarre things including monsters, prison cells … a pool? It’s enough to raise some intrigue into keep reading to find out what the resolution and revelations behind all this is, unfortunately, much like the writing it all leads to a unsatisfactory feeling.
8 people found this helpful
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Nick
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Proper creepy
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 15, 2020
I have only ever read one sci-fi book before and that was Hitchhiker''s Guide To The Galaxy. This book is in the same league. It''s highly inventive, very funny and incredibly atmospheric. The characters are very odd but very engaging and you will genuinely hope that...See more
I have only ever read one sci-fi book before and that was Hitchhiker''s Guide To The Galaxy. This book is in the same league. It''s highly inventive, very funny and incredibly atmospheric. The characters are very odd but very engaging and you will genuinely hope that everything works out for them. I can guarantee that you will not be able to see where this story is going. Just buy it.
2 people found this helpful
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glitterheart
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
All aboard for a gripping nightmare
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 17, 2020
I loved David Quantick''s previous novel, All My Colors, which had splashes of surreal horror. But Night Train is even more disturbing and ghoulishly detailed, and grabbed me even more. From the start the story hooks you and you want to know more, turning each page to find...See more
I loved David Quantick''s previous novel, All My Colors, which had splashes of surreal horror. But Night Train is even more disturbing and ghoulishly detailed, and grabbed me even more. From the start the story hooks you and you want to know more, turning each page to find out what happens next. It''s disturbing, nightmarish and completely gripping. It reminded me of Outer Limits in some ways, a sci-fi fantasy TV series I loved as a kid, where the stories always had a dreamlike quality, with characters who seemed to fully accept the bizarre scenario they''d arrived in. Night Train has a similar feel, everyone involved just getting on with dealing with where they are and with every horrific encounter as they make their way through increasingly fascinating carriages on the endlessly long train hurtling towards...what? The ending reveals all. A terrific read...but, if a bedtime book, it may give you nightmares. Buy it, it''s fab
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Caz Tricks
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Utterly brilliant - more twists than Chubby Checker
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 6, 2020
I read all the time. Occasionally a book really grips me, I finish it and want to read it again - immediately, this fabulous book is one of those. Night Train was recommended to me by Sarah Pinborough and I am most grateful. Cannot recommend it highly enough. Surreal yet so...See more
I read all the time. Occasionally a book really grips me, I finish it and want to read it again - immediately, this fabulous book is one of those. Night Train was recommended to me by Sarah Pinborough and I am most grateful. Cannot recommend it highly enough. Surreal yet so real, dark, sticky, funny and moving. Would make a superb film. Buy it.
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snarkhunter
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Weak
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 1, 2020
Although the premise was interesting, after a while I found this book weak and derivative. The author''s habit of putting a row of asterisks after every couple of sentences is highly irritating; the characters are uninteresting, and the denouement predictable.
2 people found this helpful
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