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This title in other editions

The Meaning of Night: A Confession

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The Meaning of Night: A Confession Cover

ISBN13: 9780393330342
ISBN10: 0393330346
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Staff Pick

Imagine Charles Dickens making Nicholas Nickleby into an avenging murderer and you have the basic idea of The Meaning of Night. Cox is an engaging writer — we want to know how Edward, the main character, came to be the man he is. It is a page-turner filled with betrayal and intrigue.
Recommended by Beth, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The atmosphere of Bleak House, the sensuous thrill of Perfume, and the mystery of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell all combine in a story of murder, deceit, love, and revenge in Victorian England.

"After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn's for an oyster supper." So begins the extraordinary story of Edward Glyver — booklover, scholar, and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. A chance discovery convinces him that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. Overwhelmed by his discovery, he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he knows is rightfully his.

Glyver's path to reclaim his prize leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels, and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England's most beautiful and enchanting country houses, and finally to a consuming love for the beautiful but enigmatic Emily Carteret. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onward, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt.

The Meaning of Night is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation.

Review:

"Michael Cox's 'The Meaning of Night' is the most recent example of what one might dub 'Victorian noir.' As in a 19th-century sensation novel — think of Wilkie Collins' 'The Woman in White,' John Meade Falkner's 'The Nebuly Coat' or even Charles Dickens' 'Bleak House' — its intricate plot turns on the question of who should rightfully inherit a great estate and a sizable fortune. Oaths of secrecy,... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[E]nthralling....Cox invokes emotions...on a grand scale and gives them an equally impressive backdrop as he depicts a fetid London....A masterful first novel and a must for readers of Iain Pears and David Liss." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"A bibliophilic, cozy, murderous confection out of foggy old England....[A] long, learned and remarkably entertaining treat, which begs comparison with the work of Patricia Highsmith." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] stunning first novel....Cox creates a strong sense of place, a complex narrative full of unexpectedly wicked twists, and a well-drawn cast of supporting characters....[A] masterpiece..." Library Journal

Review:

"[A] narrative as beguiling as it is intelligent, full of great country houses, epic loves, fierce anger and vicious habits of every sort." New York Times

Synopsis:

The atmosphere of Bleak House, the sensuous thrill of Perfume, and the mystery of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell all combine in a story of murder, deceit, love, and revenge in Victorian England.

Synopsis:

"After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn's for an oyster supper." So begins the "enthralling" (Booklist, starred review) and "ingenious" (Boston Globe) story of Edward Glyver, booklover, scholar, and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. A chance discovery convinces him that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. Overwhelmed by his discovery, he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he knows is rightfully his.

Glyver's path to reclaim his prize leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels, and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England's most beautiful and enchanting country houses, and finally to a consuming love for the beautiful but enigmatic Emily Carteret. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onward, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt.

The Meaning of Night is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation.

Synopsis:

A chance discovery convinces Glyver that greatness awaits him. His path to win back what is rightfully his leads him to one of Englands most enchanting country houses, and a woman who will become his obsession, in this richly imagined thriller ("Publishers Weekly").

About the Author

Michael Cox is the author of a widely praised biography of the scholar and ghost-story writer M. R. James, and is the editor of The Oxford Book of English Ghost Stories and The Oxford Book of Victorian Detective Stories. He lives in rural Northamptonshire, where part of The Meaning of Night is set.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

StephenWright, November 27, 2007 (view all comments by StephenWright)
The confession jumps between times, with the writer slowly but surely describing the complicated set of circumstances, the conspiracies against him, that brought him to the killing of the random man in 1854. Then the story continues to its inevitable climax. The early Victorian era in England provides the background for the story. Morals were different in this age, with the rich and powerful having a very different concept of what was right and wrong than the common people, or the people of Western society today for that matter. Even the "good" people in the story (there are a few) sometimes act in ways we find disappointing, even though they were acting morally by their standards.

This Victorian background and especially the different moral standards play an important role in the story, and one feels that the atmosphere described in the book is very authentic. It's just depressing that everyone seems to be a villain in one way or another, and conspiracies are rampant. The writer of the confession and the complicated story with several conspiracies against him and his decision to wreak a terrible revenge on "his enemy" do not come across with such a high degree of believability. Especially the confessor's occasional expressions of remorse over the bad things he has done do not ring true. Or is this perhaps the author's intention? The confessor, in his desperate search for justice for himself, becomes just as evil and unjust as his despised enemy.

One interesting device used in "The Meaning of Night" is that it begins with an editor's foreword, and the book is full of footnotes and explanations penned by this editor. The fact that we know that this "editor" is fictitious does not reduce the effect. The reader will easily let him/herself be fooled into thinking that this must indeed be an authentic manuscript from 1854 because of the editor's many notes and footnotes. This is a very well written book and very impressive, and I found it very enjoyable. May I also recommend reading the bestselling novel--The Fates by Tino Georgiou. It's a brilliant novel you shouldn't miss.
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(16 of 25 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393330342
Author:
Cox, Michael
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Murderers
Subject:
London (england)
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Traditional British
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
October 2007
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
720
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Sale Books

The Meaning of Night: A Confession Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 720 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393330342 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Imagine Charles Dickens making Nicholas Nickleby into an avenging murderer and you have the basic idea of The Meaning of Night. Cox is an engaging writer — we want to know how Edward, the main character, came to be the man he is. It is a page-turner filled with betrayal and intrigue.

"Review" by , "[E]nthralling....Cox invokes emotions...on a grand scale and gives them an equally impressive backdrop as he depicts a fetid London....A masterful first novel and a must for readers of Iain Pears and David Liss."
"Review" by , "A bibliophilic, cozy, murderous confection out of foggy old England....[A] long, learned and remarkably entertaining treat, which begs comparison with the work of Patricia Highsmith."
"Review" by , "[A] stunning first novel....Cox creates a strong sense of place, a complex narrative full of unexpectedly wicked twists, and a well-drawn cast of supporting characters....[A] masterpiece..."
"Review" by , "[A] narrative as beguiling as it is intelligent, full of great country houses, epic loves, fierce anger and vicious habits of every sort."
"Synopsis" by , The atmosphere of Bleak House, the sensuous thrill of Perfume, and the mystery of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell all combine in a story of murder, deceit, love, and revenge in Victorian England.
"Synopsis" by , "After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn's for an oyster supper." So begins the "enthralling" (Booklist, starred review) and "ingenious" (Boston Globe) story of Edward Glyver, booklover, scholar, and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. A chance discovery convinces him that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. Overwhelmed by his discovery, he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he knows is rightfully his.

Glyver's path to reclaim his prize leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels, and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England's most beautiful and enchanting country houses, and finally to a consuming love for the beautiful but enigmatic Emily Carteret. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driving Glyver irresistibly onward, is his deadly rival: the poet-criminal Phoebus Rainsford Daunt.

The Meaning of Night is an enthralling novel that will captivate readers right up to its final thrilling revelation.

"Synopsis" by , A chance discovery convinces Glyver that greatness awaits him. His path to win back what is rightfully his leads him to one of Englands most enchanting country houses, and a woman who will become his obsession, in this richly imagined thriller ("Publishers Weekly").
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