Sunday, July 25, 2010

the meaning of night

I am helplessly in love.

I have been captivated, whisked away to another world "full of great country houses," as the New York Times Book Review puts it, "epic loves, fierce anger and viscious habits." I have stepped through the looking glass, fallen down the rabbit hole, and landed head over heels in the arms of something both magical and frightening at the same time. And there is no going back.

No, i'm not talking about the Twilight saga. I have no interest in bloodthirsty vampires or natives who turn into wolves when provoked - these are the game pieces for child's play. I'm referring to The Meaning of Night: A Confession by Michael Cox. I'm referring to its 695 brilliant pages of pure seduction, thrilling deception, unrequited love and secrets so dark that only the dead dare whisper of them.

I must confess, even for someone generally enthralled by the challenge of long novels, i myself was fairly intimidated by such a lengthy tale, especially one that seemed to be strictly devoted to one man's drawn out confession leading up to one solitary moment in his utterly tragic life. But who could resist such an ingenius opening line: "After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn's for an oyster supper."?

The words melted through the nooks and crannies of my poor, unsuspecting brain like butter on toast.

Who is this man? He's having oysters for supper? My, how i'd love to join him for - wait, wait, he's just murdered someone! And not even a specific someone, just any old someone! Insinuated by the description, "the red-haired man." If he must be so indifferent, then why such a detailed and intimate confession?

Thus began my obsession with Edward Glyver..."booklover, scholar, and murderer."

If you haven't yet had the privilege of meeting this man, i urge you to head to the nearest bookstore and purchase it immediately - or snatch it from Amazon, where you can get it for about 30% less than what i paid for it.

Furthermore, you can check out the website dedicated solely to this novel, the existance of which i was sadly unaware of until today. Though i'm nearly finished with the book myself, it was a pleasant surprise to discover maps of important places in the story, images that inspired certain characters and locales, and a Q&A with the author (one of the questions pertained to the possibility of Night ever being made into a film; mainly, who would play the main characters? And i realize this blog will likely never be read by Mr. Cox, or anyone affiliated with the making of such a film, but i'd like to put in my very strong vote for Edward Norton - in my mind, he simply IS Edward Glyver).

Even furthermore (i know, i know, how can this revelation get any more enticing?), Mr. Cox has since written a sequel to this unforgettable tale, entitled "The Glass of Time." How he could possibly manage to draw me in again so completely beats the Dickens out of me - but i look forward to him trying.


Anonymous said...

Big country houses and a dark plot...Dickens indeed.
I must say it's a bit unfair that both you and Carl managed to became enamored with books that I "must" buy within a single week, but it does sound intriguing. If I am to be honest, I won't be buying any books soon, but I will put this on the list of books to buy when I buy books.

Or something like that ^_^

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My name is Audrey. I'm just a twentysomething learning how to master the arts of cooking, cleaning, working and being in a relationship, same as you.In between all that, I like to collect sea glass and salvaged furniture. Occasionally, I cut and paste scraps of paper together. In the end, I am hoping that all of these things together will somehow amount to something good. This blog is a journal of my efforts to get there.


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