• Current Reads

      Life after Life Jill McCorkle
      This Is Your Captain Speaking Jon Methven
      The Starboard Sea Amber Dermont
      Snark David Denby
      Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel
  • Popular Tags

  • Recent Reflections

  • Categories

  • Moleskine’s All-Time Favorites

  • Echoes

    To Kill a Mockingbir… on [35] To Kill A Mockingbird…
    Deanna Friel on [841] The Price of Salt (Carol…
    Minnie on [367] The Rouge of the North 怨…
    travellinpenguin on [841] The Price of Salt (Carol…
    travellinpenguin on Libreria Acqua Alta in Ve…
    Malissa Greenwood on Libreria Acqua Alta in Ve…
  • Reminiscences

  • Blog Stats

    • 1,024,386 hits
  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,734 other followers

[325] The Meaning of Night – Michael Cox

” Revenge has a long memory. ” [46:678]
” I had taken my revenge, and he had paid the price that I had set for the many injuries he had done to me; but I felt scant comfort, and not a trace of elation, only the dull sense of a duty done. ” [46:679]

“After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn’s for an oyster supper.” So begins the story of Edward Glyver, which, actually, is not his real name. The random act to kill, so swiftly and without compunction, is no more than an exercise, a prelude, that will steel him for the real gig. A revengeful murder on a former classmate who had then wronged him and now takes his inheritance. Set in Victorian England, The Meaning of Night is an engrossing and complicated tale of deception, heartlessness, and wild justice, in which a rightful heir contrives to win back what belongs to him, even if he has to compromise with the law. As secrets of his rearing reveals, Glyver’s life has all been deceit.

Yet even this was not my true name, and Captain and Mrs. Edward Glyver of Sandchurch, Dorset, were not my parents. It all began, you see, in deceit; and only when the truth is told at last will expiation be made and the poor unquiet soul, from whom all these troubles have flowed, find peace at last. [8:100]

A chance discovery from Mrs. Glyver’s journal launches his quest to find proof that would enable him to claim his rightful place as a member of the prestigious Duport family in Evenwood. Insinuated into the solicitor firm that acted on confidentiality, Edward Glyver, now Edward Glapthorn, seeks information on the surreptitious arrangement made between a Ladyship and his foster-mother, Simona Glyver. The papers concerning Edward’s true identity is secured by Paul Cateret, secretary to Lord Tansor of Duport, who is murdered.

The more layers of the secret peeled, the better and more engrossing the story of The Meaning of Night becomes. The voluminous book has no fillers. Glyver is an attractive anti-hero, bibliophilic, scholarly, and passionate, someone with whom readers would sympathize, without necessarily approving of him. After all, he is someone who is morally compromised, obsessive, and driven to commit violence for what he believes to be a judicial cause.

Everything that should have been mine was to go to Daunt, being the step-son of Lord Tansor’s second cousin, Mrs. Caroline Daunt, who, by this relationship, might one day complete her triumph and inherit the title herself, as a female collateral descendant of the First Baron Tansor. [38:559]

In a sense, the shock of the first sentence of the novel (as I have quoted above) has prepared me for the true state of Glyver’s mind and being. He is a victim, not only of his own obsessive and fractured nature but also because of the selfish and misguided actions of his birth mother. A decision causes lifetime consequences on her son. What makes this novel a thrill is that every word is to be weighed on its reliability, as the legitimate heir deprived of his birthright, insinuates into family secret and becomes detective of his enemy. The themes of betrayal, revenge, social status, and moral hypocrisy echo the works written in the historical period in which the novel is set. It ponders on how inherited wealth and privilege have trampled implacably on the claims of common human feeling and family connexion.

703 pp. [Read/Skim/Toss] [Buy/Borrow]

Advertisements

18 Responses

  1. Somehow this sounds like a terrific wintry read!

  2. An interesting story indeed. One that requires attention.

  3. This book was quite a surprise to me. I’ve expected a thrilling read, some mystery and drama but I really was not prepared to become so completely overwhelmed by it. The writing itself is superb, which I would expect if only I knew at the time that the man who wrote it was a Cambridge graduate … in English. Now I know this as well as the fact that he had this book in his mind some thirty years before actually starting to write it down. Which is a very long time to ponder on any subject. I suspect this was the reason for its great outcome.
    I was very sad after I found out about his death. One of the best books I’ve read last year.

    • I first read about the book on another blog, then forgot about the name. Then recently I spotted it again on the sale section of my indie, where it is heavily marked down. I decided to take it home with me. I’m overwhelmed by the story and was thoroughly drawn into the writing. I have “The Glass of Time” and cannot wait to read it.

  4. I found this book last week at a library book sale for a shocking 50 cents! I really can’t wait to read it and am thrilled I found it’s review on your blog.

  5. […] [325] The Meaning of Night – Michael Cox […]

  6. […] The Meaning of Night Michael Cox. The themes of betrayal, revenge, social status, and moral hypocrisy echo the works written in the historical period in which the novel is set. It ponders on how inherited wealth and privilege have trampled implacably on the claims of common human feeling and family connexion. […]

  7. […] never compromised by the non-linearity of the narrative. A coherent novel full of convolutions is The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox. It ponders on how inherited wealth and privilege have trampled implacably on the […]

  8. […] spicy noodle soup) stall. I stayed up half the night in the hotel room finished reading it. The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox was another all-nighter. The literary thriller set in Victorian England was about a […]

  9. […] onto the events and their aftermath in The Meaning of Night, The Glass of Time digs even deeper into the secrets that provoke and justify Edward Glyver’s […]

  10. […] [340] The Glass of T… on [325] The Meaning of Night …Matthew on Play By the RulesMatthew on Play By the RulesMatthew on Play By […]

  11. […] series that reads like literature (is this what literary thrillers mean?) is the Michael Cox duo The Meaning of Night and The Glass of Time, which have to read in order because the second book is a sequel. Like almost […]

  12. […] series that reads like literature (is this what literary thrillers mean?) is the Michael Cox duo The Meaning of Night and The Glass of Time, which have to read in order because the second book is a sequel. Like almost […]

  13. […] series that reads like literature (is this what literary thrillers mean?) is the Michael Cox duo The Meaning of Night and The Glass of Time, which have to read in order because the second book is a sequel. Like almost […]

  14. […] is now known as the Millennium series was meant to consist of 10 volumes. Michael Cox’s duo, The Meaning of Night and The Glass of Time, are the best series I’ve read. They belong to a cross genre known as […]

  15. […] Glass of Time Michael Cox A sequel to The Meaning of Night (best of books in 2010), it digs even deeper into the secrets that provoke and justify Edward […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: