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No Night is Too Long [Mass Market Paperback]

Ruth Rendell , Barbara Vine
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan 1996
Set in Alaska and Suffolk, this story involves a brother (Ivo) and sister (Isabel), each of whom has a sexual relationship with Tim. When Ivo is left for dead on a remote Arctic island, the way seems clear for Tim and Isabel. But nothing quite plays itself out in the way one might expect.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Onyx Books; Reprint edition (Jan 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451406346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451406347
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,125,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ruth Rendell has won many awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View; a second Edgar in 1984 from the Mystery Writers of America for the best short story, 'The New Girl Friend'; and a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986. She was also the winner of the 1990 Sunday Times Literary award, as well as the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long On Psychology, Short on Thriller 17 Sep 2001
To those who need an adrenaline rush before page 10, this is not the book for you. My first assessment of "No Night Is Too Long" was that it was monstrously slow starting. Upon reflection, I don't think it could be structured any other way. The story's effect hangs on our thorough understanding of Timothy's point of view contrasted with how others see him. Tim is atrociously self-absorbed yet almost without personal vanity. He is a recreational liar, but never to himself. It takes a good and sufficient time to develop this young man, and if he were not developed, the story would have no meaning. The reader must see beyond Tim's startling beauty. Given the visuality of Ms. Rendell/Vine's prose, it takes a long lead-in for readers to see Tim plain and unadorned. Think of young Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt. I have always been convinced those two would stop traffic whether famous or not, and not one person would be aware (or care) if they were sensitive, caring, or struggling. They would be thinking: "Wow!" This is Tim Cornish.
When Tim meets Dr. Ivo Steadman, (who else but Rupert Everett?) he is certain he must be in love because he has never felt this way before. He has had a few dilatory girl friends that didn't stir him, only occasionally "scratched an itch." So what was this? The shortness of breath? The obsessing for Ivo's presence? This was something startlingly new and different, and it must be love! Tim found it also had a very short duration. As soon as Ivo dropped his Rochester/Heathcliff airs of arrogance and disdain, Tim was quickly out of love and into contempt. Alas, poor Ivo who made more and more frantic and futile efforts to entice and ensnare the errant Tim. I couldn't help but sympathize with Tim at this point.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've ever read... 7 Feb 2003
By A Customer
I usually stick to one particular genre but after last years new years resolution to read a wider range I encountered this brilliant book, and what a great thing too.
The book honestly is the best book I've ever read. It is fantastically written and is a credit to Ruth Rendell (Barbara Vine).
The story is about Tim and his love life as he ventures from his love for a university student to a professor and finds his sexuality. However, the true love is across the Atlantic living in canada.
The story is gripping and I didn't want to put it down. I can not describe how fantastic this book was. I'd recommend it to anyone. The only bad point to the book is that I knew I'd reach the end.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obsessive 30 Jan 2003
By A Customer
As a previous reviewer pointed out, this is a novel of obsessive love rather than an out-and-out thriller. The mood of the story, however, draws the reader in until the claustrophobia is almost real. The fear of knowing that someone is dead and yet seeing them everywhere, the sinister letters that keep arriving day by day - is Tim going insane or is it merely the past catching up with him?
This is a truly compelling novel that hooks the reader, making it impossible to put the book down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book 17 July 2011
By gambist
I have just re-read this book after many years. The quality of the writing is outstanding and the clever blend of character and place is handled superbly by Vine. It puts modern fiction to shame, so many writers seem to think they can hide behind copious description of places or occupations. Here, though, Vine writes so convincingly that nothing jars.

I see this book is out of print so I am hanging on to my copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book with the wrong ending. 19 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was captivated from the very first by the cold, doom-laden atmosphere surrounding Tim, the 'hero'. The writing is wonderful (by the way, has anyone ever noticed the vast differences between the best and the worst of Rendell/Vine?) But the ending seemed wrong to me. If you haven't yet read the book, don't read on because my next paragraph contains SPOILERS.
I always thought it possible that Ivo hadn't died. At the same time, Tim knows that he has committed murder in his heart and cannot recover from the guilt. But once the author has brought him back to life, it is disappointing to have him killed all over again. I know there has to be a murder somewhere in a Vine/Rendell novel. But to my mind it would work better if it was Tim who was killed, having first met Ivo and achieved some sort of reconciliation. The vision on the last page of him and Isabel embracing is quite distasteful. Too much has gone wrong and Ivo's body would always lie between them. I think it would have been better if Tim was destroyed through his taste for living dangerously and the brother and sister repaired their relationship.
Unfortunately, once a writer is very successful, he or she can publish what they like and no editor will dare to point out how it could have been made even better. But if I had been Ruth Rendell's publisher, the above is what I would have said.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In the lee of the chimney of Chechin 21 Aug 2010
By Eileen Shaw TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This novel has a twist in the tale that is well worth the wait - true the wait is nearly book-length before we get to the point of revelation. "Vine is the mistress of that contradiction in terms" one reviewer writes on the back cover, "the slow-moving thriller." Is it self-indulgent? Not really, because she rlentlessly builds up tension, even while she seems to be avoiding the action. And there is lots of residual action in a series of stepped climaxes that were meaty enough for me.

Our protagonist, Tim, is writing this story from hindsight and much of it is painful for him. Very cleverly Vine racks up the suspense in this story of a mixed up young lad who wants to be a writer and who is not sure about his sexuality. He falls for Ivo, an older man, an academic, who takes Tim on his annual lecture-trail on a cruise ship to Alaska, though when Ivo makes a mistake with the dates Tim has to spend two weeks alone in a luxury hotel, waiting for the cruise to begin. While there he falls in love with a woman on her own, and his subsequent problems arise out of the need to keep Ivo and the beautiful Isabel apart. A violent act and a moment of forgetfulness leaves Ivo stranded. But the real truth is yet to be revealed.

The complexity of the story strains the marvellously evocative atmosphere of this novel a little, but it has an entirely satisfying ending, although I do agree with one reviewer here about the gratuitous death of one of the characters, I can't see Vine's supposed 'anti-gay prejudice'. Too much like special pleading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read
after buying an edition of the big issue I took notice of the article written about the five (or 6) books you should read before you die
I agree
they are brilliant... Read more
Published 7 months ago by M. L. Cooke
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story
Excellent story line that slowly takes hold of you until you are utterly gripped and cannot put it down. Clever, unusual plot and engaging, believable characters. So well written. Read more
Published on 27 July 2012 by Graemey
3.0 out of 5 stars No Book is So Slow?
A good story, but far too slow, and the main characters are so self obsessed that they quickly become boring.
Published on 24 Jun 2011 by Troy Beal
1.0 out of 5 stars Vine homophobic as usual
A deeply homophobic book which centres on a wildly improbable plot of identical brother and sister twins. Read more
Published on 3 Dec 2008 by Peter Scott-presland
1.0 out of 5 stars Least enjoyable of all Ruth Rendall's books
Having enjoyed pretty much all of Barbara Vine's other books, this was a big disappointment - too 'tricksy' and self-consciously clever and I really didn't care what happened to... Read more
Published on 15 July 2008 by crumb
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruth Rendell prejudiced? Absurd!
I felt I had to repudiate the ridiculous assertions made in the previous review. Ruth Rendell has been an active gay rights campaigner for decades; she frequently deals with issues... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2007 by M. D. Smart
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but prejudiced
As a gay man I was reluctant to read this book, despite being a deeply appreciative reader of Rendell/Vine for years. Read more
Published on 14 Feb 2007 by Rufusred
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Books Are Too Short
After reading the very first chapter, I knew i was going to love this book. I was mesmersised by the first chapter, and already felt so involved in the story that it was... Read more
Published on 25 Feb 2004 by RachelWalker
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