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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long On Psychology, Short on Thriller
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...
Published on 17 Sept. 2001 by -sweetmolly-(barbaracoe@mediao...

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Violently homophobic
The book is well written, Rendell is a brilliant plotwriter, but I detest the homophobic tendency which is never pronounced but ever present. Especially the end is monstrous: the true homosexual is dead, murdererd which enables the bisexual boyfriend to live happy ever after with his girlfriend. Disgusting when you think of it. Sorry Mrs Vine, maybe you should actually...
Published 8 months ago by R Jong


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long On Psychology, Short on Thriller, 17 Sept. 2001
This review is from: No Night is Too Long (Paperback)
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. Have you ever had anyone (be it a discarded lover or your great-aunt Sally) shower you with attentions and pleadings of which you wanted no part? It makes monsters of us all. The stage is set.
Ivo more or less forces the reluctant and sulky Tim on a cruise of the shores of Alaska. Tim meets the beauteous Isabel in Juneau while Ivo is off lecturing. And now the story quickly picks up a headlong pace. Ms. Rendell/Vine has us hooked good and proper, and we are in for some mind-boggling surprises. The key to this book is obsession, not romance. The author deftly ties up the loose ribbons and presents us with a nicely wrapped finished package.
Though I don't believe this book is as powerful as "A Dark Adapted Eye," it does demonstrate the author's great versatility and goes way beyond "well developed characterization." You can't help thinking, "there, if not by the grace of God, go I" I would recommend it for when you are in a pondering mood.
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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
This review is from: No Night is Too Long (Paperback)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book, 17 July 2011
This review is from: No Night is Too Long (Paperback)
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 In the lee of the chimney of Chechin, 21 Aug. 2010
By 
Eileen Shaw "Kokoschka's_cat" (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Night is Too Long (Paperback)
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obsessive, 30 Jan. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: No Night is Too Long (Paperback)
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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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
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This review is from: No Night is Too Long (Paperback)
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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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruth Rendell prejudiced? Absurd!, 28 Feb. 2007
By 
M.D. Smart (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Night is Too Long (Paperback)
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 of sexuality in her books and it is always with great sympathy and sensitivity. The reviewer below claims there are no happy gay couples in the Rendell / Vine books (in fact, there is a such a couple in Asta's Book)- well, are there many happy straight couples in her books either? Considering the dark tone and subject matter of her fiction, would anyone expect to find them populated with happy couples of either preference? Besides, Rendell clearly wants to highlight some of the injustices that gay men and women face through her work, and an endless parade of blissful relationships would hardly serve the purpose. I suggest the reviewer vents his anger upon a source of genuine homophobia, instead of directing his paranoid accusations against a writer who has shown nothing but sympathy for the gay community throughout her career.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Books Are Too Short, 25 Feb. 2004
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Night is Too Long (Paperback)
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 unbelieveable. I've long been aware of Rendell's genius, but this was a shock even for me.
The story actually moves pretty slowly, but the suspense and tension is just unbearable. You know very well that cataclysmic events are going to occur, but of how and when you know nothing. The sense of wonderment you feel at Rendell (in any of her incarnations) is simply awe-inspiring. You read and read and read, completely unable to tear your eyes from the story, even though its moving with a slow pace. Its thrilling, suspenseful and beautifully tense. And I loved it.
The plot is simple - a telling of how a gay love-affair leads to the chill Pacific north, and fromt hence to murder - but very strong. There are good, strong, simple, sensible, realistic twists. They turn the story once or twice, adding just the right amoung of freshness and surprise.
The characters are superbly well drawn and believeable. and quite likeable, despite their flaws. The completely unsettling thing about Rendell's books are the fact that, in this case at least, the people seem quite, quite normal. Tim is just a normal young man, struggling with his identity and sexuality, experiencing the world for what it really is. He's nothing special. Has no psychological abnormalities, is not in any damaged And yet he is driven to murder. This novel is a bravura display of how circumstances can drive people to commit horrible deeds. Quite sane, normal people, slowly taken hold of.
This is a wonderful book. A masterpiece. The writing is just first class, cold, icy, gripping, and the descriptions of the places in which this novel are set are simply stunning. I have never been to Alaska (in particular) but through her descriptions i found myself transported there. And now, my window to it is closed, I want to visit it. It's a desire that should pass in a few days, but it's a powerful thing to feel simply after reading a book. No Night is Too Long is a dark, icy wasteland of a novel; an erotic and disturbing slice of Rendell's dangeorus world.
I would reccomend this to everyone. I have in the past held of reading Barbara Vine, because i assumed that they would be something very different. So different as to need publishing under a different name. My, though, was I wrong. After all, a Rendell by any other name is still a Rendell. These books still contain the intensity of subtle plot, great characters, good twists, and all the things I expect from Rendell. It has been months since i've read anything new by her, and now i have discovered this new rich casket of wonders, my future in reading looks very bright indeed.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Violently homophobic, 24 Aug. 2014
By 
R Jong "Corvo" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Night is Too Long (Paperback)
The book is well written, Rendell is a brilliant plotwriter, but I detest the homophobic tendency which is never pronounced but ever present. Especially the end is monstrous: the true homosexual is dead, murdererd which enables the bisexual boyfriend to live happy ever after with his girlfriend. Disgusting when you think of it. Sorry Mrs Vine, maybe you should actually once in a while TALK to real gays, COMMUNICATE with them. You might be surprised to find out they are not monkeys in a zoo. They are just like real people.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a must read, 11 Dec. 2013
By 
M. L. Cooke (britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Night is Too Long (Paperback)
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
Barbara vine needs no introduction but
I had never heard of james sallies,you do need to read all three of his as they are a trilogy
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No Night is Too Long
No Night is Too Long by Barbara Vine (Paperback - 6 July 1995)
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