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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
No Night is Too Long
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 13 July 2017
I had to look up half-hunter = pocket watch; geode = geological secondary structures which occur in certain sedimentary and volcanic rocks.

She uses the term ‘part of the gay scene’ oddly to mean a way of talking rather than places.

Ok, so the protagonist is going to creative writing classes but would anyone, ever, write: But I felt as Orpheus must have when pursued by Maenads?

There’s a vivid sense of place.

The twist towards the end takes a while before you put the pieces together.

What a superb form of revenge – to send so much material to a fax machine that it devours several rolls of paper.
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on 14 July 2017
great barbara vine, great insight into human psychology as ususal
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on 15 November 2012
***This review may contain spoilers***

I've read other books of Ruth Rendell and I like her style. I find her books interesting and good reads.

This book has two parts: half of the narration is made my the main character and half by the female lead.
Tim's half is very well written. I like the way the characters develop, how they can't help being who they are, even it is makes the reader dislike them and the sex scenes were steamy (unlike current "grey" trends...). I believed every part of it, how Tim is self centered beyond rescue and Ivo is the sexy, mysterious guy that falls for the simplistic beau. Also, how he can be complex enough to love and beat a person at the same time-although I don't agree with his behavior.

The second half is disappointing. The lady (I don't remember her name and I never cared enough for the character to look it up now) is even more superficial than Tim. Honestly, she comes across as plain stupid. It's like someone wrote the second half without consulting with Rendell first.

The book was interesting up until the point the female character takes over, but the rest I choose to forget.

P.S. I won't go into the gay men depiction, I felt it was a bit unfair (either shallow or vindictive), but I am a straight woman so my opinion doesn't weigh much.
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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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on 7 February 2003
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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on 30 January 2003
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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on 21 August 2010
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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on 19 July 2013
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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on 27 October 2014
Be prepared for a complete departure for Barbara Vine, aka Ruth Rendell. The settings are Alaska, Seattle ,and the Suffolk Coast. The main character is a gay man who is described as looking like a young Robert Redford. This is a psychological thriller. The main character, Tim, is writing a personal diary describing the extraordinary events taking place in his life. It would be difficult to say more about this book without spoiling it for readers. It is a cliché to say it is a page turner but that would be the best description .There are many twists and turns and a surprise ending. This is a well written thriller and I would urge Ruth Rendell readers to buy this book. It stays in your mind for quite awhile. Highly recommended.
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on 15 July 2013
I love Barbara Vine books. Her writing is unique. I felt as though I had met all the characters in the book and was involved in their lives. Couldn't put it down. As always a surprising twist at the end.
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