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A Dark-Adapted Eye Paperback – Oct 1 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (Oct. 1 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452270642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452270640
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #603,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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On the morning Vera died I woke up very early. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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By madcarrot on July 6 2004
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. The characters felt very real, and I felt better about my family after reading about this one. Always a plus. My only complaint is that it would have been fantastic if a family tree had been included. I made one and it definitely helped. Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine is a master.
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Format: Paperback
My first time viewing a video with a story by Ruth Rendell. I am not going to go into detail about the literary aspects of the story, but more about my opinion of the characters. I see on the website that Vera is discussed as a very controlling, strange and domineering woman.She seems pretty tame to me. In my opinion, Vera is quilty of nothing more than having an eccentric personality, but so what! If anyone is quilty of madness, it is her sister Eden and her son Francis. It is apparent that these two bad seeds were out to push poor old Vera over the edge. Also, I believe throughout this entire story, that Vera is,in a way, the victim of circumstance. It is apparent to me that the March baby she is accused of killing was not killed by her, but by Mr. March. The only murder Vera is guilty of is her sisters, and I couldn't blame her for killing her. Eden drove Vera to madness. So vera didn't have lots of money and she was a bit eccentric. She gave the baby what he needed most...love and affection, which is something Eden wasn't capable of doing!!
Personally, I do not feel Vera should have been hanged. The murder had not been premeditated. It was a crime of passion and temporary insanity brought on by none other than the emotionally impotent Eden.
And another thing, what about that niece of Vera's. Faith knew what Eden was out to do. Both Faith and her husband knew what Eden was doing was wrong, they should have done something about it. Some how I feel this murder and hanging could have been avoided, if Faith had gotten envolved. And where was Vera's brother John in all of this? Why didn't he get envolved!!?
Ultimately though, Vera should not have been hanged, given the circumstances. If there was an injustice, it was against poor Vera.
Sorry for typos, can't figure out how to use my spelling checker here.
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By Christian Dimas on Sept. 9 2002
Format: Paperback
I was disappointed in the work. Rendell's writing style is wonderful, her vocabulary artful. The problem was that I was not made to care about any of the characters--just superficial snapshots of way too many people to keep track of. The author described and gave detailed background information on at least 20 people who were never again involved in the story. When I finally struggled to the end, the thought I had was, "Who cares?"
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Format: Paperback
If you want a book, where it's a puzzle to find out "whodunnit", then this isn't for you.
Very quickly (within the first 10 pages) you know who is going to be killed by who. The rest of the novel covers the years leading up to that time. It's a fascinating character study, and a slice of life in 1940s England. The characters in the book are forever concealing their motivations, sins, and passions from society as a whole. The narrator struggles to understand her family members, and what caused the murder to take place.
In the end, you will also see that there is a mystery that is left hanging for the reader. Not the one that was revealed on page 10. However, there is another assumption in the book, that you find is not valid, and the solution is never laid out.
This book is slow, as some reviewers have mentioned. The first 50 pages or so take awhile to get moving. I advise you to stick with it, as these characters aren't as one-dimensional as they might originally seem.
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Format: Paperback
I guess I will be the one who appears to disagree with the majority of reviewers of this book. I will agree with the fact that the story is well written and laid out very well by Vine (Rendell). As a work of literature this is definitely a good book. I however, selected this book because it won an Edgar Award for best mystery and had those expectations. The book moves very slowly. I put it down countless times and read other books in the process. I picked it back up because of the wonderful reviews I had seen on Amazon. (I had not read anything by Ruth Rendell or Barbara Vine to compare the style of this book to her other books. According to a note in the back of the book when Rendell writes as Vine, she writes in an entirely different style.) In the end, I wasn't satisfied as a lover of mysteries with the pace or the outcome of the book.
So if you are looking for a fast paced mystery novel then this is not for you. If your expectation is that of a piece of literature that well depicts a society family in 1940s England, and the dysfunctional nature that they try to conceal and how it affects their lives both then and into the present, then this will not disappoint. Just don't expect this book to go quickly.
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By J. Miller on June 18 2002
Format: Paperback
I think this was my first Barbara Vine book and what a treat. Truthfully the first chapter was a bit hard to follow, Vine sort of throws you into the family history without much preparation but it gets sorted out soon. I couldn't put this book down, it was totally absorbing. So beautifully written it reads more like a memoir than a novel. Really original story.
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Format: Paperback
This is perhaps my favorite, although that is so hard to decide, of Rendell's Vine persona. This plot unravels so mysteriously that it is hard, even at the end, to be sure what you believe. Perhaps Rendell's ultimate skill is to accurately reflect the complexity and ambiguity of human relationships and this book shows off her ability to the max.
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