Buy Used
CDN$ 3.72
+ CDN$ 6.49 shipping
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by wobcanada
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Meaning of Night: A Confession Hardcover – 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all 17 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
CDN$ 23.23 CDN$ 3.72

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393062031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393062038
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.6 x 24.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 975 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #265,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Author Michael Cox apparently took some 30 years to write this novel The Meaning of Night. Weighing in at 600 pages, it may take you almost that long to read it. Mr. Cox is the editor of The Oxford Book of Victorian Detective Stories and clearly knows the writing style of the period intimately. I have read a lot of 19th century literature and if I hadn't known that this was a modern book, the author would have had me fooled. It has all the requisite characters - the young man cheated out of his inheritance, the saintly mother, the kindly benefactor, the beguiling prostitute, the evil enemy, the beautiful chaste young lady, the mysterious deceased Lady of the manor, even the rotund housekeeper and the weeping maid. Mr. Cox has not only captured the voice of the time, he gives the novel the kind of pacing of a Victorian detective fiction, doling out bits of forshadowing information and plot twists, although none that weren't apparent to me. The novel touches on many things common to Victorian books: the notion of honour, loyalty, blood, true love all seen through the lens of the social mores of the time. Readers of modern novels may find it wordy, but if you are a fan of authors such as Wilkie Collins then you have a good read ahead of you. So sit in your wingback chair in front of the fire with your companion next to you working her embroidery, ring for the butler to bring your tea (or perhaps a very little whisky) and open the pages of the novel and let Mr. Cox work his magic.

For movie lovers - you might want to try Kind Hearts and Coronets (19490 starring Alec Guiness and Dennis Price which covers a lot of the same territory but with a lot more humour.
3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
"After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn's for an oyster supper."

Who could stop reading after such an opening sentence? Cox's monumental novel is subtitled "A Confession," could it be that is taken care of on page 1? Not quite. "The Meaning Of Night" is a labyrinthian journey through mid 19th century England, from the dank brothel lined streets of London to the elegance of Evenwood, a luxurious country home. The story is told ala Dickens, rich with Victorian language and copious footnotes.

Our narrator is Edward Glyver who well remembers that the first word he ever heard used to describe him was "resourceful." He is that and more. As a youngster he was the victim of a plot executed by Phoebus Rainsford Daunt, a fellow schoolboy. Edward was dismissed and sent home. However, we're reminded that "revenge has a long memory;" in this case, some two decades.

As the tale evolves, both Edward and Phoebus are rivals again. Following the death of Edward's mother he has reason to believe that his parentage is not what he thought it to be. Lord Tansor, master of Evenwood, is childless and has yet to choose an heir. Could that heir be Edward? This is a prize that Phoebus also pursues - not with honor we might add as he's both poet and shyster.

Lord Tansor's cousin, the mysterious and beautiful Emily Carteret, is also a prize that both men would win.

"The Meaning of Night" is a weighty read (700 pages) and a virtuoso accomplishment by the author. Those who appreciate Victorian thrillers will find pleasure in every sentence.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke
5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
According to the dust jacket on the book, it took the author 30 years to write this novel. And it shows. The level of detail demonstrated in the novel is extensive. The numerous footnotes and comments from the editor show that Cox spent a great deal of time researching and writing his novel.

The trouble is, Cox goes off in many different directions. Too many directions. And a story that could have been short, succinct, and to the point quickly, ends up rambling on and on and on. The reader could easily miss the middle 200 pages or so and not skip a beat with the rest of the story or the plot.

Having said that, the story is intriguing. Anyone who is a fan of the historical fiction novel will certainly enjoy this book. Provided they don't mind reading 200+ pages of additional filler.
One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on Nov. 12 2011
Format: Paperback
Wow! On every level this is an impressive first novel. It works extremely well for three reasons. First, it is an intricate and detailed mystery reminiscent of the writings from the mid 18th century when it takes place. Second, the main character's motivations are laid bare as the novel progresses in a clever, subtle manner. And lastly, the various sources of information that propel the story give it more credibility - diaries, affidavits, recollections add to the texture. I recognize that many have criticized the book for being too long and drawing out a resolution. But when you look at the bestseller lists, we fiction readers have largely been trained to expect books to be roughly 325 pages. In the case of The Meaning of Night, I found that patience is rewarded.

The novel flows at varied paces which adds to the entertainment. It is also varied as equal parts mystery, confession, and unrequited romance. The writing is both fluid and dense, I love his ongoing description of London as "the Great Leviathan, the never-sleeping monster in whose expanding coils I now dwelled." Another example is the author's Dickens-like description of one character, "You instantly saw a natural disposition towards goodness, his roundness seeming appropriately indicative of a corresponding completeness of character: that enviable, unaffected integration of feeling and temperament in which there is excess neither of preening self-regard nor impatience with the failings of others." And as good reading should provide, I learned new words and appreciated the author's use of translated Latin phrases.

Yet it is Edward Glyver's curious pursuit of Phoebus Daunt that intrigues. Is Daunt a true Moriarty? Or has Glyver found a clever excuse for his life's trials and tribulations? I invite you to find out - put on a fire, steep a tea or pour a scotch and settle into a tale not to be rushed.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Most recent customer reviews

Look for similar items by category