Monday, September 24, 2007

The Meaning of Night

Title: The Meaning of Night
Author: Michael Cox
John Murray, 2007 (2006)

This novel is set in Victorian England and is narrated by a youngish man, Edward, who has been cheated out of his inheritance in the most spectacular and mysterious way. His mother, Lady Tansor, had him in secret, within wedlock, and gave him away to a friend to get back at her husband. Quite a revenge, I have to say, especially since no new heirs appeared on the scene the natural way. Lord Tansor, desperate to have an heir, decides to adopt a smart scoundrel who turns out to be Edward's longtime enemy, Phoebus Daunt!

The language is reminiscent of the easy, smooth talk you find in real Victorian novels. So is the girth of the book. No kidding, it could have been shorter and more concentrated. I would still say this is a satisfying vacation-read. Extra points for the made-up-sounding names (they do have a point): Mr. Shakeshaft, indeed. I hope I'm not the only one with a dirty imagination.

No comments: