The Night Climbers A Novel PDF/EPUB ¼ Night Climbers

The Night Climbers A Novel The Night Climbers set among members of a close knit eccentric club at Cambridge portrays people at their most impressionable when the intensity of early relationships stand to define their lives foreverWhen James Walker first arrives at Tudor College Cambridge he is anxious to find his place among new friends By accident he encounters one of the members of a club calling itself the Tudor Night Climbers a tightly knit wealthy secretive and tantalizingly eccentric circle of undergraduates who at night scale the college towers and gargoyles in pursuit of ever greater sensations Seduced by their talent for decadence and high living James falls for the reckless charisma of both Francis the group's ringleader and Jessica his beautiful best friend Jessica becomes his obsession and also his arch rival for Francis's friendship The group's tear away extravagance is funded unwittingly by Francis's father Lord Soulford but when suddenly he cuts his son off the friends are left floundering until Francis embroils them all in a plan that will test not only their friendship but also their very souls The story begins with the news that almost ten years after the crime the fake Picasso they replaced the real one with is in danger of being discovered The beautiful Jessica visits the narratorlawyer James at his office in order to see what trouble they might be in and the story flashes back and forth in time also following the present narrative as they figure out whether they can save themselves Humming with intellectual energy and grace The Night Climbers portrays people at their most impressionable when the intensity of early relationships stand to define their lives forever Seductive and sinister The Night Climbers is an exciting debut by a talented young writer

10 thoughts on “The Night Climbers A Novel

  1. says:

    theres a reason i have a books claiming to be just like secret history shelf and this book is it its not a bad book; the story is engaging and fast paced but at every turn there are too many parallels to one of the best novels ever written without the effortless grace of tartt it just makes me want to reread secret history like right now

  2. says:

    The Night Climbers wears its influences on its sleeve so clearly that the sole uote displayed on the cover proclaims 'Lapped up The Secret History? Then this one's for you' Obviously I had to read it as soon as possible However now I've finished it I'm wondering about that context of that uote and whether the reviewer who wrote it meant it as a complimentIt's ironic that a significant element of the plot involves the protagonist forging a copy of a valuable work of art because this book is a virtual facsimile of The Secret History James the narrator now a successful barrister receives a visit from an old friend which stirs up unwanted memories of his days at Cambridge university In flashbacks we see how the younger James found himself inducted into a close knit group known as the Night Climbers because they scale the roofs of Cambridge's buildings after dark although this isn't much than an incidental detail in the end The group is led by decadent wealthy Francis and typically James who comes from a less impressive background though in this case 'less impressive' means he still went to private school he just isn't filthy rich feels like something of an outsider and is completely enthralled by his new friends And then SOMETHING TERRIBLE happens and the group is torn apart etc etc You know the drillThe writing is erudite but somehow soulless It's not dissimilar to Tartt's but where a better writer might have been able to push beyond the obvious influence and make something great out of it as was the case with Naomi Alderman's The Lessons here it just feels like a pastiche It seems like the sort of thing you might come out with at the beginning of a creative writing course with about 5 metaphors and similes on every page There isn't anything specifically wrong with the plot and there are actually lots of great scenes with Cambridge evoked rather well although I could have done without the name dropping of every shop road landmark etc However the characters aren't at all likeable and James in particular was someone I just couldn't warm toI'm aware that the author was only about 25 when this book was published and some respect is due for that; it's simply an immature debut and maybe he will write something much better in years to come I couldn't hate this book because it dealt with a lot of themes and situations I will always be fascinated by However ultimately it's just another mediocre rip off of a superior novel

  3. says:

    Why did I keep reading this? I hoped the mysteryplot would outweigh the ponderous self serving egotistical characters In the end however I realized that I had spent too much time with despicable shallow people With a narrator whose only relationships are with anonymous prostitutes and whose main hobby is pornography I as a reader was hoping for some transformation by the end What I got was a pathetic picture of Cambridge scholars with too much money and too little sense of morality goodness or compassion The final line Iprayed I could learn to want the right things was not enough evolution for me

  4. says:

    Like most modern books this is a search for meaning in actions done to the characters not in their own moral evolutionThis book combines cliches from the modern success stories and by that I mean general story ideas that were successful patching in bits of Dan Brown Fight Club Bret Easton Ellis Donna Tartt even your bog standard postmodern novel in the style of David Foster Wallace think David MitchellThe underlying story however is pure dime store novel the characters do not evolve they merely express themselves and disappear behind the curtainI mention it because in the midst of this chaos the author inserts a somewhat insightful view of race and class in which he points out that a our politics of race and class are entirely for show eg of the visible world and not the secret world in which the night climbers participate and b that they lead to a confusion of identity and self destructionBeyond that this book is appreciably better than average which is damning it with faint praise So I'll modify clearly thought went into this book than into your average modern superstar like Jodi Piccoult Alice Seybold Stephanie Meyer Lee Child etc

  5. says:

    I hated every single character in this book James was weak an idiot Francis an extremely spoiled shallow walking cliche I hated the things they did what they talked about I hated what happened how everything turned out The writing was good however which is why I'm giving it 2 stars I'd read something else by this author in hopes another story might match his writing actually be interesting to me We shall see

  6. says:

    My full review of this book is much longer than GoodReads' word count limitations Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcentercomAs regular readers know when it comes to many topics in the arts I like to do things a little differently here at CCLaP than at many other organizations; to cite one example as a book reviewer I deliberately try to learn as little industry information about the publishing world as possible even to the extent of purposely avoiding such publications as Booklist and Publishers Weekly even to the extent of never reading those books to keep your eye out for articles that come at the beginning of every literary season And the reason I do that of course is because of the lessons I learned from working at a college radio station for four years as an undergraduate; that too much exposure to the secret gears actually running an artistic industry can very easily ruin whatever simple appreciation you used to have for that medium I like to approach the books reviewed here in the same way as I imagine my average reader does; I like just walking randomly into bookstores and libraries picking books sometimes based solely on what the cover looks like or what the dustflap has to say of occasionally hearing someone mention a book that sounds intriguing and maybe filing it away in my endless books to get around to one day reading list at the back of my Moleskine notebook It's a process I feel would become corrupted if I were to learn too much inside information about the books in uestion; that if I were to follow the fates of certain titles for months before they came out if I were to see the entire promotional campaigns behind some of these titles it would not only negatively affect what books I end up reviewing here but what I have to say about themAnd in fact I can think of no better example of what I'm talking about than the subject of today's essay the solid and entertaining The Night Climbers by British first time novelist Ivo Stourton; it is a book I just literally came across by accident at my neighborhood library earlier this winter a book that probably otherwise would've never come to my attention especially if my plate were full with a bunch of insider benefit review copies of books I didn't particularly want to read in the first place a book I checked out literally because I liked the cover and because the concept sounded intriguing And it's indeed an intriguing book I've now found after finishing it not a masterpiece by any means and a little derivative to some other books I've read in the past concerning the same subjects but certainly a whole lot better than most people's first novels an undeniably tight page turner that will really suck you into its cultured high class Cambridge world a book you'll find yourself uickly zooming through and saying at the end Wow that was a great little novel When such a thing is a pleasant surprise like that it affirms to me that I've made the right career choice that reviewing books for a living really is as fun as it can sometimes seem; if I had been following the fate of this book for months though if I had been bombarded with marketing material from overzealous publicists I know for a fact that I wouldn't have liked it nearly as much that I would've been disappointed by its shortcomings instead of delighted by its strengths I like to think that makes me like you than a lot of other book reviewers; I like to think that makes CCLaP's reviews a little relevant to you than at other publications It certainly makes my job a lot fun I can tell you thatThe son of noted radio personality Ed Stourton recipient of a double first in English at Cambridge American translation really good grades The Night Climbers is in fact set at Cambridge itself at a college there called

  7. says:

    I was predisposed to like this story and was disappointed to not like it much at all The jacketteaser copy of the book made it sound interesting a group of college students who daringly climb the buildings around campus at night and against college regulations But the reality of it was this was only a very tiny portion of the story and the students were a group of narcisstic brats with overexaggerated worries out of proportion with the reality created by the author Although the characters were well drawn at times at others they were reduced to carcitures All too often the prose was heavy with adjectives as if the author was interested in playing with combinations of words rather than telling the story An interesting concept that was disappointingly rendered in my opinion

  8. says:

    A couple weeks ago I mentioned Donna Tartt’s novel The Secret History a book I read almost 20 years ago If you haven’t already read it I can highly recommend it as a compelling novel about art and literature particularly from the Greek period But even if this isn’t your thing The Secret History tells an intriguing tale of friendships made and destroyed on a college campus It’s a book that has stayed with me all these years and one I should really re readIvo Stourton’s novel The Night Climbers mirrors Tartt’s novel in some respects When James Walker arrives at Tudor College Cambridge he is careful about the friendships he formsMy father and Evelyn Waugh had warned me against the dangers of making early friends so I deliberately avoided contact with my fellow freshers in my first weeks hoping to cultivate a vague air of mystery that would bring me to the notice of the social elitePure chance brings Michael Findlay into his room and then shortly thereafter into a secret circle known as The Night Climbers James is smitten with The Night Climbers particularly Francis the son of a Lord Francis is beautiful and irreverent blithely spending his substantial allowance on alcohol drugs and dinners out Soon James is a part of this group and the novel follows their escapades from their delirious both literally and figuratively highs to their rock bottom lowsStourton’s novel is well written The story begins some years after James has left university and is paid a visit by one of his former friends who hints at some trouble that might be coming their way The story then artfully backtracks introducing us to this interesting group of characters James is not altogether unsympathetic either which is helpful because despite Stourton’s skill the book lacked any emotional resonance for me

  9. says:

    A sine wave of a reading experience I didn't enjoy the start very much warmed to it a little in the middle but it lost me at the endIt's obvious why the 'if you liked The Secret History' comment appears but where the characters in that book drew me in the characters in The Night Climbers have nowhere near the same depth and complexity and feel as if they are serving the plot rather than their own ends The narrator is an outsider but has passivity without interest and the same problem as rest of book his outsider status is there to serve a purpose rather than feeling true to the character

  10. says:

    It was a chore finishing this book I love reading books with Oxford or Cambridge as the setting and I guess that was the main reason for choosing this book I never warmed to any of the characters I found a lot of the writing ponderous I can not recall finding any pleasure reading this but I kept on reading as I continue thinking that there might be something on the next page or next chapter to rescue it

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