Reading guide for The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Meaning of Night

A Confession

by Michael Cox

The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox X
The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 672 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2007, 704 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. 'After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn's for an oyster supper.'

    The first line unexpectedly introduces Edward Glyver as a murderer. In some ways he is an unlikely hero. How quickly does the reader begin to support him? Is it sympathy, admiration or something else that first causes the reader to support this character?

  2. 'For Death is the meaning of night
    The eternal shadow
    Into which all lives must fall
    All hopes expire'
    P. Rainsford Daunt, 'From the Persian'

    What is the significance of the book's title?

  3. What does the role of the editor, J.J. Antrobus, add to the book?

  4. 487 members of the public read early copies of The Meaning of Night as part of a BML market research project. When asked 'Which other authors or other works of fiction would you compare The Meaning of Night to?', the most popular answers were Charles Dickens and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

    Do you agree with these answers? Do you feel Charles Dickens and Fingersmith were the most popular answers because of similarities in historical setting, geographical setting, characterisation, language, plot themes or something else?

  5. 'I think much of her – I mean my mother – and how alike we were.'

    How are Glyver and his mother Laura Duport similar? Do you think her actions were justifiable?

  6. In an interview the author Michael Cox said, 'Evenwood, the ravishingly beautiful country house, is a symbol of Glyver's ultimately forlorn hopes.'

    Which hope in particular do you think Evenwood symbolizes? Is it merely materialistic? What is it about Evenwood that Glyver is prepared to kill for?

  7. The chapter in which Le Grice gives Glyver a book of Daunt's poetry dedicated to 'E.G.' is entitled 'Amicus Verus' – a true friend. Is Le Grice Glyver's truest friend? Is there a character with whom Glyver has a stronger bond, even if their relationship does not survive the book?

  8. 'I killed him, but in doing so, I killed the best part of myself.'

    Which characters receive appropriate punishments and which do not? Were you satisfied with the book's ending?

    Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of W.W. Norton & Company. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Last Ballad
    The Last Ballad
    by Wiley Cash
    Ella May WigginsA hundred years ago or so, farming land west of Charlotte, North Carolina was given over to giant ...
  • Book Jacket: Future Home of the Living God
    Future Home of the Living God
    by Louise Erdrich
    Louise Erdrich began Future Home of the Living God in 2002, set it aside, and picked it up again in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Mrs. Parrish
    The Last Mrs. Parrish
    by Liv Constantine
    Amber has lived in poverty all her life, and she has had enough. Of course, wishing to have money ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

At once a love story, a history lesson and a beautifully written tale of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Strangers in Budapest
    by Jessica Keener

    Strong characters and a riveting plot combine in this psychological thriller set in Budapest.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

The thing that cowardice fears most is decision

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E Dog H I D

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.