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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: We Set the Dark on Fire
    We Set the Dark on Fire
    by Tehlor Mejia
    On the island of Medio, a wall separates the wealthy elite from those less fortunate who lack the ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Leopard, Red Wolf
    Black Leopard, Red Wolf
    by Marlon James
    If you are looking for an indulgent, escapist fantasy, Black Leopard, Red Wolf may not be for you. ...
  • Book Jacket: That Time I Loved You
    That Time I Loved You
    by Carianne Leung
    Carrianne Leung was a Toronto Book Award finalist for That Time I Loved You as well as for her debut...
  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Aeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    American Princess
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    Rated 4.9 stars by BookBrowse members - one of the highest scores of all time!
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    My Lovely Wife
    by Samantha Downing

    Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.