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Night Has a Thousand Eyes
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Night Has a Thousand Eyes

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  601 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
Cornell Woolrich's novels define the essence of noir nihilism.-Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review One of Cornell Woolrich's most famous novels, this classic noir tale of a con man struggling with his ability to see the future is arguably the author's best in its depiction of a doomed vision of predestination.
Paperback, 344 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Pegasus Books (first published January 1st 1945)
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Sep 02, 2012 Cynthia rated it really liked it
Two Eyes are Plenty

Cornell Woolrich is one of the principal ‘Film Noir’ writers. Many of his idiosyncratic books have been filmed as was “Night has a Thousand Eyes”. There are parts of this book that sparkle just like the title but there are other places that it slows down mostly in the police investigation sections when the main protagonist, police officer Tom Shawn, isn’t involved. The first 30% of the book is bang on, a real page turner; vintage Film Noir. The scene: A rich beautiful girl in
Aug 31, 2012 Forrest rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Whoa. This wasn't what I expected from my first dip into the writings of noir master Cornell Woolrich. I knew there would be darkness, certainly, but I figured that would probably just be a wrapper to some otherwise hard-boiled crime fiction. Wrong. Instead, Night Has a Thousand Eyes is a tale of predestination, clairvoyance, and madness that comes straight out of the Twilight Zone.

The set up is cinematic and delicious: a detective, walking along the river late one night, rescues a wealthy young
“The night seemed darker than it was; the darkness was on the inside, not the out; I could barely see her face; there before me. Will, volition, was like a flickering candle flame going out in all that darkness, going lower, lower, lower, guttering to an end. Leaving the eternal, rayless night of fatalism, of predestination, to suffocate us, herself and me alike.”

A pitch black perfect noir opening where moonlight and the scattered remnants of a wrong doing haunt the pages, whispering murderous
Aug 18, 2011 Sandy rated it really liked it
On the cover of my Dell paperback edition of "Night Has a Thousand Eyes" (with a cover price of 25 cents), the author is listed as William Irish, with an asterisk next to the name. At the bottom of the cover, next to the footnote asterisk, is another name: George Hopley. This should not fool any prospective readers, though. Both names were pseudonyms of Cornell Woolrich, the author whom Isaac Asimov called "THE Master of Suspense"; whom his biographer, Francis Nevins, Jr., called "the Edgar Alla ...more
Jack Tripper
This had an intriguing concept -- about a newly-acquainted man and woman attempting to change the hand that fate has dealt them, even though every move they make further ensures that preordained fate -- but is unfortunately let down by overly-wordy narration that sucks any potential for suspense right out of the story. Much of the novel is told from one person to another in a coffee shop, yet is so descriptive and with such perfect recall about every minute, trivial detail, that my suspension of ...more
Sep 20, 2016 Tony rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES. (1945). Cornell Woolrich (writing as George Hopley). ***1/2.
This is the most thrilling novel I have yet read by Woolrich. I have to admit that he could have used the help of an editor in cutting down on lots of his tangents, but in spite of the novel being over-long, it still managed to grip me – the reader. It involves a reluctant prophet, who would rather not have his abilities known to the rest of the world, since his forecasts always seemed to manage to get him and
Antonius Block
Woolrich’s predestination thriller (one of only two books he published under the name George Hopley) combines two staples he used quite often in his work: the race-against-time story and the detective story. The plot involves an aristocratic father and daughter who come in contact with a man who convinces them he can see the future, something the father turns to his financial advantage until one day being informed that he will die in a few weeks time, at the stroke of midnight, at the jaws of a ...more
Randolph Carter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2015 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
This book was an odd little story. It started off so strong. I was hooked. I enjoyed the plight of the characters. But somewhere in the middle the momentum stalled and then the rambling began. I was wondering what happened. I wish the initial momentum could have been sustained. I still wanted to see how things got wrapped up. It was predictable, but still an interesting read.
Deborah Sheldon
Jan 27, 2016 Deborah Sheldon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating and beautifully written story about fate, paranoia and fear of death that features some truly cinematic imagery. What struck me in particular is Woolrich's masterful ability to communicate a character's state of mind through spot-on descriptions of body language.
Pop Bop
May 22, 2014 Pop Bop rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Relentless Tension - A Bleak Tale of Despair and Dread

The operative word here is dread. All of the strands of the plot, all of the characters, all of the previous hints and developments move inexorably and mercilessly to the midnight hour and to the resolution of the characters' fates. This isn't horror, exactly. It isn't crime, precisely. It is fate and dread and despair in the night, beneath the unblinking stars. Woolrich practically invented this style, and this book is one of his finest crea
Jan 03, 2012 Piccolamimi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ossessionante - Come lottare contro il destino? :O

Toc... toc... toc... i cavalli della morte trottavano verso il palo.

Inquietante e ossessionante per chi legge proprio come per il protagonista di questa particolare vicenda - Harlan Reid - diventa un'ossessione il tempo; come rimanere, infatti, impassibili di fronte ad un uomo che è in grado di predire l'ora esatta della morte di un altro individuo che avverrà a mezzanotte di un giorno ben predefinito?
Supponiamo che il nostro Harlan creda fermame
S Suzanne
Jul 03, 2013 S Suzanne rated it liked it
I enjoyed Woolrich's detailed and poetic description in the beginning very much, and I can see why people call him a great "idea man".

I noticed his detective here likes to get a first look, first snapshot in his mind of a crime scene, believing in intuition. This is exactly what Jo Nesbo does with Harry Hole. I have not read much thriller/noir, but
I have a sense of Woolrich as progenitor of many conventions.

Many think he is too wordy - but it does add to suspense in some places, and poetry in o
Chris Becker
Nov 20, 2011 Chris Becker rated it really liked it
I've loved Woolrich for decades. I first discovered his writing in the early 1980s via some short story reprints in EQMM and AHMM. Then I found several of his books at a used book store and I loved his work right away.

Woolrich was not always the greatest writer... his prose was quite bloated and purple, but he was, in the words of Raymond Chandler, "The best idea man in the business." What can you say about the man who INVENTED noir. Before there was film noir, there was the "roman noir," French
I loved the beginning of this book. The first chapter and the second chapter (a flashback which takes up over 1/3 of the book) are atmospheric and intriguing. The problem lies in the drawn-out, overwritten latter part of the book. Almost all of the tedious police procedural sections could have been edited out.
Jan 26, 2008 Tony rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pulp-fiction
Outside of the very intense determinism of the book--this is literary Naturalism at its most Pulp wildness--the thing to read this book for is the absolutely gorgeous prose. Woolrich is an absolutely visual thinker, and he paints dark, dark, Hopperesque pictures in words that will blow your mind. Wonderful novel.
Dec 26, 2012 Rick rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Excellent, atmospheric noir novel by the screenwriter of Tourneur's The Leopard Man and Hitchcock's Rear Window.
Mark Bacon
Feb 13, 2014 Mark Bacon rated it really liked it
Warning: this book review contains a spoiler. No, I’m not going to give away the plot of this Cornell Woolrich thriller (originally published under a pen name), I’m going to alert you to a spoiler of sorts, written by the author himself. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

City homicide detective Tom Shawn is on his way home from work late one evening, walking along a river. As he approaches a bridge, he finds money, loose bills drifting in the breeze like leaves. As he turns across the bridge he fi
Eric Eden
Apr 09, 2017 Eric Eden rated it it was ok
As a big fan of Chandler and Cain, I expected to enjoy this book. Instead, I found the florid writing distracting and the plot just a little too ridiculous. Rather than pulling me in, I found the plot and characters repelling me.
Ann Sloan
Sep 02, 2012 Ann Sloan rated it liked it
Many are more familiar with the term “film noir.” There is another genre that shares the same qualities. "Noir fiction" evokes unrelenting gloom; the work of all the major authors in the field can be characterized by a fatalistic attitude. This type of fiction has a lean, direct writing style and the gritty realism. Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James Cain, Dorothy B. Hughes, Jim Thompson, and, contemporarily, Elmore Leonard. Cornell Woolrich belongs in this distinguished list. "Cornell Wo ...more
Bill FromPA
Oct 13, 2014 Bill FromPA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir
Prolific writers set up expectations about the nature of their work; as book succeeds book, readers come to expect a certain milieu and a certain set of assumptions about the nature of the world the writer portrays. It’s likely that Woolrich published this book in 1945 under the name George Hopley in order that readers would come to the novel without expecting the kind of story that would be written by Cornell Woolrich or William Irish, CW’s other nom de plume. This strategy was somewhat undermi ...more
Feb 20, 2017 Cindy rated it liked it
Strange plot. ©1945 no gore, profanity or sexual situations. Romance. Well narrated.
Crime Fiction - Noir

Cornell Woolrich is a master of noir fiction. This is the first time I've read him (he writes under multiple pseudonyms, including "William Irish" and "George Hopley").

The premise of a con man/clairvoyant, a wealthy man and his pampered adult daughter who get caught up in his trap is a brilliant concept. I was tempted to quit reading at the beginning when the daughter Jean is at her wit's end (literally) and meets Shawn. Angst or mental illness? By the end of that section I d
Mar 02, 2012 Paul rated it it was ok
I thought Woolrich did a good job building suspense especially in the first part of the book. The mounting dread was palpable as the backstory was told. However, as soon as the police investigation begins, the story bogs down with over-description of scenes. What works to create an atmosphere of doom early in the novel falls flat as page after page of a dinner or following a suspect or a parlor game creates less suspense than it does boredom. Many passages late in the novel should have been edit ...more
Mar 26, 2013 Gail rated it really liked it
This suspense thriller takes place in a short period of time. A wealthy man and his daughter have become acquainted with a man who can predict the future. He is told the day and time of his death. The police are involved, trying to determine the how and why of what they assume is a con. Meanwhile the daughter and a detective who has befriended her try to hold off the despair and panic affecting the old man as his time approaches. Quite exciting.
Mar 17, 2013 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Shelves: noir
Long curious about C.W., this was a good choice, I think, with which to begin my exploration. His writing style was jarring for some time: he is so external; the book is written like a narrative of a screenplay. I can certainly see why directors delighted in filming his stories.
By the end a true page-turner. Delighted. Will look for more of his work to read.
Elly Wendy
Jul 30, 2015 Elly Wendy rated it liked it
There were parts of this novel that worked really well for me, but equally there were other parts that either didn't work at all or dragged on and on and on, descriptions in tiny detail rambling on, that type of thing. I must be missing something as I see other reviewers rated it much higher. But for for me, it felt more like 2.5*.
Carla Remy
Aug 13, 2014 Carla Remy rated it really liked it
I now see that Cornell Woolrich's writing tends to teeter between clunky and sublime. This book is no exception. The supernatural element stands out from the other Woolrich I've read.
Dec 11, 2007 Stephen rated it really liked it
My friend who lives in Paris recommenced Woolrich to me. This is his first work I've read and I've since become a huge fan. This is noir fatalism at it's most palpable and inescapable.
Jun 09, 2017 Kate rated it really liked it
Классика жанра, весьма атмосферно: ночи, сигареты, драма, классовые различия, которые нарочито бросаются в глаза и нарочито героями отбрасываются как несущественные - о, Американская мечта! - гнетущая угроза скорой смерти, предсказанная то ли хитроумным мошенником, то ли бесхитростной деревенщиной. Расследовать несостоявшееся ещё пока убийство, да ради прекрасных глаз, берётся детектив в шляпе и пальто с именем Том Шон (решайте сами, которое из них имя).
Ужас и тревожное ожидание нагоняется масте
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Cornell Woolrich is widely regarded as the twentieth century’s finest writer of pure suspense fiction. The author of numerous classic novels and short stories (many of which were turned into classic films) such as Rear Window, The Bride Wore Black, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Waltz Into Darkness, and I Married a Dead Man, Woolrich began his career in the 1920s writing mainstream novels that won ...more
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“Each unto himself has his own world that he looks out upon, and though someone else were to stand on the very selfsame inch of ground your feet were placed upon, guided by chalk marks, he would not see the same things you did.” 6 likes
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