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Night Has a Thousand Eyes
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Night Has a Thousand Eyes

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  373 ratings  ·  30 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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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
“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
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
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
Pop Bop
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
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
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.
Jul 01, 2013 Rick rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
Excellent, atmospheric noir novel by the screenwriter of Tourneur's The Leopard Man and Hitchcock's Rear Window.
Bill FromPA
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
Mark Bacon
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
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
Ann Sloan
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
S Suzanne
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
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
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.
Aug 02, 2014 Cheryl rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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.
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.
First of all, the synopsis is wrong. This is NOT the tale of a con man struggling with his ability to see the future. Yes, there's a con man in there, but that's about it.

This is a tale of how knowing the future can suck all the fun right out of the present.
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
library mp3. Plot summary elsewhere. The opening just dragged, I couldn't get a sense of the era, or even where it was taking place. Later found it was first published in 1945, but even than the time seemed off.
The writing drew me in right away, but then it just kind of goes on and on. Which I suppose builds suspense. Sometimes. Other times it's like every tiniest detail of everything is lingered on. And on. And on. The story is interesting, but doesn't end up being surprising in any way.
I was going over my "to read" list when I barely remembered I read this book at all. It took me a few times to be interested in this, but once the main character found the rich girl tempted to kill herself and her unfolding story about her father's impeding doom, it captured me. The main character gets involved with proving the prediction's con and digging deeper into the lives of the father-daughter pair. It's a fairly good read, but didn't stay with me too much. I didn't get the vibe this main ...more
Lily Soltani
I loved the first part and as the investigation started, it became so wordy for me that made me feel exhausted at times. It reminded me of Joseph Conrod's writing, a simple story line with the rich writing style of 20th century. Overall I enjoyed it and now I am on another one of his books, Deadline at Dawn.
Patrick SG
Overly intricate writing style troubled me throughout this book. It's a interesting tale that is part police procedural and part sci-fi/horror. I'll have to read more by him before I make a final decision on the author. Certainly his works have been made into some classic films, which gives me hope.
Daniel Semel
I really didn't like this book. An overwrought plot with characters that might as well be inanimate objects. I am interested in filmmaking which is what drew me to Woolrich in the the first place, since he is supposedly a master story teller. I just don't care about these boring dull characters.
Well-written, compelling prose. Not as noir-ish as I thought it might be. Depressing, though.
I'm not gonna fight it—clearly doesn't work. I'll just read noir until I'm sick of it.
Noire but painfully noire. Way too much navel-gazing.
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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.” 5 likes
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