Txkimmers's Reviews > The Night Strangers

The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
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Jan 19, 13

Read on December 01, 2011

I feel very ambivalent about Bohjalian's novel in the end, and my feelings about it moved along a giant bell curve while I was reading it. Despite the excellent performances of the two narrators (I listened to an Audible version), I had a lot of trouble getting into it, feeling that it spent an inordinate amount of time re-hashing the minute details of the plane crash that traumatized the sad sack airline pilot. I really wanted to be more sympathetic to his situation, but he didn't become interesting to me until he started having homicidal thoughts.

But...the author has a great talent for building a delicate kind of jenga-like structure with the histories and motivations of the large cast of characters, and eventually I was utterly drawn in, realizing (with relish) that when the climax came, I had no idea who would prevail. Everyone seems to have a potential to tip the balance of things, so the structure of the characters' power plays was very well done.

But but...when everything did finally come to a head, it was a crazy messy sprawl in which everyone and his brother, and possibly even the cast of Glee was in there somewhere, ends up in the same location doing all kinds of ridiculous and inexplicable things. And then on top of that, the denouement toppled my own delicate and wobbling jenga-like patience.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Elisa (new)

Elisa Great review! I read one of his other books (The Double Bind) and it was one of the very worst books I have ever read.


message 2: by Pam (new) - rated it 2 stars

Pam Exactly. Wish I could just copy your review - since you said it so well, I don't have to say much in mine.


Txkimmers Thanks! People seem to like this review, they fave it, I get an email about it, and then I get remember how utterly shitty the end of that book was. :D


Melody I'm listening to this story as well. I can't get into the female voice because from the very beginning, her voice was so babyish. Ugh! Ten year old girls do not sound like toddlers. Then, no matter how upset the mom is, it sounds on the audio like the narrator is smiling as she is narrating. It's just a total turnoff. I can't wait to finish the story just to get done with it.


message 5: by Txkimmers (last edited Sep 28, 2013 07:59AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Txkimmers Omg, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, finish this book! The ending will give you an aneurysm. Just chalk it up to a wasted credit and move on.


Stephannie I completely, totally agree about the ending ruining the entire reading experience. UGH!


Robert Carter Excellent comments all around, especially the excessive rehashing of the accident and the babyish voice of the woman narrator. I think Mark Bramhall does a great job, as he did on The Magicians and The Magician King.


Txkimmers Agreed on Bramhall, but I guess I was more okay than most with the female narrator. But Bramhall has this sort of classic voice...would love to hear him read some Raymond Chandler.


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