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The Night of January 16th

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  2,073 ratings  ·  119 reviews
To the world, he was a startlingly successful international tycoon, head of a vast financial empire. To his beautiful secretary-mistress, he was a god-like hero to be served with her mind, soul and body. To his aristocratic young wife, he was an elemental force of nature to be tamed. To his millionaire father-in-law, he was a giant whose single error could be used to destr ...more
Paperback, 122 pages
Published January 1st 1971 by NAL (first published 1936)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  2,073 ratings  ·  119 reviews

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Saloni Dahake
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read nothing, absolutely NOTHING like this before.
Part VII of a multi-part review series.

Fairly pedestrian courtroom melodrama, complete with improbable reversals. Displays the normal problems of non-attorney writing legal thriller: procedure and decorum are dicked up, objections are made by lawyers not on the basis of the rules of evidence, but rather on whether the facts are deleterious to one’s case. In fact, numerous bona fide evidentiary objections are not made in the narrative because writer does not know law--lotsa hearsay running around
Paakhi Srivastava
The Night of January 16th is a play written by Ayn Rand. This is the only play I have ever read in my life. It is entertaining, fast paced and demanding at the same time.
The play takes place in the courtroom, where Karen Andre is on trial for the murder of Bjorn Faulkner. The plot is inspired by the suicide of Iver Kreuger (played by Bjorn Faulkner) followed by the crash of his financial empire built upon swindling millions from investors by investing money which he did not actually possess. Ka
Jan 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Yes, I read Ayn Rand. No, I do not necessarily agree with her philosophies. Yes, she was obsessed with rape. No, I am not. Moving on.

This play was actually rather interesting to read right now what with talk of Bernard Madoff and Ponzi schemes in the news over the past couple months. The entire drama takes place in the courtroom, trying to determine who killed Bjorn Faulkner who had swindled millions from investors by investing money he did not actually possess. Upon bankruptcy and on the night
Apr 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama
I have both read this play and seen it performed. This is an exciting play to see performed because the drama incorporates the audience in the trial scene. Reading it is enjoyable because of the effective use of suspense and the taut structure. While this was an early work of Ayn Rand, it still exhibits some of her signature style characteristics with clearly delineated characters and a romantic sense of life.
It was inspired by the death of the "Match King", Ivar Kreuger. First produced under a
Jan 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this play. I came across it a few weeks ago in the used book store and decided to pick it up because I've been wanting to incorporate more plays into my reading. I decided to save reading it for January 16th cause I happen to be extremely lame. The only other Rand I've read is Anthem, which I enjoyed. People have given me such skewed feedback on her longer and more well known pieces, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, but that's neither here nor there. This is an entertaining ...more
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can’t get past Rand’s stunted development: a woman who so worships power in a man that she not only condones the criminal disregard of laws and the feelings of others—including rape!—she endorses these actions, pointing them out as indications that this kind of person excels above others. In serving his own needs above any others, no matter who gets hurt, he exemplifies the best humanity can be. He is a lion among men, and the proof is in the legions of crushed bodies in his wake. He is a God. ...more
Sundari Elango
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
"[...]you're a district attorney and I... well, you know what I am. We both have a lot of dirty work to do. Such happens to be life or most of it. But do you think we're both so low that if something passes us to which one kneels, we no longer have eyes to see it? I loved her; she loved [him]. That's our only proof."

Great play - the ideology is not as well developed as in Anthem or the Fountainhead, but I'm pretty sure that this is Ayn Rand's first published book/play. This play serves to ask ma
Jan 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Like much of Rand, this reads both like propaganda and like an epic. Her characters (intentionally) tend to both be flat and non-flat; the bad are comic-book-bad and the good are textbook-good by her philosophy, where virtue consists of being consistent with one's values and constantly rationally examining the world around oneself. Thus an honest gangster can be textbook-good and a manipulative businessman textbook bad. (Though it's interesting to contrast her portrayal of the heroic "Guts" Reag ...more
Jul 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE NIGHT OF JANUARY 16TH is an entertaining enough play, but I only connected with it on the most superficial of levels. I like Ayn Rand a lot, and I've read most of her work, but this is the first time I've been repulsed by the philosophical overtones of one of her stories. THE NIGHT OF JANUARY 16TH is very gimmicky (in a good way), with members of the audience being randomly selected to come up on stage and form an impromptu jury. The play ends differently depending on whether or not they fin ...more
Laura Verret
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing

In this gripping courtroom drama two attorneys wield a set of singularly, selfishly flawed witnesses in their battle to determine who was the true villain in the life of the deceased business magnate, Bjorn Faulkner. The case initially seems straightforward - simplistic even - but as the witnesses take the stand, this simplicity is belied and two separate, wildly complex plots emerge. Only one of these explanations can be true - but which is it? As the cross-examination builds to its pitch, it i
Taylor Hudson
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays
A well structured courtroom drama with enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning pages. The gimmick of the audience being the jury and deciding the outcome of the play is fun but ultimately kind of disappointing because neither ending is much different given that the possible endings are about 3 lines long. An Ayn Rand read would usually invite some philosophical discussion but this early work seems to be rather surface compared to some of her more well known pieces of literature.
old school. this was of interest because of it's ending (a choose your own adventure involving having 12 audience members get up on stage to participate and render a verdict in a trial. this verdict sets in motion one of two possible endings).
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Excellent play! Would love to perform/direct this. Interesting - even 60+ years after it was first produced.
Jun 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This play is definitely improved by seeing it performed live. Reading it: 3 stars. Watching it on stage: 4 stars!
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy this play. I wanted to see how it would end - which witnesses were called next and how the case would play out - so that I could come to a verdict on my own, as, according to the introduction, Rand intended. The sheer curiosity that the play sparked in me is why I chose to give it 3 stars as opposed to 1.

There are a couple of reasons as to why I docked stars. First of all, I don't think Rand did any research into Court proceedings, since the courtroom sh
Madhuri Palaji
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I must say, this is the best play I read in my life. Bjorn Faulkner, Karen Andre and Lawrence Regan took my breath away. It is a play that takes place in a courtroom. It is not a huge story with too many incidents but a small one that leaves the whole scenario to the reader's imagination. As always, I'm impressed with Faulkner and Regan. Ayn Rand as always knows exactly what kind of men are needed in today's world. They both were fearless, they get what they want, they rule the world and when it ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
An early example of ergodic literature, this play is distinctive for having two alternative endings. Set entirely in a courtroom, it is a murder trial that violates all the usual rules of detective fiction by presenting balanced evidence in favour of both guilty and non-guilty, leaving the final decision (and consequent ending) up to the jury, made up of people in the audience. Even when read (and I assume more so when watched), the play reveals a lot about one’s own character, values, and biase ...more
Shalu Gupta
Jun 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Having read her fiction a long time ago, this play format for Night of The 16th enthralled me no end. What l liked most is the open ended verdict where WE the jury decide GUILTY or NOT GUILTY.
Ayn Rand has a distinctive style of prose and the introduction before the play begins gives the reader an idea of what lies ahead.
Would love to see it performed as a play...
From Howard Roark to John Galt , her heroes are unconventional, lone survivors who ride on their own merits in a world that is const
Sanket Joshi
The play revolves around death of a businessman. It will help if you are aware of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, her classic characters of Howard Roark, Francisco D'anconia. Only thing very different about this play is the "jury gig" (read the book to understand)

The courtroom drama gives you flavours of psychological manipulation practiced by lawyers.

One thing I realised while reading this play, that every lawyer should see himself as a director & has to put up a well directed (scripted &
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I got hooked by the preface by Ayn Rand. The idea of audience participating in the performance and making a judgement is awesome. But while reading, maybe due to familiarity with other Rand's works, the idea was pretty much clear. So the originally anticipated effect became diluted. There are a couple of twists, though, that make things more dramatic and, thus, characters are more polarized because of the decisions they have to make.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Sutherland
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Interesting gimmick for a play having members of the audience be the jury. This allows for the play to have two endings depending on the jury's decision. Even though it appears Karen Andre is the one on trial, in actuality it is the audience who is on trial. Interesting psychological experiment.
Gedalia Penner
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Perhaps I read it a little too quickly, but I was minfucked by the end. I couldn't parse a conclusion one way or another with all the variables.
Regardless, it's a fun as hell ride, and the use of the audience as the jury hits my sweet spot so spot in a way I can't even describe. It's sublime.
Janelle Hawkes
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
We read this over our Zoom weekly script read and it was such a fun time watching this unfold! I would love to see this live and get the genuine audience verdict at the end. Really smartly written, and could truly go either way.
Al Capwned
Jul 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: theatre, american, russian
The only interesting thing about this play is the fact that the audience plays the role of the jury in the end and that, of course, cannot save the whole work from being dull and poorly written.
Geoffrey W.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting play. However, I think the alternative endings could have been better written.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read-list
Thought provoking...

A quick read that I couldn’t put down (read it in a few hours)...still pondering my thoughts on whether Ms. Andre is guilty or not.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
Ayn Rand is so over rated. This was a waste of my time.
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Excerpt From: Ayn Rand. “Night of January 16th.”
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