Books Stephen King Recommends discussion

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Mar-Apr 2016 Night Thousand Eyes > Night Has a Thousand Eyes Part One (SPOILERS)

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message 1: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Write your comments about Part One here.


message 2: by Debra (last edited Mar 16, 2016 01:42AM) (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Funny how I was expecting Shawn to find a dead person when he first started to find money on his evening stroll along the river. I expected that from reading so many crime novels... starts out with a murder, right? Well, obviously this isn't in any way a typical crime novel!

Can't imagine life being so bad I'd want to jump off a bridge. And the stars beaming down were a threat to her. So glad Shawn took her under her wing.

Another thing I found funny was remembering how there was a time when smoking inside was considered the norm. Restaurants, bars, work environments, you name it. We've come a long way, baby!

Jean's story was so intriguing... I couldn't put the book down. And I totally believed that the man, Tompkins, was a true seer. I couldn't figure out how he couldn't be from his first "reading" for Harlan. Then tip after tip made Harlan more and more money. He was on top of the world. Then he was brought so low by the final prediction. In the jaws of a lion? This intrigued me!

I didn't think the police could do anything, because I believed Jean's story, yet I had faith in Shawn. He obviously cared for Jean very much by the end of the long telling of her story. Was love in the air?


message 3: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments My impressions of Jean morphed considerably from the start to the end of this part. The story is intricately designed to have us looking at her from several different perspectives.
We are seeing her in a mirror from her servants' eyes as a rather distant figure, as a 'child' though apparently grown from her Father's eyes in need of protection, and as someone to pity from Eileen's and her Mother's perspective. As Shawn faded into the background while Jean told her story she became much more than a woman in despair and her story is quite compelling. I suppose we will see her from his eyes next.
Her introspection and descent into life after the airplane crash, when the world around her changed and the "fuzz was off her" quoting her father is fascinating.


message 4: by Ann (last edited Mar 20, 2016 01:21PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Debra: I was geared up for a gruesome scene of murder too! And was a bit surprised when Shawn revealed himself to be a policeman. I'm sure I should be able to find out, or I missed it when it was said, but I'll ask anyway here; do we know the year or time span in which this story takes place? The smoking and publication date does give clues, was it a contemporary story at publication I wonder?


message 5: by Debra (last edited Mar 22, 2016 02:19AM) (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I just know the publication date was 1945... I think. It seemed the book was set in the same period, based on antiquated police procedures and the smoking, of course. It's as if EVERYONE smoked then, based on what's told in the book.

Jean led a sheltered life as a rich girl/woman, with all the privileges and keeping servants at a distance. She really is a daddy's girl. It's almost as if she has no experience with other men, but based on her current age, I assumed she must have at least had some men in her life. I'm sure none of them lived up to her heroic image of her father, however. I doubt she even brought any of them home.

I also thought her story was quite compelling, and almost forgot Shawn was there listening.


message 6: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Debra: thanks for mentioning the publication date of 1945. I knew it was somewhere around there from when I first considered reading the book. I was pleasantly surprised to find an audio version, those are often limited for older books.
I agree that Jean seems to be a devoted Daddy's Girl, and may not have had much experience with other men as suitors. The mid 1940's as a contemporary story or in the decade prior seems about right for the tone and level of technology. It was "all Jean" when she started talking wasn't it!
Debra wrote: "I just know the publication date was 1945... I also thought her story was quite compelling, and almost forgot Shawn was there listening. "


message 7: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Yes, Almeta is also listening to an audio version. I was very surprised one was available, too.

Yep, it was all Jean! I wanted to know more about Tompkins the seer. He was an intriguing character.


message 8: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments Good grief! It's taking me forever to get through Part 1. I'm afraid to read any of the comments above, so I'll be back when I finish the never-ending chapter.


message 9: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments I decided to buckle down and just read to the end of Part One. Generally I read when I crawl into bed and wasn't getting anywhere because I kept falling asleep.

I've never really thought much about the difficulties of being rich, but then I was always one of the outsiders looking in. Is it envy that causes those difficulties? Jean seemed to have a very lonely existence. It was just her and her father. She didn't seem to have any friends, even amongst their social class. Her relationship with her father was almost unhealthy.

I can't help but wonder if Jerry hasn't set them up. It does to appear that he has a gift, but I can't help but feel that he's using his gift as bait to reel Harlan into some kind of trap. If Eileen hadn't given that first warning, none of the ensuing contact would have happened. If Jerry truly wanted to be left alone, why would he not keep his visions and predictions to himself? It just seems to be too coincidental for it not to be a carefully crafted trap.

There are a lot of histrionics in this part. "Drama! Drama!
Drama!" is one of the notes I wrote down. Jean is uber dramatic. The way she reacted to Eileen's presence after the first warning leading ultimately to Eileen's dismissal. Most people would have brushed the incident off as silly superstition. But not Jean. The hanging of the head over the steering wheel and against the side of the car, and the reactions of both Jean and her father when his death was predicted were so over the top as to be laughable. But the coup de gras was stupid Jean throwing herself off a bridge because she couldn't bear to face her father's death. He hadn't even died yet! I can't stand people who react to things so dramatically. Consequently, I'm really struggling with this book. Because of their moroseness, I'm not sympathetic to their dilemma.


message 10: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments Janice: Glad you got through part one. That was why I was asking how long it was as it seems to go on for quite a while. I ended up engaged by Jean's telling of the tale as the rest of the world fell away and we saw her poor little rich girl life and her very distant relationship with everyone but her father.
I totally agree with the comment that the set-up seemed so likely - why else tell Jean about the impending crash? I was suspicious of Eileen only after the professed need for anonymity and isolation for the "seer" Tomkins. At this point I was alternately sympathetic (firing seemed extreme - your drama - drama comment is an apt one - what a silly reaction if you don't believe) and then not sure of what was happening - tell the prediction with the expectation of it needing to be a one off and a secret. That seems at odds.
Janice wrote: "I decided to buckle down and just read to the end of Part One. Generally I read when I crawl into bed and wasn't getting anywhere because I kept falling asleep.
......If Eileen hadn't given that first warning, none of the ensuing contact would have happened. If Jerry truly wanted to be left alone, why would he not keep his visions and predictions to himself? It just seems to be too coincidental for it not to be a carefully crafted trap."



message 11: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments Another thing to consider is that Eileen told Jean and her father not to come back because it would come to no go. That's a classic reverse psychology. Of course they're going to come back!


message 12: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Janice, sorry you are struggling with the book. This seems to happen for you with some of our group reads. I appreciate you participating. So, hang in there!

I agree with you about the over-the-top drama and how unhealthy Jean's relationship with her father seems. She seems to have led a sheltered life as daddy's little rich girl.

I also wondered what the set-up might be with Eileen reeling Jean in with the plane crash premonition, and then letting them see Tompkins. I couldn't figure out what the scam could be, and eventually started to believe all the predictions were real and the guy DID just want to be left alone. He didn't take any money and seemed so reluctant. But there's that reverse psychology working. Frankly I didn't know what to believe by the end of Part 1.


message 13: by Kristin (new)

Kristin | 38 comments This is the first book selection I'm not really enjoying. Going to try and finish it.


message 14: by Larissa (new)

Larissa | 270 comments The two reasons I kept reading were 1) I really enjoy the writer's language and 2) I was curious to see how the prediction still comes true with all the police work involved. But I totally agree with Janice that the characters' reactions were often plain silly. The gender dynamics especially irked me, but I tried (and mostly failed) to overlook that as this was written in 1945.


message 15: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I tried to keep in account the year and times in which this was written, too.


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