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Night Has a Thousand Eyes
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Group Read Discussions > December 2018 Group Read : Night Has a Thousand Eyes by Cornell Woolrich

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message 1: by Bill (new)

Bill This is the thread for discussing Night has a Thousand Eyes by Cornell Woolrich. Nancy will be your moderator. A separate thread is set up for those who have read before or have finished and have spoilerish type comments.

Enjoy your December reading!!!


message 2: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
I've spent my day reading this book; up to part two now. What I can say is that this is no ordinary crime/noir novel by any stretch.

I hope we can do justice to this dark novel.


Lisa | 103 comments Thanks, looking forward to it!


message 4: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
It's downright creepy!

:)


Tone  | 293 comments Nancy wrote: "It's downright creepy!

:)"


The book just popped up on my kindle. I'm looking forward to start reading.


message 6: by Franky (last edited Nov 30, 2018 09:55PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Franky | 926 comments I just got my copy today (after losing my previous copy, don't know how that happened...too many books I guess), so I'm pretty happy.

I'm looking forward to this one. I previously read Phantom Lady and enjoyed it. This one seems like it will be much darker. I just have to finish another read and I'll be in for the read this month.


message 7: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Franky wrote: "I just got my copy today (after losing my previous copy, don't know how that happened...too many books I guess), so I'm pretty happy.

I'm looking forward to this one. I previously read Phantom La..."


It's very different than anything I've read by Woolrich in the past. Take your time; we have all month!!


message 8: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Franky wrote: "I just got my copy today (after losing my previous copy, don't know how that happened...too many books I guess), so I'm pretty happy.

I'm looking forward to this one. I previously read Phantom La..."


ps/ I am the queen of lost books.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 512 comments I thought I might have to miss this discussion but I think I'm just going to have to find a way to fit this book into my December reading. I've been wanting to read Woolrich for a long time and if Nancy gives it a thumbs-up I know it will be terrific!


message 10: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
RJ wrote: "I thought I might have to miss this discussion but I think I'm just going to have to find a way to fit this book into my December reading. I've been wanting to read Woolrich for a long time and if ..."

Well, I'm only halfway through, so it's early days yet.

In fact, let's do this: for the next couple of weeks, let's keep this thread to part one for discussion purposes. If you get ahead before the two weeks goes by, and can't wait to spill your guts, there's always the spoiler thread. That gives everyone the full month to read the book, and two weeks to put in 155 pages. They fly by.


message 11: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
I'll also say that I've read two or three books by Woolrich, and this is shaping up to be something completely different.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 512 comments Nancy wrote: "I'll also say that I've read two or three books by Woolrich, and this is shaping up to be something completely different."

Well, I ordered it so it looks like I'm in.


message 13: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
RJ wrote: "Nancy wrote: "I'll also say that I've read two or three books by Woolrich, and this is shaping up to be something completely different."

Well, I ordered it so it looks like I'm in."


Oh, excellent!


message 14: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Has anyone started reading it yet? What do you think so far?


message 15: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (last edited Dec 08, 2018 06:21AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Well, having read Cornell Woolrich before, I can see (in part one at least) that there are two Woolrich traits that continue through this book. First, there's the character of the sympathetic detective, and second (and much more importantly in this case), the sense that the main characters must somehow beat the clock. Adding in time limits (I think,)to his work is a way to ratchet the tension.

In this case, as far as the race against time goes, someone's life is at stake. That's generally the case but in most Woolrich stories, it's all about proving someone innocent. Here, it's a different story altogether.


message 16: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa | 103 comments Just finished, so I hopped over to the spoiler thread. His writing is quite poignant. Clever story.


Franky | 926 comments Nancy wrote: "Has anyone started reading it yet? What do you think so far?"

Started it tonight and finished with Chapter 1 and am loving it so far. The way Woolrich puts you right into the mystery in the opening chapter. So many questions... My intrigue is high to find out what happens...


message 18: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Franky wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Has anyone started reading it yet? What do you think so far?"

Started it tonight and finished with Chapter 1 and am loving it so far. The way Woolrich puts you right into the mystery..."


"My intrigue is high to find out what happens..."

By the end of part one you'll be even more intrigued, but it will be for a different reason.


message 19: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "Just finished, so I hopped over to the spoiler thread. His writing is quite poignant. Clever story."

I really enjoy his work.


message 20: by Tom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom | 27 comments Gaagh! Too many other things going on this time of year. Cutting into my reading time! Only on chapter two, but already hooked by the questions and loving the dark tone of it.


RJ - Slayer of Trolls (hawk5391yahoocom) | 512 comments My copy finally arrived but it's going to be a week or so before I can start it. I'm looking forward to joining the discussion!


Tone  | 293 comments I've started reading, and I'm already hooked on this story. It's very well written, athmospheric, dark and creepy - and right up my alley.


message 23: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Tom wrote: "Gaagh! Too many other things going on this time of year. Cutting into my reading time! Only on chapter two, but already hooked by the questions and loving the dark tone of it."

My reading life has been cut into as well. Sheesh! I'm glad you're enjoying the book.


message 24: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
RJ wrote: "My copy finally arrived but it's going to be a week or so before I can start it. I'm looking forward to joining the discussion!"

We'll look forward to it. It reads fast.


message 25: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Tone wrote: "I've started reading, and I'm already hooked on this story. It's very well written, athmospheric, dark and creepy - and right up my alley."

It's right up my alley too!


message 26: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Okay, fellow readers, what are your thoughts up to Part 2? What's the big question here?


Franky | 926 comments Nancy wrote: "Franky wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Has anyone started reading it yet? What do you think so far?"

Started it tonight and finished with Chapter 1 and am loving it so far. The way Woolrich puts you right i..."


Just finished Part 1 and will get to Part 2 tomorrow. Wow, some twists already. There is this mystery hanging in the air that is pushing me on to find out so I want to make some progress on Part 2 tomorrow. I really like the writing style of Woolrich, the prose is so rich and descriptive, the way he can't paint a scene and create an such a powerful mood and ambience. Definitely dark, foreboding and tension-heavy.


message 28: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
We can start talking about part 2 any time now. The shift from part 1 to part 2 kind of knocked me off balance but only momentarily.


message 29: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Part two, chapter 6. Dad's beginning to get on my nerves.


Franky | 926 comments Nancy wrote: "Part two, chapter 6. Dad's beginning to get on my nerves."

I agree. He's getting a little whiny. Talk about a character shift from Part 1.


message 31: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Franky wrote: "Nancy wrote: "Part two, chapter 6. Dad's beginning to get on my nerves."

I agree. He's getting a little whiny. Talk about a character shift from Part 1."


Well, actually, I finished the book and I understand him a lot better now. So disregard that statement. :)


message 32: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
I finished this book last night. My take on it is that the plot is pretty straightforward, but what's important here is how events shape the characters. Everyone in this book is affected by Tompkins in some way, including the police who are investigating him. In that sense, it works. Sometimes you just have to move on past plot alone, especially in a noir novel.


message 33: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
with less than a week to go here, I don't think we need the spoiler thread at this point.

One really good move Woolrich made here (of many), was having the two surveillance cops as two more people who became really shook up in the face of Tompkins' "powers." Had he limited the mayhem to the main characters, that would have been one thing, but it just goes to show that no one here was immune.


message 34: by Tom (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom | 27 comments Well now that the holidays are mostly past, maybe I'll finally get a chance to finish. Not sure yet if I'm buying how much stock most of the characters are putting in this soothsayer's ability. We'll see what develops. One thing for sure though: the writing really shows Woolrich as one nihilistic dude.


message 35: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
This must be your first Woolrich novel, yes? Nihilistic is his middle name.


message 36: by Tom (last edited Dec 26, 2018 09:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom | 27 comments Read The Bride Wore Black some time ago. I'm finding this more consistently dark.


Franky | 926 comments Nancy wrote: "with less than a week to go here, I don't think we need the spoiler thread at this point.

One really good move Woolrich made here (of many), was having the two surveillance cops as two more peopl..."


I finished two days ago and left a couple comments at the spoiler thread for this book...but some thoughts...

I was interested because I do believe something had to give in terms of Tompkins being credible in his predicting powers. I found this novel to be sort of dark, but maybe in the line of a psychological noir (if there is such a thing). For some reason, the first third or so of this book reminded me a lot of the book Nightmare Alley. I didn't like this one quite as much as that one, and this one goes off into quite a shift in territory becoming a police procedural in the 2nd part, but overall, it was a solid read. I love the way the author can create a sense of foreboding and atmosphere.


message 38: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Franky wrote: "Nancy wrote: "with less than a week to go here, I don't think we need the spoiler thread at this point.

One really good move Woolrich made here (of many), was having the two surveillance cops as ..."


You know, I also got the Nightmare Alley vibe at the beginning! I couldn't put my finger on why, except maybe that it was all going to turn out to be one big con job, which I thought at the beginning of part two was going to be unraveled by the police somehow.


message 39: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
I have to ask ... did anyone here at all feel sorry for Tompkins (the psychic)? He comes across to me as a very lonely person, I think for a reason.


message 40: by David (last edited Dec 27, 2018 10:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

David Lutkins I did feel sorry for him, for the same reason as you. By the end, I think I had more sympathy for him than any other character except Eileen.


Franky | 926 comments Nancy wrote: "I have to ask ... did anyone here at all feel sorry for Tompkins (the psychic)? He comes across to me as a very lonely person, I think for a reason."

I did as well. So many times he says directly or hints that everything is out of his control, it is simply fate. He seems to not really enjoy his ability to forecast things; comes across more like a curse. I did feel sorry at what transpired toward the end of book and felt bad for him as a character.


message 42: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Franky wrote: "Nancy wrote: "I have to ask ... did anyone here at all feel sorry for Tompkins (the psychic)? He comes across to me as a very lonely person, I think for a reason."

I did as well. So many times he ..."


Yeah - it reminded me those films you see where someone is psychic and can't stand to be touched by anyone because of what they might see.


message 43: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
David wrote: "I did feel sorry for him, for the same reason as you. By the end, I think I had more sympathy for him than any other character except Eileen."

I did end up feeling really sorry for him.


message 44: by Franky (last edited Dec 27, 2018 07:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Franky | 926 comments Nancy wrote: "Franky wrote: "Nancy wrote: "I have to ask ... did anyone here at all feel sorry for Tompkins (the psychic)? He comes across to me as a very lonely person, I think for a reason."

I did as well. So..."


Now that I'm thinking about it, reminds me slightly of the main character, John Smith, who is in Stephen King's The Dead Zone. After an accident, he can see strange tragedies and future happenings before his eyes....but he tends to try to warn people to save themselves....so there is some control...But at some points, people treat him like a freak or try to take advantage of his foresight into the future...so you sympathize with him...


message 45: by Suki (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 44 comments I'm still working on this one, but I want to finish it today, now that I've got some free time. I'm almost at the end of Chapter Two (The Telling). Jean Reid sure has a lot of swagger coats-- I like the way that Woolrich counts off her father's visits to Tompkins through the coats-- nothing ever changes except the color of the coat, and the fact that her father no longer discusses his visits with her.

It has taken a little while for this book to grab me because there have been so many interruptions, but now I'm getting hooked. If I enjoy it as much as I think I am going to, I will definitely give it a reread in a year or two and give it the undivided attention it deserves.


message 46: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
I'll be able to comment more after tomorrow. On my way home today, book is in the suitcase, and I get in at midnight so today's out.


message 47: by Suki (new) - rated it 4 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 44 comments I finished the book tonight, and I liked it a lot, but I didn't love it. I felt a lot of sympathy for both Tompkins and Eileen-- it seems that they were both caught up in something bigger than themselves, and they were being used as pawns in someone else's game. I did find it kind of weird how Jean's father fell apart so completely-- it seemed completely out of character for the man we were introduced to in the beginning of the book.


message 48: by Franky (last edited Jan 01, 2019 08:21AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Franky | 926 comments Suki wrote: "I finished the book tonight, and I liked it a lot, but I didn't love it. I felt a lot of sympathy for both Tompkins and Eileen-- it seems that they were both caught up in something bigger than them..."

That's a great point about Jean's father. I remember thinking the same thing around Part 2 or so. He seemed to have such bravado and confidence early in the book, and it fell apart to nothing like a snap after he heard the prediction. Seemed like a quick shift there.


message 49: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8966 comments Mod
Think about this, though: he is a man with money, power, and position, and used to being in control. Once the predicted events started coming true, he had to have felt that control slipping through his fingers. I think that it's like he felt that he had control of his own destiny (and had in his lifetime shaped his own destiny), and once he feels he no longer has that ability, I think he just snapped. So my thinking is that at the end, maybe it was all just too much, and decided to take matters into his own hands once again.


Franky | 926 comments Nancy wrote: "Think about this, though: he is a man with money, power, and position, and used to being in control. Once the predicted events started coming true, he had to have felt that control slipping through..."

Interesting. That totally makes sense.


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