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Endless Night Mass Market Paperback – January 7, 2002

4.1 out of 5 stars 175 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"A surpassing mystery...ingenious...dazzling."--The New York Times

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (January 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312981384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312981389
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #997,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Critics tend to debate what era can most appropriately be called Agatha Christie's "golden era"--and there is much to be said for her work in the 1930s, the 1940s, and the 1950s. But like her earliest works of the 1920s, her later works of the 1960s are negelected. And in the case of ENDLESS NIGHT this is an oversight indeed.

ENDLESS NIGHT presents us with Mike, a restless young man who has drifted from job to job without seeming to find any true satisfaction--and a young man who is fascinated by "Gipsy's Acre," a plot of land in rural England said to be cursed by the Gipsies who once lived there and who were driven away. While walking the property, which has come up for sale, he meets an attractive young American woman, and a whirlwind courtship ensues. It is not until well into the relationship that the woman, Ellie, discloses that she is rich. And not just rich: she is the heiress to a fabulous fortune.

The two marry and hire a noted architect to construct the perfect home on Gipsy's Acre--but no sooner are they installed then the property's legendary curse begins to unfold. A local gipsy woman warns them of bad luck; rocks are flung through windows; a bird is found pinned to the front door with a dagger. And they are surrounded by Ellie's relatives and business relations, all of whom seem to have hidden agendas and none of whom like the fact that Ellie has been torn from their control.

Many Christie novels can be read in a single sitting, but ENDLESS NIGHT has an unusually slow build--and Christie defies her detractors, who often accused her of purely mechanical construction, by creating an atmosphere that collects into deepest darkness before the novel's startling conclusion.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I must be very careful with what I say for fear of ruining this book or possibly other Agatha Christie's for you. The reviews that are here have the potential to spoil more than one great mystery of hers. I suggest not reading any of the reviews on this page. Look simply at the average star rating for this book and go off of that.

To give you what you're looking for without comparing this book with others, I found Endless Night to be a fantastic mystery. It is the only Christie that I have read more than once. It's wonderfully creepy, although not a traditional "murder mystery." A few very well placed surprises catch you off your guard and make this one of the most original books she's written. I highly recommend it.

I also recommend that you move on to another web page. You've got to be careful when reading reviews of mysteries. Someone's bound to say too much, which is the case here. I strongly, STRONGLY urge you to read no further in these critiques.

UPDATE: It appears that since I wrote this review, many of the spoiler reviews have disappeared. You may be able to read on without spoilers, but I suggest sticking with the "helpful" reviews.
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Format: Paperback
One of Christie's later novels (first published in 1967) "Endless Night" was written well before her literary powers began to wane, and ended up being one of her personal favorites.

Initially "Endless Night" reads a little bit like a fairytale. Michael Rogers is a poor but ambitious young man who writes of his fascination for a stretch of wooded land known as Gipsy's Acre, said to be cursed by the gypsies that were turned off it (and is in fact based on a real legend of a similarly named patch of land in Wales). A chance meeting with a beautiful young woman under the fir trees leads to a whirlwind romance, an elopement, and the revelation that she is in fact a very wealthy heiress. Suddenly all of Michael's dreams are within his reach, and together he and Ellie build their dream house on Gipsy's Acre.

But from the very first page of his narrative, Michael makes it clear that disaster is on the horizon. It is impossible to say much more without giving away the entire book, (even the identity of the murder victim should be kept under wraps) but "Endless Night" ends up being one of Christie's most haunting novels, and certainly the best of her late work.

Readers who are ploughing through Christie's books in chronological order (or who are at least familiar with her writing) may recognize some of the techniques she utilizes in order to shape the plot. There is one plot device in particular that she has used to great effect in the past, and some long-time readers may pick up on it as they read. However, even if one does figure it out, the realization does little to sully the enjoyment of the story; if anything, it simply makes the slow build-up even more disturbing.

But the story is unique in other ways.
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Format: Paperback
Endless Night is not Agatha Christie's best mystery, nor is it ranked among the favorites by Agatha Christie fans. Judged by the standards of the genre it is easily dismissed, most commonly with a reference to her reuse of a plot technique she introduced many years earlier. But whatever it lacks as a mystery, Endless Night is among the best stories Christie ever wrote.

While Christie's own legacy may have precluded her branching out creatively, if indeed she had any desire to do so, her popularity afforded her over half a century to hone her skills as a writer. In terms of the depth of her characters, Endless Night is the pinnacle of her career. In contrast to her earlier works where a cast of stock characters are carried by a continuous stream of plot twists and (in most cases) the strong central character of Poirot or Miss Marple, Endless Night gives us characters than can stand on their own. The tragic central figure of Michael Rogers is illuminated by the plot not simply swept along as a piece of it.

At heart this story is not a murder mystery but a tragedy. Having purchased enough Agatha Christie books to fill three shelves I mean no disrespect when I say that I am certain that an element of her massive sales lies in the fact that most of her books are not ideal for a second reading, at least until sufficient time has passed that the details of the plot have been forgotten. But by 1967 Christie had matured as a writer and gave us Endless Night, a novel that resonates all the more deeply upon a second reading. It is no wonder that she listed it among her personal favorites.
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