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Night of January 16th Paperback – January 1, 1971


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (January 1, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452264863
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452264861
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I found this to be a very clever play.
Jerilea Hendrick
After reading the play, I can't see how anyone could possibly have found Andre guilty and this has nothing to do with my values at all.
Genevieve Hayes
It's a very good point and Rand makes it well.
Andrea

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
Ayn Rand's play "Night of January 16th" is a courtroom drama. A young woman, secretary and mistress of a famous, wealthy businessman, is accused of the murder of her employer, whilst trying to make it look like suicide. Although the question wether or not she is guilty is what is to be decided by the trial, the focus of the play is on the souls of the main characters: the businessman, his mistress, his wife, the wife's father and a few others.
The conclusion of the play is the verdict by the jury. The main gimmick of the play is that the members of the jury are drawn from the audience, and so the play can end in either a guilty or a not guilty verdict.
Like all of Ayn Rand's works, the play opposes individualists and originators against second-handers. As the preface states, the idea was that the jury should not decide on the grounds of the evidence, since that could go either way, but wether they would feel more drawn towards the character of the mistress (the individualist) than of the wife (the second-hander), or vice versa.
As it stands, I don't think Rand succeeded. If this would happen in a real court, the story presented in defense of the mistress would be considered preposterous, and she should be either pronounced guilty on the basis of the facts, or not guilty because there is not enough evidence. Wether or not her character appeals to the jury shouldn't matter for the verdict, and I don't think it matters in the play.
The conclusion of one of Ayn Rand's masterpieces, "The Fountainhead", is also a courtroom scene. In this scene, the jury is effectively asked to choose in favor of or against the soul of the protagonist, since the nature of his soul and the way society treats such a soul is his only defense.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Tcaalaw on May 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
I would like to preface this by pointing out that I am a great fan of Ayn Rand's writing and Objectivism. I'm even an ARI member. However, even with that level of fandom, I must admit that I was sorely disappointed with "NoJ16".
If this work had been the first one I came across by Ms. Rand, I am not sure that I would have ever read any of her other books. While it does feature a struggle between individualist and collectivist characters, the struggle is not as well presented as in "Anthem", "The Fountainhead", etc. Furthermore, the story is cluttered with odd bits that detract from the main subject. For example, what relevance did the platinum mesh dress have? I don't see how it showed Bjorn and Karen possessed a superior sense of life.
As a law student, I can testify (pun intended) to the inaccuracies in court procedures, but on the other hand this is intended as a fast-moving play. I don't think it would be fair to hold a 60-minute play whose primary purpose is a philosophical discussion to the same standards as a multi-hundred page novel which is intended to examine the working of a courtroom. And I thought the jury "gimmick", was quite clever; early interactive entertainment.
Overall, I would recommend this play only to people who are already interested in Objectivism and even then only to "completists" such as myself. (I.e. those who are interested in assembling a library of all of Ms. Rand's published works.) This is a non-essential work for anyone else.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andrea on April 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
I saw this play performed rather than reading it. I found it quite entertaining but also provoking. The performance I saw was by a high school drama class of which I knew every actor. First a bit about the plot. I found the case presented very comedic on the parts of the prosecutor's witnesses and sympathetic by the defense. However, that could have had a lot to do with the direction of this particular performance. I thought for two reasons that the verdict should be not guilty and they are the following 1 - the philosophy of innocent until proven guilty. The evidence did not PROVE her guilty. 2 - As I saw it performed Andre and Regan held the audience in their hands, while the others were...entertaining. So for the sake of better acting and therefore, more convincing stories I thought they should let her off. It seems that was what they were judging in the minds of the cast and crew. Besides, a number of people had a motive and the playwright leaves that really open. The neat thing, and the more important thing, is that the physical evidence really doesn't matter. The play asks a few good questions, which makes it really fun. I like the philosophy that we never know enough information and can't trust people's testimonies to find the truth. We often judge the world on sympathies, which is not justice at all. It's a very good point and Rand makes it well. I definitely recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Josh on November 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
First off I would like to state that I have not read the original Night of January 16. You see, my highschool (UG Wisconsin) performed this play just a few nights ago. I LOVED it! I played the part of Mr. Whitfield, the powerful father-in-law of the late Bjorn Faulkner. I felt that the way the jury is drawn from the audience, and the whole play is done within a courtroom brings excitement to the stage. The witnesses all add a piece to the puzzle, and in the end it is up to those viewing (or reading) to decide the outcome of the trial. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I don't think I will ever forget it. I STRONGLY advise this script for performance, AND though I haven't read the original I DEFINATELY intend to.
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More About the Author

Ayn Rand's first novel, We the Living, was published in 1936. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved spectacular and enduring success. Through her novels and nonfiction writings, which express her unique philosophy, Objectivism, Rand maintains a lasting influence on popular thought.

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