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What do you think of The Nights Strangers? Would you recommend it to others? Do you have any favorite characters or parts?
I like this book very much. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I love the way Bohjalian writes. He uses a wide vocabulary and some intricate styles but the words still flow well and understandably. He does an amazing job giving the story emotional depth, having events narrated in a way that makes me, the reader, share the wide range of feelings of the characters. I enjoy the way he uses the cut-scenes so to speak to build suspense. I found the second-person narrations fittingly unusual and intriguing. Overall, I found the story to be incredibly spooky, suspenseful and downright frightening but in that kind of good way I think anyone who has ever enjoyed a horror book or film understands.
The disturbed, haunted father Chip makes a great redeemable villain. I really like Reseda, but if anything I am a little bit disappointed we do not get to learn more about her and that she does not play an even bigger role in the development of the story.
I really thought I was going to rate this book 4-out-of-4 up until the end. But the ending disappointed me so much. Actually, it seemed to be going great with climatic effect as the twins were hiding and then being caught and Reseda was trying to dispossess Chip. I even like the way Ashley's father finally left. But then it just ended, and I didn't like that. I felt there were two stories, and the one with Ashley's father wrapped up in something like a quick deus ex machina, but then the second story with the herbalists had no ending. And the epilogue just solidified my disappointment. I do not mind an unhappy ending, in fact I think tragedy has more potential then solely happy endings. But I felt this did not have an ending at all; the bad things that we are left with are part of the story prior to any ending. As such, we are left without any of the satisfactions that come with that. There seemed to be absolutely no repercussions for the main, living villains; they got what they want and do not seem to feel even a little regret. There's no positive change of mind for the remaining victims; they just forgot with all their previous efforts in utter vain. As it is, these seems like it would have been an excellent story but it had the last 10 pages cut off and replaced with, "and so the villains succeeded and they lived happily ever after, and the victims did not really mind. The end." Again, tragedy can give an even more dramatic ending if I have anything to go on, but I feel like this was no dramatic ending of tragedy or in other words this was just bad stuff without drama as the ending.
Anyway what do you all think of the ending? What do you think of the story as a whole? Do you have any favorite characters? Any favorite quotes from the book?
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau
Here are a few thoughts:
Exciting opening with the plane crash - a heart-pounder of an opening. Also liked the imagery, and sudden switching of gears: ie. A witch was talking about how to kill people with toxic plants and the next statement was: and what should I make the family for dinner? At first you think what – poison? – (heart skips a beat) but then you realize it really was just regular dinner she was talking about. Also Emily announced to the children: Your father must have hung the wall paper by now – which gives you a chill- and sure enough the cat is found dead shortly afterwards and the dad is suspected. Lots of examples like that.
I noticed there was a lot of snow imagery in the book, then Chip compared flying up high with clouds underneathe looking like snow. Then for the landing, the plane would go through the clouds, everything would be dark and then the snow would disappear. So I think the big, old house up on the hill all by itself was like another plane Chip was flying, complete with passengers and surrounded by snow. Just before the big event at the end the snow started melting away, disappearing, and you knew the plane was going down into something bad again, just like the first time….
And will we EVER get financially–responsible protagonists in a story? LOL. After so many financial disasters lately it would be a breath of fresh air reading about people who chose to buy a house they can actually afford. And a wife/husband pilot and a partner in a law firm sounds pretty hectic and stressful to me – no time for community theatre, let alone family time I would think….. I get the feeling that we are supposed to considered the family’s life in the city as ideal: serene, happy, family-oriented, etc. but I just can’t see that happening with two high-profile professionals, one travelling all the time, with 2 small kids – and no nanny.
Drugs and crime are supposed to be found in the big, bad city, not in the countryside, but Emily wants to flee the horrors of Bethel and run back to the city, which is a switch. Interesting to have set the book in an area rich in witch history.
Maybe the message at the end of the book could be: Ignorance is Bliss or Don’t Get into the Wrong Crowd. Or maybe – is society putting too much emphasis on keeping old people alive and youthful, to the detriment of youth itself…? I.e. the old taking jobs from young people? Or maybe I’m reading way too much into this ghost tale …
I also find the witches thing a little sad. You don’t hear about men witches. An older woman with “too much” power and knowledge was a handy scapegoat for drought and crop failure. Too bad they were killed off, they probably were the first nurses/ pharmacists/doctors in their communities.
I’m fine with the ending: as in life – it’s not always fair, and not all loose ends get tied up.
Geneen Karstens wrote:I did not like the ending..in fact I went back about20 pages to see if I'd missed something. The book as a whole was pretty good but I didn't think it lived up to his previous book...Midwives...that I had read. I'd give it a 3.5/5.
I read this book while studying at Uni good stuff but his endsing alwasy fail to ignite
My favorite character has to be Reseda, she is always on the fence with any issue the others have. I too wish we could have got to know her better.
I did not like the ending. I wanted there to be more. I wanted to know how they decided to choose Hallie over Garnet. I wanted to know what happened when Chip came back to his body. I feel that I was left with not knowing the whole story.
Otherwise I would recommend this book.
jomarie wrote:I am only about 100 pages into the book but I am enjoying it. He has a way of pulling you into the story.
Yes i agree with that i felt the same way when i first started reading i just had to know more!!
I feel they had foreshadowed their choice of twins towards the end of the book.
Overall, I found it to be well written.