No Night Is Too Long

Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Tim Cornish thought he'd gotten away with murder. For months after he'd killed his lover off the Alaskan coast, there hadn't been a word. But then the letters started to arrive. It seems that someone knows what Tim has done....

This compelling thriller delivers such a dark picture of romantic love that murder seems its natural mate. Frightening, suspenseful, and deeply unsettling, No Night Is Too Long is a modern crime masterpiece and will be enjoyed by readers of P. D. James and Ian Rankin.

Barbara Vine is the pen name of Ruth Rendell. Ruth has published 14 novels under the Vine name, two of which, Fatal Inversion and King Solomon's Carpet, won the prestigious Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award.

©1994 Barbara Vine (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The Rendell/Vine partnership has for years been producing consistently better work than most Booker winners put together." (Ian Rankin)
"She deploys her peerless skills in blending the mundane, commonplace aspects of life with the murky impulses of desire and greed." (Sunday Times)
What members say
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Humbert Humbert

Very near Nabokov. Brilliantly executed. Entirely deep and real characters. The love and pain drives their stories. Have always preferred BV to RR.

3 people found this helpful

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  • k
  • 04-25-20

Utterly perfect!

Engrossing story, gripping characters, gorgeous writing; I cannot recommend this incredible novel highly enough. One of my favorite authors.

1 person found this helpful

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Never quite delivers

This is not Ruth Rendell aka Barbara Vine’s best work.
It kept promising to ratchet up the suspense, but just didn’t deliver on that promise.
Other reviewers have mentioned the terms melodramatic and soap-opera, and I have to agree. The performers delivered their lines as if sedated on Lithium, which really didn’t help matters.

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Great until halfway through

The plot is unbelievable and formulaic. The writing as always is tight. But it's too bad the story didn't hold up.

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OF HUMAN BONDAGE

I ENJOYED THIS BOOK IMMENSELY,BOTH AS REGARDS THE STORY AND THE PERFORMANCE.THIS WAS MY FIRST FROM BARBARA VINE,BUT WILL CERTAINLY NOT BE MY LAST.
HERE'S HOPE THAT MR MAUGHAM WILL FORGIVE ME FOR BORROWING THE TITLE OF HIS NOVEL FOR MY HEADLINE,BUT I THINK IT VERY APTLY DESCRIBES THE SUBJECT OF "NO NIGHT IS TOO LONG"

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Terrific Writer and Narrators

What a story. Started slowly but captured my attention about two chapters in. I wanted to shake Tim many times. What a twist after Tim finishes his memoir!!

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  • Alison
  • 07-22-16

Beautifully Narrated - Brought it to Life

I think I'd be happy listening to Alex Jennings reading a shopping list, and I originally saw this book because I was looking for anything new he had narrated that I fancied. I have not read any Barbara Vine before so I have nothing to compare it with. But I did enjoy it a lot.

The story is a slow-burn, though the pace really picks up in the last part of the book. It is a complex plot too but cleverly mapped out, if a little (a lot really!) convoluted. You really do have to suspend belief and just accept the contrived elements. I had begun to sort out the probable ending about half-way through but I was only partly right, so it did keep me guessing right to the very end.

The writing is excellent, good description and dialogue. I think the reader is not supposed to really like any of the main characters - I hope so, because I didn't; but the main character who starts the book as a fairly odious student does really mature into a much more rounded person, warts and all.

It's basically a thriller/mystery, and also it is about passion - sexual passion and to a lesser extent, enduring love. It is mildly to moderately graphic and there is a lot of sex - fine with me but if you listen on the school run...

The ending was a good one for me - not a spoiler, but it was bitter-sweet. I don't know if this book is typical of B Vine but if it is, I'd definitely listen to more. The characters and the atmosphere of the book - brooding, and sad but intriguing - stayed with me after I had finished it and I continued to think about them and the story. In a good way.

80% of the narration is Alex Jennings with two other characters coming in towards the end, both good. Alex Jennings did a fantastic job with his reading and it brought it to life.

4 people found this helpful

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  • debbieg
  • 04-15-16

Different from her other books

Was surprised how sexual this was, but the story has lust as its focus. All the twists and turns of some not very nice people, but keeps you interested. Recommended.

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  • Jennifer
  • 09-07-19

An astonishingly slow burn masterpiece.

I can only quote Ian Rankin as saying that Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine surpasses most Booker Prize winners and shortlists with the astonishing quality of her writing and only didn’t get listed because she was prolific. I thought I had long ago consumed all of her output in print, but somehow I had missed this one.
For many chapters she leads you in to the dark side of a first person narrative and you think you have it all. Then she moves you around. Who is deceiving who? Who is controlling who?
Writing as Barbara Vine, she is so subtle and intense.
With not enough hours in the day, I have a big audio book habit and the readers here are good, but this is actually one that I started to wish I was just absorbing from the page as the whole thing is written as transcripts and letters to be read and I think that would be the very best way to get the most from it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • a white
  • 08-25-16

Beautiful and thoughtful

A story I have read before but found it so beautifully enhanced by the truly wonderful narration. I was captivated!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Susan Random
  • 05-28-16

No Night Is Too Long

I've waited quite a while for this Barbara Vine title to be available on Audible, so I was delighted to find it. The story concerns a young man called Tim who lives a lonely existence on the Suffolk coast. His mind drifts back to his time as an MA Creative Writing student in Warwickshire, where he meets the sardonic Botonist, Dr Ivo Steadman. The pair soon embark on a passionate relationship, which is put under strain when Ivo takes Tim along on a Lecture Cruise of Alaska. Left in the remote town of Juneau, Tim meets the mysterious Isabel, which spurs him on to commit a dangerous act.

I've read this novel a couple of times already and have seen the BBC dramatisation. It's very densely plotted, but does suffer a little for having such a selfish and immature central character. That said, the imagery which emerges from Vine's words are excellent.

All three narrators were excellent.

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  • Kirstine
  • 04-01-16

An usual story for the author

Barbara Vine books, in contrast with the author’s Ruth Rendell novels, are usually more concerned with the personalities of her characters and the relationships among them than the detection of a crime. This book goes a stage further and is almost entirely about relationships and what goes on in the minds of the characters. The main character is Tim Cornish, a mentally tortured young man adrift in his life and unsure about his sexuality. We learn early on that a crime may have been committed but most of the book is Tim’s first person account of his thoughts and feelings about his past, his current relationships and about the one in particular that leads to the unexpected revelations at the end of the story.

Tim receives s sequence of unsigned missives posted from West Coast of America that recount stories about sailors marooned on islands and how they coped. He doesn’t know who could be sending them or why, but they add a sense of mystery and foreboding throughout the novel

Don’t expect a pacy thriller instead experience an unsettling, creepy exploration of a disturbed man’s mind. It can seem quite slow at times but gathers pace towards the end. It’s not a book to ‘enjoy’ rather it leaves an unsettling impression of how life can be a nightmare conjured out of ones fears.

Most of the book is narrated by Alex Jennings who does his usual fine job. At the end of the book the thoughts of Isabel (she figures in TIm’s life) and James (a former lover of Tim) are voiced by other narrators.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Julian E. Boyce
  • 02-02-20

Totally Gripping

I have been a Barbara Vine fan for years although I have ignored her of late having travelled down various paths. I listened to Brimstone Wedding which I found interesting but that, as they say, is another story. No Night is Too Long I found to be a bit of a slow burner at first although Barbara Vine’s prose, linked with Alex Jennings’ delivery held my attention fast. It is a fascinating tale of Tim Cornish, his ups and downs and and the deed he has satisfied himself he has escaped from. Before the letters start coming. It provided a genuinely gripping view of the type of man he is and what he becomes. This in itself makes for an interesting tale which moves gently on with few big surprises. At first. Then Tim hits something of a crossroad in his life and the pace begins to quicken. Twice I thought I had the general denouement sussed and twice I was knocked sideways. The ending was something I would never have imagined. I have even wondered, looking back whether Barbara Vine had even defeated herself and reached for the least obvious conclusion possible. Who knows. I simply loved it. It filled my dog walking days completely.

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  • Kay Fisher
  • 01-23-18

Depressing

I am a great fan of Barbara Vine but this book is thoroughly depressing. The narrator (there is only one, not three as listed) drops his voice so very low that whole sentences are missed, often those vital to the narrative.

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  • oceanjasper
  • 11-26-16

Wonderful narration of a beautifully written story

I read this book about twenty years ago, and I remembered really enjoying it but not much about the plot twists. I thoroughly enjoyed it the second time around, finding Alex Jennings and Barbara Vine a perfect combination.

The main character, Tim Cornish, has many unappealing traits, but his memoir shows that the man who writes it is different from the man who experienced those events, and hints of a more mature and regretful person show through. Alex Jennings' narration is sublime, with impeccable diction and phrasing. He reads quite quickly but in a wonderfully expressive way that brings all of Tim's emotions to life.

The story takes its time but Vine's writing makes this leisurely journey a real pleasure. Knowing that Tim has done something terrible to his lover Ivo makes Tim's recollections of the progress of their relationship feel full of foreboding. And there are some completely surprising events before the suspenseful conclusion.

I just wish I could revisit all of Barbara Vine's novels with Jennings as narrator.