Cover Image: What Happens at Night

What Happens at Night

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

An American couple known only as 'the man' and 'the woman' arrive at a deserted train station in a European city. They have come to adopt a child. The woman is dying and this is the only place that would allow them to adopt. A grand hotel peopled by some very strange people, a healer, a debauched business man, a stoic bartender. Who are these people. Why do they stay here?
The man and woman struggle to be understood. Taxis take them to locations they haven't asked for; even the English speakers they meet seem to pursue their own agendas, taking little notice of what the couple actually want. The place in which they're staying, the Borgarfjaroasysla Grand Imperial Hotel, is strange too.
Was this review helpful?
I lovedx the characters and the premise.  I liked the execution.  A few days later, though, the story has practically left me.  This is a throw back without the log lasting nostalgia.
Was this review helpful?
In an unnamed snowy land, a husband and his wife wait in a remote hotel for their last chance for a child. The woman is cancer-ridden. However, a local orphanage in this desolate town has promised them a son. However, nothing is simple in the absurdist romp, What Happens at Night.

If you enjoy sussing out art film archetypes, What Happens at Night will be a fun game for you to play. The book screams out that it is IMPORTANT…mostly because it is set in a dreamlike world where unexpected things happen. However, my Fellini watching days are over, so it receives only 3 stars from me.

Thanks to Catapult and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley and Catapult Books for this advance reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

I hated this book. I hated it for many reasons. The main one being that it kept me reading because I had to find out where it was going. I really wish I hadn't. I will be avoiding this author in the future.

In the book, our main characters, the man and the woman travel to a remote town in Northern Europe to adopt a child. They check into a strange hotel in a strange town to adopt a baby from a strange orphanage. Along the way we meet many other strange characters, all of which actually have names.

I'll admit that in the beginning, I was kind of enjoying the story. It had a similar feel to Stephen King's The Shining. Strange hotel, possibly haunted.... Sounded great. But what happened was a jumbled mess that kept you guessing until you hit a weird and lackluster conclusion. The whole thing was weird. The writing style was weird, the story was weird and the lack of names for the main characters bothered me. The story was all over the place. The author tried to shock and awe with a haunting art piece, but it was terrible and nothing made sense. Maybe that was the author's intent, but I thought it made for a horrible novel. I hated the characters, but I kept reading because I was sure I'd reach a mind-bending, thought provoking conclusion, but I never did.

I rarely rate a book that I finish with a 1, but this one definitely only deserves 1 star. And, a big thumbs down.👎

⭐
Was this review helpful?
This is some "Don't Look Now", "The Shining" almost "Susperia" level kind of suffocating kind of tension level mental tension.

A couple, "man" and "woman", travel to a European country, during the winter, to pick up their adopted baby. The woman is on her deathbed, quite literally. They stay at a grand hotel - full of weird guests, a strange bar - with a weird bartender. She sleeps often, he makes sort of friends.

Strange things that don't necessarily make sense happen...and that's what makes this book great. That's what make "Don't Look Now" and "Susperia" great. Because...what the hell is going on in those stories? What the hell is going on here? What the hell is garbage soup? Why all the eggs? What is in the schnapps?

This book is a sleeper hit. I think that it's going to be a classic that will be taught in literature classes in years to come.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
Mind blowing!   Very hard to review, as it’s so dang unique!  I don’t want to give much away, as I think it’s beneficial going into it blind, but will say the writing is amazing, with such an atmospheric feeling (more so than most books I’ve read).  It’s a bit slow burn, but even though I’m a fast paced type lover, I really did enjoy this mysterious read!  Highly recommend, but do yourself a favor and go in blind and just let the story speak to you!  

Will buzz around platforms and use top Amazon reviewer number on release!
Was this review helpful?
This book is definitely atmospheric. The main characters are merely the man and woman (husband and wife), while surrounded by named minor characters (at one point the wife says to the helper of Brother Emmanuelle that since the helper knows her name, she should know hers. it's Darlene). Quirky and odd, it is a quick read once you're invested although sometimes you'll be right in a scene and some jarring language or interruption is like a flash cut to another part of the book. I've never thought of the state of sleep as such an intellectual exercise before. Will seek out more Peter Cameron books.
Was this review helpful?
An unnamed man and woman travel to a northern European city to adopt a baby in the hope of reviving their faltering marriage. The vague, dreamlike setting and the eccentric characters the couple meet, who possibly have sinister motives, create a wonderfully tense, mysterious atmosphere.
Was this review helpful?
What Happens at Night is pure Peter Cameron at its best.  While I was not fond of the central couple, I was mesmerized by the imagery, and by the off-beat eccentric they encountered along their journey.
Was this review helpful?
Another beautifully written Pete Cameron book.I started reading and could not put it down.The characters the setting the story line kept me turning the pages.So glad I requested will be recommending this book and Pete Cameron’s books.#netgalley #catapult
Was this review helpful?
I'm not sure where to even start with this book, but it was not what I expected at all. First and foremost I am obsessed with Peter Cameron's writing style. Even the mundane seems so beautiful through his words. I loved the cast of characters this husband and wife met on their voyage to adopt a baby in a remote wintery village. I couldn't put it down and read it in two days.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in return for an honest review.

The book opens with an introduction to the man and the woman, a married couple, who remain nameless throughout the book.  They are on a train, heading to a far away nameless country somewhere in the north of Europe where it is dark, cold and snowy.  They are headed to St. Barnabas orphanage to pick-up their son and bring him back home.  But before they even get to their destination, we learn the woman is ill, very ill as she has Stage IV cancer.  We learn she has suffered several miscarriages, but it never quite becomes clear why they feel the need to make this long journey to adopt at this point in their lives and their relationship.  She is clearly quite ill, and he doesn’t seem to be handling the situation very well.

The book is full of imagery such as trains, tunnels, remoteness, freezing cold, darkness, aging, last chances, lost dreams, hope, end of the road, etc. which resulted in my overanalyzing everything.  I never felt a part of the story, or that I was an insider, privy to someone’s secrets, because it’s all out in the open.  However, that was probably good because the story is so dark and bleak.  Both the man and the woman are, at best, at odds with each other, sometimes hateful of each other and just plain miserable.  There are a few secondary characters that they meet at the aging Borgarfjaroasysla Grand Imperial Hotel, who are just as unhappy with their lives as the man and the woman.

It’s hard to pigeonhole this into a genre.  About all I can say is this was an unsettling dream-like tale that makes you constantly ask, why?

https://candysplanet.wordpress.com/
Was this review helpful?
Peter Cameron is an astonishing, wonderfully surprising author. This novel, like his others, is overflowing with wit, vivid characters and surprising plot twists around every corner.
Was this review helpful?
What Happens at Night

Full feature for this title will be posted at: @cattleboobooks on Instagram!
Was this review helpful?
I first heard Peter Cameron's name when I overheard a conversation between two authors who I respect, when one of them said she read everything Cameron wrote and was surprised when she had heard him referred to as a "niche writer." Intrigued, upon reading him, I discovered he could not fall into any category, and one of the myriad of blurbs on What Happens At Night suggested the term Cameronesque should be coined. The advance blurbs on this book are spectacular from a wide range of respected writers, many of whom don't fall into any category themselves. Accolades from so many authors could grant him the title a "writer's writer" -- his style is unique.

As I read, I was reminded of early Ian McEwan, Paul Bowles -- of innocents abroad and completely out of their depth, overhanging menace, dread. Here a terminally ill woman and her husband travel to an icebound Eastern European country to take possession of a baby in order to repair their crumbling marriage. That's all I'll say of the plot. The two principal characters are unnamed, but secondaries are given names and at least in one case, is always referred to by her entire first and last hyphenate every time she is referenced. Lack of punctuation seems to be common these days, but once into the swing of the proceedings, barely noticeable. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
I honestly don't know what to say. But this book was amazing. And I'm honestly surprised I enjoyed it as .such as I did...... And that's a great thing! 

Thank you NetGalley, publisher and author for this great read! 

Going into this book I didn't know what to expect. But I'm so glad I requested and got approved for it!.
It was an amazing, sharp and stunning! 
I devoured the entire book in two sittings. 
The characters were so well developed and interesting. 
The story itself I couldn't get enough of. You'll just have to read it to see for yourself. 

Thank you again for this advance ebook copy! 
I will post to my Goodreads closer to pub date!
Was this review helpful?