1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $25.19

Buy for $25.19

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A couple find themselves at a fading, grand European hotel full of eccentric and sometimes unsettling patrons in this "faultlessly elegant and quietly menacing" allegorical story that examines the significance of shifting desires and the uncertainty of reality (Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness).

An American couple travel to a strange, snowy European city to adopt a baby, who they hope will resurrect their failing marriage. This difficult journey leaves the wife, who is struggling with cancer, desperately weak, and her husband worries that her apparent illness will prevent the orphanage from releasing their child.

The couple check into the cavernous and eerily deserted Borgarfjaroasysla Grand Imperial Hotel where the bar is always open and the restaurant serves thirteen-course dinners from centuries past. Their attempt to claim their baby is both helped and hampered by the people they encounter: an ancient, flamboyant chanteuse, a debauched businessman, an enigmatic faith healer, and a stoic bartender who dispenses an addictive, lichen-flavored schnapps. Nothing is as it seems in this mysterious, frozen world, and the longer the couple endure the punishing cold the less they seem to know about their marriage, themselves, and life itself.

What Happens at Night is a "masterpiece" (Edmund White) poised on the cusp of reality, told by "an elegantly acute and mysteriously beguiling writer" (Richard Eder, The Boston Globe).

©2020 Peter Cameron. (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Christopher Lane's bleak tone highlights the melancholy and tension in Peter Cameron's disquieting novel.… Cameron's world-building and Lane's delivery create an atmospheric experience for the listener." (AudioFile Magazine)

"A snow-swept journey to the ends of the Earth continues Cameron's exploration of defamiliarized landscapes and the intricacies of human relationships...A dreamy fable confronting love, death, and our inevitable inadequacy yet persistence in the face of both." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

"[An] atmospheric and philosophical tale...The claustrophobic setting somehow brilliantly and counterintuitively creates the space for Cameron (Coral Glynn, 2012) to expand the interiority of his characters, to spelunk down into their psychological labyrinths, and follow the paths wherever they might lead, leaving the reader transfixed and wonderfully disoriented. This willingness to construct a consciousness out of language shares a sensibility with such mid-century European masters as Stefan Zweig and Robert Walser and rewards close reading." (Booklist)

What listeners say about What Happens at Night

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    14
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Truly Something Different

This little book surprised me with overall feel and depth of character. It was kind of a "Grand Budapest Hotel" without the comedy. The vague small town, the down at the heels once grand hotel, and the peculiar residents and guests were all inventively and interestingly drawn. The married couple whose story is the central theme of the book are never named; this quirk works wonderfully in that the reader must find their humanism and motivations in their words and actions. A few surprises along the way keep the plot moving and the end is satisfyingly believable. Christopher Lane is pitch perfect as the reader - his accent and pronunciations evoke a vaguely vintage European period that is nonspecific to any time or genre. I can recommend this book to anyone who is attracted to literature that explores love, the juxtaposition of "in sickness and health" in marriage, and parenting and the challenge of knowing ourselves and our spouse.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Engaging story that falls flat

I'll listen to virtually anything narrated by Christopher Lane (if you haven't yet, it's a MUST) and this story started off well, It held my attention for the most part but ultimately didn't pay off. It's well written but there's really little plot and the story meanders without arriving anywhere of interest. I feel like the story could've taken much more engaging outcomes.

1 person found this helpful