THE NIGHT CLIMBERS
Simon Spotlight Entertainment, Sep 2007, $24.00
Eighteen years old Tudor College of Cambridge University freshman James Walker is a bit awed at being at the prestigious school, but that will not preclude his desire to party with pretty coeds. Still he fears he will be left on the outside unless he befriends the in-crowd whoever they are.
James meets Michael Findlay and he leads the newcomer to a bunch of thrill-seekers who welcome him to join their group, the Tudor Night Climbers. Although he has some doubts about climbing buildings and other edifices at night he joins them. He quickly is attracted to Jessica Katz, but she seems to desire the dynamic leader Francis. When Francis' father cuts off his funding (and consequently the group), they follow up on an idea by one of them, Lisa, to continue to finance their climbing way of life Emboldened by Francis; they remain naive that fourteen years later they will still be paying the price.
THE NIGHT CLIMBERS is a fascinating complex (perhaps too complicated with its myriad of subplots) group character study. The building climbing apparently is based on a 1960s fad (although this reviewer does not know of any Queens College climbers). Each of the key characters are fully developed and ultimately tied together by the scheme more than by the climbing or the attraction. Ivo Stourton provides an appealing glimpse at the tentative bonds of friendship.