When it comes to Cambridge University, probably everyone knows it, and everyone knows it. In the long history of 804 years, the University of Cambridge has created a splendid campus culture, accumulated rich academic ideas, and achieved brilliant achievements that have attracted worldwide attention. Only Nobel Prize winners, Cambridge University has 89, ranking first in the world’s famous universities. However, the world probably doesn’t know much about the night crawlers that Cambridge students love to talk about. Cambridge is not only the cradle of elites in the academic, political and business circles, but also a paradise for adventurers like “night climbers”. Is this Cambridge graduate Ivo? Stourton (Ivo Stourton, 1982— )’s debut novel “The Night Climbers” (The Night Climbers, 2007) left a strong impression on readers. The novel focuses on the little-known Cambridge night crawlers, and imaginatively describes the adventurous life of Francis and the members of the “Tudor Night Crawler Club” he founded from the insider’s perspective of James, a member of the night climbers.
Ivo graduated with honors from the English major of Eucharist College, Cambridge University. His father is the famous British National Broadcasting Station (BBC) anchor Edward? Stourton (Edward Stourton, 1957— ). Ivo and Prince William were classmates and friends at Eton College. At the age of seventeen, he wrote, directed and acted in “Cassandra” on the theme of the Vietnam War at the Edinburgh International Festival, and won the grand prize. In 2006, he signed a two-book publishing contract with Random House. Following his debut novel “Night Crawler”, the second novel “Legend of Book Lovers” (2011) was published two years ago, describing the ironic life of interior designer Matt. Ridiculous story.
Cambridge “Night Climbers”
Among the colorful and diverse student associations at Cambridge University, the most mysterious is probably the various “Night Climbers” (Night Climbers). Like other student societies, the Night Climbing Club has a long history, but it never takes place during the day, and its members appear under pseudonyms, making it even more mysterious. Every college in Cambridge has more than one night climbing club, but they don’t know each other-unless they meet unexpectedly on the roof in the middle of the night. For more than a hundred years, the Cambridge night crawlers have done many earth-shattering anecdotes and caused a lot of trouble for the Cambridge authorities. The most incredible thing is to let the car climb on the roof.
The Senate Hall in the center of Cambridge is known as the heart of Cambridge. It is the most sacred and solemn place in Cambridge, where the annual graduation ceremony is held. The review hall is usually not open to the public, and there are many tourists outside, but the courtyard is often empty, which adds to the mystery. However, one day in 1958, people suddenly found an Austin car leaning on the roof of the sacred council hall. No one knew how the car got up, because it was impossible to put a complete car on the sloping roof more than 20 meters high based on the lifting conditions at the scene at that time. In order to get the car down, the firefighters spent four whole days, piecemeal, and turned it into parts, and finally completed this unique task in human history.
Another famous night climb occurred in 1965. The four night climbers nimbly climbed up the famous King’s College Church while people were sleeping soundly, tied the banner “Vietnam wants peace” between the two spires, and then quickly slipped back to the ground without anyone noticing. “We had to remain anonymous because we had to respect our degrees,” said Nick? Rainsford said he is now the MP for Greenwich and Woolwich. The other two night climbers are now university professors, and the other one was not so lucky. Later, he was caught while climbing the council hall at night, was expelled from the school, and died in a car accident a few months later.
Nightcrawlers love to have a go at Christmas Eve. One Christmas morning, people were surprised to find a bright red Santa hat atop the towering spiers of all the iconic churches in Cambridge, which was hilarious. There was also a time when they liked to hang their trousers or shirts from lightning rods at the top of buildings as a sign to “go here”. It took a lot of trouble for the Cambridge authorities to bring down these misplaced little things one by one.
However, the police have always been very enlightened about the troubles caused by the night climbers in Cambridge. As long as the buildings are not destroyed, the climbing behavior is not illegal. When encountering the police patrolling at night, some night crawlers will even chat with the police, telling each other their brilliant stories, like “confidants” and “friends”. The teachers are also very open-minded. Some young teachers are night climbers themselves, and even take students on climbing adventures. The school is much stricter, sometimes expelling night climbing students, which is why the Cambridge Night Climbing Club has been “underground”. The school’s objection to students’ night climbing is entirely out of “humanitarian motives”, but it is precisely because of the school’s opposition that the night climbing has an added pleasure of stealing the forbidden fruit. However, for the car incident in 1958, the school was very merciful. They had actually learned the truth, but they kept their mouths shut and did not punish the students who crawled at night. Instead, the principal quietly gave those boys a box of champagne.
Night climbers climb the ancient buildings of Cambridge to seek excitement and show their individuality. The school authorities try to tolerate the excessive behavior of the students as much as possible. Point of view, as President Le Sizhe said, Cambridge University “encourages students to argue and challenge stereotypes”. (Chai Jing) Many night climbers have indeed become outstanding figures in the fields of mountaineering, education, science, politics, and literature. “They may be the originator of rock climbing, because the first books in the world to introduce rock climbing techniques have inherited the essence of the climbing guide for the campus buildings of Cambridge University in the early 20th century.” (Hu Ruoyu) Geoffrey Winthrop Young, the “pioneer” of the night climbers , 1876-1958) is versatile, not only a well-known mountaineer, but also a famous educator, linguist, poet, writer and pacifist, and has made remarkable achievements in many aspects. His Guide to Night Climbing at Trinity College (1900), the first work of its kind at Cambridge, inspired and guided many students to explore the “art” of night climbing.
When CCTV host Chai Jing interviewed Le Sizhe, the president of Cambridge University, she took a copy of “Cambridge Night Creepers” (1937) bought on the streets of Cambridge and asked Le Sizhe to sign it. The headmaster politely declined, but privately said it was a good book. “Cambridge Night Crawler” is a Cambridge graduate and a member of the Night Crawl Club No? l Howard Symington’s work published under the pseudonym Whipplesnaith, starting from preparations such as dressing, instructs night climbers in detail how to climb drainpipes and chimneys, and then specifically introduces the old Cambridge library and St. John’s, Trinity, King’s College and other major landmarks Climbing paths, and providing various safety suggestions, the language is easy and humorous, full of wit and wit, and has always been regarded as a treasure by night climbers. It was reprinted twice in the 1950s and remains chronically out of stock. In 2007, a new edition of the book was released, which quickly sold well, and the publisher really made a fortune.
Francis, the leader of the night creepers who “does everything evil”
The novel “Night Creepers” was created under the real background of the Night Creepers in Cambridge University. The author Ivo wrote in the postscript that he was attracted by the legendary stories of the Night Creepers and began to seriously study the history of the Night Creepers in Cambridge. Therefore, although the characters and stories in the novel are fictitious, the place names and climbing behaviors in the book are all facts. The two climbing legends described in detail in the book, one in the King’s College Church and one in the Council Hall, are the two climbing legends that Cambridge night climbers are most proud of. The protagonist of the novel, Francis and members of the Tudor Night Climbing Club climbed up to King’s College Church in the middle of the night, stayed on the roof all day, ate and drank, and enjoyed the pleasure of overlooking the city of Cambridge from the tallest building in Cambridge. During the climbing of the council hall, they were surrounded by the police. In desperation, they performed a thrilling trapeze. They just jumped over a width far beyond their imagination, reached the opposite roof, escaped, and then came back to watch the excitement.
Francis and his members of the night climbers – Michael, Jessica, Lisa and James, not only challenged authority in climbing school buildings, challenged physical and psychological limits, but also made breakthroughs in life, study, love, friendship and other aspects Routine, even illegal, especially Francis. Francis smokes and drinks heavily, skips classes and cheats, whores and gambles, fights dogs with boxing, takes drugs and sells drugs, and “resells cultural relics”.
In the eyes of the freshman James, the junior brother Francis is handsome, generous, and generous; he is a hero in the boxing ring, a lucky guy in the dog racing field, and he is omnipotent with his own way of observation and thinking. hero. Although Francis’s hereditary aristocratic father ignored his illegitimate son Francis and didn’t even remember his son’s twentieth birthday, a large amount of monthly living expenses remained unshakable and allocated to Francis as scheduled. Despite this, Francis, who is profligate in eating, drinking, whoring, and gambling, is often unable to make ends meet, and it is difficult to cope with the snowflakes of bills, especially the gambling debts, which need Lisa, who is good at business, to help him pay off from time to time. In any case, his father’s large sum of money was not only for Francis to eat, drink and have fun, but also directly benefited other members of the Night Crawler Clan. Because of this, when his father was unbearable that Francis lost his morals after drinking and announced that he would sever the relationship between father and son, and Francis lost all his money, even James was very depressed, and even hated Francis a little bit, thinking that he should not risk their comfortable life.
Francis is an illegitimate child. This unconventional status indicates that he has many unconventional behaviors. In addition to the love triangle of smoking, alcohol, drugs, and gambling, he even sold drugs with Lisa, took risks with Lisa, James, and Jessica, and “reselling” For the famous Picasso paintings of the academy, each person received 1 million pounds in cash, but Francis lost 4 million pounds in one summer vacation. Faced with the personal threat from the creditor, James pleaded with Lisa, and Lisa agreed to repay the huge gambling debt for Francis for the last time, on the condition that he would part ways with everyone and never see each other again. Michael turned to Francis’ father and left the Night Climbing Club, which didn’t seem to have any negative impact on Francis, but the disappearance of Lisa completely destroyed Francis’ self-confidence and self-esteem. The previous domineering disappeared, and the little money he earned from gambling and boxing could not maintain his extravagant life, so he turned to Michael, who had betrayed him before, causing James and Jessica to part ways with him, and the club fell apart completely . Five days later, Francis committed suicide. Although the novel shows at the end that the incident of reselling “famous paintings” does not exist, Francis used the famous paintings to steal the beams and obtain illegal income of 4 million pounds with fakes imitated by James, which is really bold and malicious fraud.
”Many deeds of unrighteousness will lead to self-death”, Francis is unrestrained and uninhibited, and has no idea how to restrain his endless desires. In the end, everyone betrayed his relatives and had nowhere to go, so he could only end his young life by suicide. The reason why he has fallen to this point is closely related to his illegitimate child status and the psychological trauma in childhood. He lost his father’s love since he was a child, and his Zimbabwean model mother was killed in a car accident. Returned to his married father, who already had two other children, Francis became the disgraced “scarlet letter” of his father’s rambunctious youth. Apart from financial support, his father cared very little for him, which aggravated his psychological trauma, resulting in a revenge mentality, wantonly wasting his father’s money, so as to attract his father’s attention. For his own public image, his father tried to stay away from Francis as much as possible, forming a vicious circle between father and son, and finally severed the relationship between father and son. Since then, Francis has been more broken and broken, step by step towards the abyss of crime, unable to extricate himself.
The most earth-shattering thing Francis has done is to persuade his companions to resell Picasso’s famous paintings and obtain huge ill-gotten gains. This incident tortured James and Jessica for a full decade, only to find that it turned out to be a reprint of the story of Maupassant’s “Necklace”. Mathilde worked hard for ten years for a fake necklace, but they spent ten years in vain fear for a painting with a fake name that was dropped.
At the end of the novel, James, Jessica and Lisa, three old friends who haven’t seen each other for ten years, meet for the first time in a dramatic way, all because of the lingering ghost of Francis, who is still affecting their lives. Jessica learned from the newspaper that the Tudor College where they were at that time decided to sell some famous paintings, including Picasso masterpieces that were sold out by them, because of financial deficit. James of the successful lawyer. However, they only worried about it for about ten hours. Early the next morning, they and Lisa received couriers respectively. The couriers contained a letter written by Francis to them ten years ago. The letter stated that he could easily replace the authentic ones identified by experts with the fake ones traced by James, and made that cunning businessman White take advantage of him and lost 4 million pounds in vain. James and Jessica realized that they had been terrified by a danger that did not exist for ten years. They were relieved, and just about to breathe a sigh of relief, they immediately thought of the ferocious appearance of White threatening James back then, and shuddered. If White found out that he had been deceived, they would also die, so they decided to flee immediately.
Fortunately, Lisa quickly helped them unravel another terrifying ghost that has been haunting them for ten years-White, the buyer of the “famous painting”, is also a counterfeit. Francis is undoubtedly the soul of the Tudor Night Climbing Club, but it is not until the end of the novel, with James’ narration, that the reader understands with him that Lisa, who was originally inconspicuous, actually plays a pivotal role. While enjoying Francis’s father’s huge wealth with James and Jessica, the savvy Lisa has been doing various businesses, as long as making money, legal or not, is her goal. She bought excellent papers in various subjects at low prices and sold them to school students at high prices; she resold dance tickets; The student thesis business she did made them skip classes and cheat unscrupulously, and got away with it again and again. In the end, Lisa and Jessica were both first-class graduates, which is quite ironic. After Lisa parted ways with them, James suddenly found that he had learned nothing in college for a year, and a course paper was due soon. Without a backer, he had to go to the library desperately to catch up. Although it was Francis’ idea to resell Picasso’s paintings, it was Lisa who finally made everyone’s decision. Lisa was responsible for contacting the buyer and negotiating the price. Finally, Lisa came forward and arranged for them to meet with the “buyer” to celebrate The transaction was successful. The petite and thin Lisa, like the tall and burly Francis, is daring and lawless. Her negative influence on the members of the night crawl is no less than that of Francis.
Worried about White’s revenge, James and Jessica intend to flee and prepare to flee. At a turning point in fate, Lisa once again plays a leading role. She ordered her subordinates to say nothing, and took James and Jessica to her home forcibly. Only then did they realize that the White they saw back then was also fake, and they had never seen the buyer at all. The reason why Lisa arranged for fake buyers to scare them was to make them cautious so as not to show their flaws. But Lisa recruited two accomplices immediately after receiving Francis’ letter, just because she was afraid that they would do something stupid. In a few words, Lisa canceled their escape plan and decided their future life: Francis in the love triangle had already died, and James and Jessica finally got together. Because of their own greed, but also because of the white lies of Francis and Lisa, James and Jessica paid a psychological and emotional price for ten years, and the £1 million in cash in exchange has long since disappeared.
Truth and lies, friendship and love, betrayal and loyalty, hope and disappointment, money and happiness are all intriguing themes in the novel. The “night crawlers” in the title of the novel has a high degree of symbolic meaning. It not only refers to Francis and others’ night crawling behavior itself, but also implies all violations of laws and regulations, and behaviors that challenge physical limits, emotional limits, and psychological limits. Judging by the endings of the five main characters in the story—Francis commits suicide, Michael dies of testicular cancer, Lisa is a single mother of two, and Jessica and James are single and fearful for ten years—the author clearly doesn’t approve The adventurous life of the Night Creepers’ outlaws.
Cambridge, the world-famous academic sanctuary, has become a paradise for adventurers and a world for outlaws in Ivo’s writings, but there are at least two commonalities between the two: limit and innovation. It’s just that Francis used his ingenuity in the wrong direction and went to a road of no return. From the lofty academic altar, Cambridge was pulled back to the world full of desires, and even became a paradise for the bold and reckless. Although it is negative, it is also authentic and credible, with a fuller image. In any case, Ivo’s rich imagination when portraying “typical characters in a typical environment” is worthy of full affirmation.
The novel is divided into 21 chapters, using the first-person narrative of James, a London lawyer. It begins with Jessica’s sudden appearance ten years after Francis committed suicide. The so-called “now” actually only lasts for less than 24 hours. The plot is compact and the structure is rigorous, which is widely praised by readers.