This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Half the Day Is Night by Maureen F. McHugh

Half the Day Is Night (edition 1996)

by Maureen F. McHugh

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
312853,482 (3.32)1 / 12
Title:Half the Day Is Night
Authors:Maureen F. McHugh
Info:Forge (1996), Edition: First Thus, Paperback, 244 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:sf, cyberpunk, dystopia, undersea

Work details

Half the Day is Night by Maureen F. McHugh (Author)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (7)  German (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I expected to like this more than I did. An interesting but not particularly convincing near-future setting populated by complex but not particularly compelling characters. ( )
  clong | Jan 17, 2017 |
In the underground city of Caribe in the near-future, Mayla is in the midst of tense financial negotiations. Her insurance agency requires her to have a bodyguard, so she hires David Dai, a former French soldier with an injured knee and a veiled case of PTSD. After terrorists approach David for help and then make an attempt on Mayla's life, David vanishes into Caribe's underworld. Mayla soon follows.

Starts wonderfully, but peters out into mind-numbing quotidian detail and plots that the main characters are affected by but don't understand. I wished the characters' emotions were a little less tamped down; even though it felt believable, it also made it hard to care about what happened to them. Still, an excellent and almost too-realistic rendering of alienation and the tension of living in a corrupt society with unspoken, unclear rules. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
When French/Asian war veteran David Dai accepts a job as a security guard to a female banker in the Caribbean, he's expecting to be able to get away from the violence and trauma of fighting in Africa. However, the underwater domes of the cities of Caribe and Marincite are hardly the tropical paradise he was unconsciously expecting. Rather, they are torn by poverty and social unrest, and plagued by corrupt and incompetent authorities. The resentful former holder of his job is still at his employer's home, and to top it all off, his employer, Mayla Ling, seems to have mysteriously become a target of a terrorist group. David wants nothing more than to quit the job and go home - but underwater cities aren't always so easy to get out of, and every incident seems to get him more deeply embroiled in the local situation - and Mayla's life.
While containing a good deal of social criticism/commentary and 'humanist' insight, the story is primarily a tense, action-filled thriller. With the elements of shady business deals and takeovers, illegal drugs and colorful, dangerous underworlds, rich CEOs and shady crooks, virtual reality gaming and illicit neural stimulators, it had a very 'cyberpunk' feel - I'd highly recommend it for fans of William Gibson.

Read it in one day.... not that it's short, I just couldn't put it down! ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
While the characters fall flat, the backdrop steals the stage.

With the exception of Mothers & Other Monsters, I’ve read all of Maureen McHugh’s novels and anthologies. (“Devoured” is more like it, having consumed them all in the space of just a few months.) While somewhat enjoyable, Half the Day is Night is not McHugh’s best work.

Perhaps the lackluster reviews I saw previous to reading the book colored my perception of it, but I had trouble empathizing with – or even caring a whit about – the characters who inhabit the story. With the (marginal) exception of David Dai, the denizens of McHugh’s undersea cities are at best bland and boring; at worst, downright unlikable. For example, I found female protagonist Mayla Ling sheltered, spoiled, self-absorbed, and completely lacking in common sense. (When David calls her a tyrant for taking advantage of her employee/ex-boyfriend Tim, Mayla simply shrugs indifferently. “Too bad.”) I cared less about whether she survived the story’s end than whether her selfishness would prove David’s downfall. Described mainly through Mayla’s eyes, poor Tim hardly gets a chance at becoming a well-rounded character.

The real star of Half the Day is Night proves to be its setting - the intricate undersea cities created by McHugh. Dark and dank, and marked by poverty and sharp class inequities, one can almost feel the oppressive weight of the ocean pressing down from above. As always, McHugh’s imagination is a thing of beauty; her detailed depiction of Caribe will stay with you long after the story is done.

If you’re already a fan of McHugh, Half the Day is Night is well worth a read. Otherwise, begin your journey with another of her works. Mission Child is my personal favorite, and Nekropolis, China Mountain Zhang, and After the Apocalypse are all outstanding as well.

http://www.easyvegan.info/2012/05/11/half-the-day-is-night-by-maureen-mchugh/ ( )
  smiteme | Apr 4, 2012 |
This was a great read, mainly due to the depiction of a claustrophobic underwater world. As other reviewers have said, McHugh makes you feel as though you are there. Dai is a great character, trying to make his way and keep out of trouble in a city that is foreign to him. His female co-protagonist, however, I had some issues with. She is a very well-drawn character, and not a weak simpering person, but she makes really bad decisions without thinking them through, and leaves others (mainly Dai) to cope with the consequences. I found her thoughtlessness and selfishness hard to take, even given that she is acting under fear for her life. I would love to know what McHugh was thinking when she drew Ling this way. The twists and turns of the plot kept me gripped despite disliking this major character, and I found the book a fascinating read that took me out of my comfort zone. ( )
1 vote Sakerfalcon | Feb 2, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McHugh, Maureen F.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
FernandoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallo, IreneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehr, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
MercedesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
This book is for four women:
Ama Selu, Arla, Evelyn and Pat.
And they all know why.
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Hired as a bodyguard for Mayla Ling, a banker in the underwater city of Caribe, war veteran David Dai finds himself embroiled in a treacherous web of corporate and political intrigue as both he and his employer become targets for arrest and assassination.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.32)
1 2
2 6
2.5 2
3 19
3.5 13
4 15
4.5 1
5 4

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,793,147 books! | Top bar: Always visible