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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Young James Walker's life is terribly predictable and horribly dull, and his arrival at Cambridge University does little to transform it. He makes no friends; he has no social life. But when he is holed up in his room late one night, a rap on his window alerts him to the presence of an out-of-breath student, a "night climber," and everything changes.
Shortly thereafter, James finds himself in the company of the charming Francis, wealthy, generous, and troubled; tantalizing Jessica; fickle Michael, the snob of the group; and cryptic Lisa, who has a knack for making money on the sly. Together, their days are filled with adventure, hilarity, and outrageousness -- from glittery champagne parties to illicit gambling and faked exam papers -- adding the longed-for vibrancy to James's life. Now at least he belongs. He has clever, rich, mischievous friends, for whom he readily abandons his former self.
But what price is to be paid for this assimilation? By the end of school, these desperately good friends have disbanded: some cast out, some no longer among the living. And now, after a decade of silence, Jessica arrives on James's doorstep, as a deception from their shared past rears its ugly head. A wondrous tale of enlightenment, an examination of the deep ties we forge, and a reflection on the sacrifices we're willing to make for our friends, The Night Climbers is an auspicious debut. (Holiday 2007 Selection)