Hunting Midnight, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In Zimler's dazzling tale, John Zarco Stewart is an impish child of bold inquisitiveness, the unwitting inheritor of a faith shrouded in 300 years of secrecy.

Dark and bitter events put an end to his innocence and almost destroy him, but he is healed by the arrival in his household of a mysterious young man from Africa.

Midnight is a freed slave brought to Porto by John's seafaring father, and he becomes John's greatest friend, ultimately determining the course of his life. But as John grows to manhood Midnight is lost to him, Napoleon's armies invade Portugal, and John's fragile peace is shattered as he uncovers truths and lies hidden by those he most loved and trusted.

At last he leaves for America, to hunt for hope in a land shackled by unforgivable sin. This magnificent new literary epic, a moving love story crossed with sweeping historical novel, is a worthy successor to Zimler's The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon, published in 1998 to huge success, and so far selling over 60,000 copies with reviews to match.

Pre-publication, Hunting Midnight has already attracted much attention and looks set to do even better.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical fiction
  • ISBN: 9781841197715

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I've been waiting to read this novel as I knew it was going to be an enormous treat and I wasn't disappointed, Richard Zimler is that rare combination of a great storyteller who can write in a literary, yet, accessible style, which is emotional without being overly sentimental. John Zarco Stewart, the main protagonist, is an engaging and complex character, whose relationships with his family and friends, Daniel, Violeta and especially Midnight, the African John's father rescues from slavery, dominate his life and the story. I've been on an emotional journey with John as he crossed continents and comes to term with his own humanity and that of those whose surround him. Zimler's prose and magical mixing of history and fiction is superb, but at the heart of the novel are his characters. Midnight, who, after a long journey, drinks so much that his belly swells to near bursting. John, whose family is destroyed by an act of betrayal Superb and never mawkish, this novel travels from nineteenth century Porto, to London and then to the US and, the southern US sections of this novel portray the evils of slavery. But the ultimate message of this novel is that redemption that comes through love and the power of freedom.

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