The Night Ocean Summary
Paul La Farge

Everything you need to understand or teach The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge.

  • The Night Ocean Summary & Study Guide

The Night Ocean Overview

Paul La Farge's historical mystery novel, The Night Ocean, takes its title from a short story written by famous horror author H. P. Lovecraft and anthropologist Robert Barlow and spends most of its contents exploring the relationship between these two men. Most of La Farge's characters are real individuals from history, and, thus, the line between fact and fiction can become blurry. The two protagonists are a married couple named Charlie and Marina. Charlie is investigating the life of H. P. Lovecraft, and Marina picks up the mantle of the investigation once Charlie disappears from a mental hospital. Both characters continually run up against mysteries and misleading information. The Night Ocean explores themes of identity, mental illness, fiction versus reality, human flaws, and the power dynamics inherent in relationships.

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