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Lawyer Harry and lovely Shirley, lawyer Lew and earthy Jo--two likable San Francisco couples (one married, one not) who live in rented homes with rented furniture and gradually discover the nonconformist, nose-thumbing joys of prowling around suburbia in the middle of the night. Lying across the deserted freeway, dancing in the empty parking lot, taking turns at being the ""leader,"" and--when those tame activities pale--nude picture-taking, breaking into the library, hiding from the cops (one odious cop in particular), and never seeming to get as sleep-hungry as their hyper hijinking will make you feel. Be that as it may, the pulse does quicken as the foursome becomes more daring, steals cop Pearley's gun and stows his car on a roof, and decides, wisely, to move to another state. And their Farewell, Frisco gesture shows an undeniable panache: they climb the Golden Gate Bridge (walking the cables), rig up an immense screen, stop traffic, and show home movies. Still, this scenario would work better as a Finney short story or as a frisky film; given too many pauses between bon mots and escapades, it's easy to find the night games resistible--to become disenchanted with the second-childhooding, suspicious of motives, and impatient for Finney to probe beneath the high spirits. He doesn't, but his Night People may offer some vicarious Thousand-Clownsy pleasure to three-piece-suiters who dream of breaking out, climbing bridges, and bopping cops.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1977
Publisher: Doubleday