Lindsey's Reviews > By Nightfall

By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
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's review
Dec 22, 10

bookshelves: singles, gay-lit
Read from December 14 to 22, 2010

I actually really enjoyed the main character in this book, unlike many others. I feel a little naive for not seeing the twist coming, but it was well done and the artistic metaphors as it played out were nicely placed. I originally wanted to read that because I thought it captured a sense of The Portrait of Dorian Gray, and I still hold to that notion. This book is all about the comprehension of mortality and the obsession with beauty but in a more nuanced and down-to-earth manner than Dorian Gray. Of course, Cunningham's masterful prose is what really sells it, as he weaves a believable world of ordinary individuals stuck in the doldrums of reality. Only Cunningham could make a middle-aged man's walk through the streets of New York so compelling and so very sad. Cunningham does love his pathos.
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Reading Progress

12/15/2010 page 54
21.0% "I mostly read Cunningham for the fiercely jealous way I get for how he captures stream of consciousness and life. Everything may not always be riveting but it's natural and it just seems to flow like you're talking to a friend about their day and their family. I can never come up with all the little details about everything that seem to come so easily to him. Why does he have to be so good?"
12/16/2010 page 102
40.0% "I'm doing that thing I did when I read Faulkner's Sound and Fury, where I fall in love with the character who's already dead. I want more Matthew."
12/19/2010 page 150
59.0% "I really don't know why people don't enjoy this book. The warped relationship between the main and his family is fascinating."
12/20/2010 page 203
79.0% "I will probably finish up this book tomorrow. I would do it tonight but I have xmas cards to do. I do love the way Peter assesses his very special problems and constantly psycho-analyzes himself. Cunningham has a knack for that."

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