Amy's Reviews > By Nightfall

By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
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Feb 14, 11

Read in February, 2011

Michael Cunningham can write the sh*t out of some books. If I could, I would have put this at 4.5 stars, but I can't so I'm rounding up. I blazed through this very quickly. Which is actually a shame with Cuninngham's work because he is such a smart writer and I know I'm missing a lot of what he's up to from a literary standpoint. But his knack for characters and dialogue catches me every time and I just have to know what happens to these people.

I've skimmed a couple of other reviewers who didn't like the main character. If Cunningham wanted the reader to like him, we would, so this has to be deliberate. I really appreciate an author who is willing to let his characters be ambiguous and human. I will say I felt that Rebecca got a bit lost. She seemed to be so fully formed, yet faded from the narrative. Of course, Peter was falling in love with the younger version of her in her brother while remembering his own lost gay brother.

Though the novel is fairly short, and takes place over a few days, there's a lot going on here. Cunningham has given us fully formed characters, completely in their lives. There is nothing easy about these people and that is Cunningham's genius.
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