Sam Howard's Reviews > A Home at the End of the World

A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham
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M_50x66
's review
May 12, 11

Read in April, 2011

This was a wierd book. I was expecting to be blown away and i really just wasn't. Whilst i think that Cunningham has some of the nicest prose, and occasionally the deepest of insight, here i was just a bit bored, and surrounded by characters who i couldn't really relate to, not because they were unrelatable, but because Cunningham seemed so intent on doing something different, for the sake of it.

This is his first novel, and it shows. I could almost see the cogs of his brain working as i read this. Initially i thought that the idea was good, two boys, two voices in the text. A nice clean idea that can be explored properly, instead i think Cunningham just got carried away and kept adding a lot of other voices and then achieved nothing really by having nothing and noone develop, i can't help thinking that if it was more concentrated on one or two voices, then it would have worked out a lot better. I would also say that even when speaking in different characters voices, it just seemed to be Michael Cunninham speaking. I saw no discernable differences to distinguish each different characters narrative, so much so that i had to skip back occasionally and remind myself of whose point of view i was reading. For example, Bobby is described consistantly as inarticulate. Brooding. Yet, when he does speak in his own narrative sections, he makes some wonderfully rich evokative descriptions of nature, and of music and of people. I was reading thinking "isn't he supposed to be really awkward?".

It was alright though, my niggling criticisms aside. The ending (which i shall not give details of) was just the finale of a long line of forced symbols that were so obviously symbolic that it failed to be clever.
Overall. Nice read, if LGTB literature twigs your heart strings. I just found that i didn't care; and i thought that Cunningham made some stupid choices as a writer.
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