Elise's Reviews > Flesh and Blood

Flesh and Blood by Michael Cunningham
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Apr 30, 2008

liked it
Read in May, 2008

I liked this book, but I kept feeling like I had read it before. Surely, I'm not that addled post-pregnancy, but there were certain scenes that just felt completely familiar whereas I had no recollection of other scenes or characters. I had read & loved The Hours many years ago, and there are similar themes, so maybe that's it? At any rate, the book is well-written as I would expect from Cunningham, but the family's saga seemed to have everything but the kitchen sink thrown in - immigrant becomes successful, marriage, physical abuse, adultery, divorce, sex, betrayal, drugs, the gay son, a cross-dresser with a heart of gold, homophobic father, racist father, tragedy, death, inter-racial grandchild, AIDS, and finally coming to terms. At times, it is a beautiful, intimate portrait of an American family, but the ending felt completely rushed and tacked on to tie up all of the loose ends.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by deLille (new)

deLille I think why it felt familiar is that so many books these days cover the same topics (i.e., physical abuse, adultery, divorce, sex, betrayal, drugs, the gay son...). I'm surprised that this book did not also include incest or an out-of-wedlock child. Hmm. It's hard to find something really different to read these days. I have not read "The Hours" but saw the movie with my husband, which was a big mistake.

message 2: by Wayne (new)

Wayne What was the Big Mistake, deLille...seeing the movie or seeing the movie with your husband??? And why???

I saw the movie 3 times and was immensely moved.And found it far superior to the book, which is usually not the case for me.It had a very strong cast. It was only after the second viewing that I realised that most of the characters were gay, which I think many people may have found hard to take.A shame.As Shakespeare had Shylock say:"If you prick us do we not bleed."

Can't say I would rush out to buy another Cunningham novel and this one sounds as if it's suffering from overload.But one has to read it to be fair.
And alsa we don't have time to read all we WANT to!!!!

Erika Nerdypants There was incest, Susan and her father kissing inappropriately, and the youngest daughter had a child out of wedkock.

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