Lily's Reviews > By Nightfall

By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
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's review
Jul 11, 2012

it was amazing
Read in July, 2012

This book managed to combine a page-turning plot with thought-provoking prose. I tore through it, stopping to savor some particularly astute and well-turned phrases along the way. At first, I was put off by the protagonist--oh no, whiny rich white New Yorker thinks life is HARD. But I truly think a comparison can be made with Mrs. Dalloway. Yes, Clarissa has all of her physical comforts taken care of, but that doesn't prevent her from facing the deeper emptiness that everyone, rich or poor, confronts at some time or other. Same thing here ... only Cunningham includes a few sex scenes, and a few laugh-out-loud moments. I was rather annoyed by his musing on Manet's Olympia ... sounded like a freshman comp course to me. But when he stuck to "the human condition," Cunningham gave words to thoughts and feelings I'd only glanced at askance. I can say with all seriousness that this book changed my life.

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