Richard Kramer's Reviews > By Nightfall

By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham
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's review
Aug 12, 2012

it was amazing
I own a copy

Elegant, sexy, achingly familiar to the point that I had to put it down and say: He knows me. Is that really me?
What's it about? It's about how when you're young you long for and fear life at the same moment; when you're not young you regard the young, as happens here, and long for life and fear that your life has been spent. And then, finally, you learn to look away. The book is over before you know it, but it rides with you, next to you, on the subway, in the bus, in the elevator to your apartment. Aschenbach, gazing at the golden Tadzio, had to die on the sand with his makeup melting; Peter, here, has to gaze at his wife's screwed up, exquisite twenty-three year-old brother, Mizzy, and go on. I read this a few months ago, but thinking about it now, I think of THE HOURS, too, about how that was "about" (among other things) those who survive, who remain; Leonard Woolf, Clarissa, Julianne Moore the name of whose character I forget. In BY NIGHTFALL, Peter remains after the loss of the idea of a former self. As we all must. Or as I, anyway, am trying to.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Fabian I absolutely agree. This is a modern classic for sure.

Richard Kramer Fabian wrote: "I absolutely agree. This is a modern classic for sure."

Yeah. Pretty stellar.

message 3: by Irina (new) - added it

Irina Wonderful review, Richard!

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