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My Bright Midnight

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  55 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Walter Schmidt's life isn't simple: His wife Nadine wants to live next door to her dead first husband's mother, the Mississippi River is three blocks down the street and rising dangerously, FDR is dead, and the war seems like it will never end -- but for the most part, things are going Walter's way. Then one bright April morning in 1945, Walter comes home early from work t ...more
Paperback, 138 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Louisiana State University Press
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Alex V.
Aug 16, 2010 rated it liked it
from my blog

I finished My Bright Midnight last night. I am too close to the author I think to do a publishable review - we were friends in college and this novel was published by the same press doing my book - so I'll say what I'll say here: It was really good. The short novel traces a rather sprawling tale of a reluctant German immigrant in New Orleans at the tail end of WWII. It does an excellent job of not being too New Orleans-y while still being totally there; in fact its geographic arc fro
...more
Erika
May 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I was a huge fan of Yellow Jack, Russell's first novel, but didn't think this one was as strong.
On the plus side, the descriptions of New Orleans and an area in Florida are done so well that you can feel both places in that exact moment in their history. Yet, I found Russell's1940s characters, especially their dialogue, to be less believable.
Another plus is Russell's gift for writing about alienated people. He's truly great at creating a slightly surreal, almost hallucinatory feeling as his prot
...more
Lydia Ship
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So much to praise about this book: page-turning plot, eye-popping, mouth-watering setting, distinct characters, but deserving of distinct praise is the point of view. When was the last time you read a book by a male author whose male protagonist explores emotional landscape traditionally feminine? Can you think of even one, much less one that doesn't seem falsely vulnerable, doomed, or caricature? This book is brave, and you might not hear it called that anywhere else, because books which perhap ...more
Katharine Grubb
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This is a short novel, perfect for a day or two of reading (weekend fly-through). I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads Firstreads contest, and would be happy about sending this on to another friend who is a book lover.

The story itself is unpredictable, taking a few turns that left me just wanting to keep reading! What I like about quick-read novels is that they pack a lot of time in a short amount of space. Josh Russell weaves scenes that are not overdone- he leaves enough for your im
...more
Dave
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Overlooked is the fact that Germans were one of the largest groups of settlers in Louisiana and New Orleans. This is a love story of an immigrant who comes to New Orleans and lives through the American cultural changes of World War 2. By the author of Yellow Jack, a great book about the impact of yellow fever in early New Orleans. Nice combo platter of historical New Orleans background, cultural impressions and the challenges of love in a world of complex relationships and motivations.
Deena Anreise
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved this well written novella. Had a little bit of She's Come Undone (by Wally Lamb) tone to it: a bit nostalgic, a bit coming-of-age/adulthood/finding your stride feel. Would definitely recommend it to anyone, especially 1930/40s New Orleans fans.
Linda Nemec
Jun 22, 2014 rated it liked it
A quick, interesting read that gives a good feel for New Orleans from a German immigrant's point of view in the 1930s and 40s.
Mary Ellen
Feb 04, 2011 marked it as to-read
latest book by Russell. For all looking for short books for your book groups, I think this book less than 150 pp. Plus, plot and characters sound intriguing.
Lori
Aug 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved the part that Josh read at the Launch Party / Reading & Reception at the Georgia Center for the Book at DeKalb County Public Library.

Margot
Sep 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Russell's quirky characters turn just plain silly by the end. Could have been so much more.....He sure has New Orleans spot on!
Drusilla
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting characters, so fully imagined I keep thinking about them. The writing is both clean and lyrical in good measure.
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I'm the author of three novels: A True History of the Captivation, Transport to Strange Lands, & Deliverance of Hannah Guttentag (Dzanc Books, 2012); Yellow Jack (W.W. Norton, 1999), which earned me the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Shane Stevens Fellowship in the Novel; and My Bright Midnight (LSU Press, 2010), which earned me a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Prose ...more
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