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A Home at the End of the World by Michael…
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A Home at the End of the World (1990)

by Michael Cunningham

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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
"You don't necessarily meet a lot of people in this world."

This is the first of Michael Cunningham's books I've read, but I will be reading all of them. He just flat gets it. By the time I was halfway through, I more or less disliked two of the three main characters, but I wasn't tired of reading about them. I wanted to figure them out. I wanted to like them and if I didn't, I wanted to understand why.

This is one of those books that you read a sentence or a paragraph or a scene and it hits you deep down, sometimes in the places where you're most insecure. (If you're someone who underlines quotations, get new pencils. Get a *box* of pencils.) There were times when I was sad or upset about something and would read another book instead because I didn't want to feel everything that this one brought up.

I'm making this book sound like a big downer. It isn't. It's exhilarating, like all the best books, because it tells you what you know is true and then makes you look at it all again. ( )
  rainidontmind | Mar 14, 2014 |
i border very close to having absolutely loved this book. the writing is exquisite, and the way he shows this idea of waiting to live your life - it just felt so brutally honest and raw. how what feel like small tragedies in the moment - things not said, the stuff you think you'll one day do or say - end up shaping a life and can even be the main tragedy in it. and i loved, really loved, the way bobby frames things and gives us insight into the rest of the book at the very end. a beautiful wrap-up.

of the 3 main characters, i really only liked one of them, but only really disliked one of them as well. i guess it's more that i couldn't really relate at all to one of them, the woman, and just felt more connected to the two men, especially bobby. still, that mattered not a bit to how much i enjoyed this book.

had it not been for the holidays, i would never have taken so long to have read it. i'm too slow a reader to be able to read a book like this in one sitting, but i would really have loved to have been able to. i never wanted to put it down.

between a mother and her adolescent son:
"'Good night,' he said.
'Good night. Sleep well.'
Still I lingered. I could not leave off looking at him, even if he resented me for it. If I'd had the courage I'd have said to him, 'Don't do it. Please don't start hating me. You can have the world without shutting me out of your life.'
I walked quietly from the room, as full of him as I had been when I was pregnant."

"...at a theater where a mouse ran across our feet, quick and feathery as a bad impulse." ( )
  elisa.saphier | Dec 3, 2013 |
I was disappointed with Michael Cunningham's "A Home at the End of the World." That's not to say it's a bad book... it isn't.... but I was expecting more from it. There just wasn't anything particularly special or interesting about it to set it apart. I'm surprised that it was included on a version of the 1,001 books to read before you die list.

The story, told from alternating points of view, mainly follows the lives of Bobby and Jonathan, who slip into a complex love triangle. Jonathan is gay, Bobby is bisexual and their lives are messy and complicated.

The story is well-paced though a bit predictable. I found the book to be "okay" but not particularly memorable or noteworthy. ( )
  amerynth | Jun 15, 2013 |
I'm on a Michael Cunningham kick - I read The Hours years ago and liked it, but not enough to seek out his other work. Then I listened to By Nightfall and loved it, so much so that I followed that one with this one, which is also very good. I love the richness and depth of the characters, how they're totally believable yet such strong individuals as to be not quite like anyone I've known. The audio version is read by multiple readers (the book is told from the rotating viewpoints of four characters) and it's very well done. ( )
  anneearney | Mar 31, 2013 |
Written as viewpoints rotate chapter by chapter with each of four major characters, this is a novel about relationships. It focusses on how they form, how we define family, sexuality and roles within them and it results in the decisions we make for ourselves as a result of them. That’s pretty much what I took from the book.

I found it intriguing to see the experimental family that forms as a result of each of the three main characters pursuing a quest for liberation within relationships. This ends, kind of predictably, in going not so well for a couple of them. But it does result in a family being created for those that either never had one or those that are emotionally estranged from them. For one character in particular, this is important as his life draws to a close.

On the whole, the characters were pretty complex and I appreciated this reminder of how difficult each of us is to pin down. I thought the novel was pretty honest for its look at what happens when we a self-sacrificing to the point of self-harm. Cunningham also seems to be truthful in depicting relationships that are messy despite their liberality.

I don’t think this is a vastly important book but it is a reasonable read and I enjoyed meeting the characters he created. ( )
  arukiyomi | Jan 2, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cunningham, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alopaeus, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The Poem that Took the Place of a Mountain - There it was, word for word, The poem that took the place of a mountain. He breathed in its oxygen, even when the book lay turned in the dust of his table. It reminded him how he had needed a place to go to in his own direction, how he had recomposed the pines, shifted the rocks and picked his way among clouds, for the outlook that would be right, where he would be complete in an unexplained completion: The exact rock wher ehis inexactnesses would discover, at last, the view toward which they had edged, where he could lie and, gazing down at the sea, recognize his unique and solitary home. Wallace Stevens
Dedication
This book is for Ken Corbett
First words
Once our father bought a convertible.
Quotations
I was not ladylike, nor was I manly. I was something else altogether. There were so many different ways to be beautiful.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312202318, Paperback)

From Michael Cunningham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours, comes this widely praised novel of two boyhood friends: Jonathan, lonely, introspective, and unsure of himself; and Bobby, hip, dark, and inarticulate. In New York after college, Bobby moves in with Jonathan and his roommate, Clare, a veteran of the city's erotic wars. Bobby and Clare fall in love, scuttling the plans of Jonathan, who is gay, to father Clare's child. Then, when Clare and Bobby have a baby, the three move to a small house upstate to raise "their" child together and, with an odd friend, Alice, create a new kind of family. A Home at the End of the World masterfully depicts the charged, fragile relationships of urban life today.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:51:42 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Jonathan, lonely, introspective, and unsure of himself; and Bobby, hip, dark, and inarticulate. In New York after college, Bobby moves in with Jonathan and his roommate, Clare, a veteran of the city's erotic wars. Bobby and Clare fall in love, scuttling the plans of Jonathan, who is gay, to father Clare's child. Then, when Clare and Bobby have a baby, the three move to a small house upstate to raise "their" child together and, with an odd friend, Alice, create a new kind of family. A Home at the End of the World masterfully depicts the charged, fragile relationships of urban life today.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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