A Home at the End of the World: A Novel [NOOK Book]


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 ...

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A Home at the End of the World: A Novel

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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.

A powerful and original novel that tests perceived notions of family, home, and community, to probe the mysteries of our fundamental loyalties. Shrewd, closely observed and deeply feeling, this novel is a remarkable achievement.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This poignant and absorbing novel, parts of which have already appeared in the New Yorker , is one of a kind: at once a bildungsroman that reveals a remarkable gay sensibility, a serious appraisal of how parents and children relate over the years, and a clear-eyed account of '80s ways of looking and living.

It is the story of two young Clevelanders, Jonathan and Bobby, who become boyhood friends in spite of, and partly because of, their unhappily adjusted parents. They eventually emigrate to New York, where they end up living together -- and with a superbly realized eccentric, Clare, a very hip but desperate woman who tries to relate to them both, ends up having Bobby's child, attempts to share life in the country with them and eventually drifts away. Other characters rendered in detail include Jonathan's mother, Alice, a firm-minded survivor; her ever-optimistic husband, Ned; and Jonathan's sometime lover Erich, who comes to agonizing life for the reader only as he is dying of AIDS.

No praise can be too high for Cunningham's writing. He worked six years on the novel, and it shows in the careful way he evokes fleeting thoughts and states of consciousness, in the lyrical sense of the ordinariness of place, whether Cleveland, New York, Arizona or upstate New York, in the musical background that accompanies much of the action, almost as in a movie, and in the unexpected ways that characters who have not met before interrelate when they do. His story is told from several alternating points of view -- Jonathan's, Bobby's, Clare's and Alice's -- and though this works well in narrative terms, the voices are not as different as one would expect from such fully realized characters. And some scenes, like the birth of Clare's baby, are unaccountably missing.

Still, this is a gripping, haunting piece of work from a writer of real promise and power.

Publishers Weekly
Two very different boys are drawn together by their oppressive home lives and by a connection that is both brotherly and sexual in this superb audio adaptation of Cunningham's vivid coming-of-age tale. Clevelanders Bobby Morrow and Jonathan Glover become childhood friends in the 1960s, and their friendship persists well into the '80s, when first Jonathan and then Bobby moves to New York City. There they meet aging hippie Clare, who imposes her own needs upon the two men. Clare, read with unflappable clarity by Van Dyck, attempts to build a normal life for herself using Bobby to become pregnant and Jonathan as emotional support. But as Jonathan's perceptive mother, Alice, warns her son, the unusual family they're creating won't last. Actors Farrell and Roberts who play Bobby and Jonathan respectively in the Warner Brothers motion picture fill the same roles here, and both deliver moving, understated performances. Although some listeners will wish they could soak up this absorbing story all in one sitting, the narrators' well-paced readings force the listener to sit back and appreciate the intricacy and skill of Cunningham's exquisite prose. Based on the FSG hardcover. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Cunningham's novel focuses on the close friendship of Bobby and Jonathan. As boyhood friends growing up in Cleveland in the late Sixties and Seventies, Bobby and Jonathan form a relationship that is both average and far beyond what most kids would consider "normal.'' After high school Jonathan moves to New York City, where Bobby soon follows. They become involved with Clare, a slightly older woman who finds each one appealing in his own way. The rest of the novel centers on their unusual life together. This well-written book has lots of good dialog and will appeal to readers who want something other than the tried and true best seller.
-- Mary K. Prokop, CEL Regional Library, Savannah, Georgia
Once in a great while, there appears a novel so spellbinding in its beauty and sensitivity that the reader devours it nearly whole, in great greedy gulps, and feels stretched sore afterwards, having been expanded and filled. Such a book is Michael Cunningham's A Home at the End of the World.
-- San Diego Tribune
Novels don't come more deeply felt than Michael Cunningham's extraordinary four-character study... The writing...is a constant pleasure, flowing and yet dense with incisive images and psychological nuance.
-- The Boston Globe
Cunningham writes with power and delicacy.... We come to feel that we know Jonathan, Bobby, and Clare as if we lived with them; yet each one retains the mystery that in people is called soul, and in fiction is called art.
-- The Los Angeles Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374707590
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 8/24/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 105,302
  • File size: 514 KB

Meet the Author

Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham is "one of our very best writers" (Richard Eder, The Los Angeles Times). An excerpt from A Home at the End of the World was published in The New Yorker, chosen for Best American Short Stories 1989, and featured on NPR's Selected Shorts. He is the author of two other novels, Flesh and Blood and The Hours. He lives in New York.

Michael Cunningham was raised in Los Angeles and lives in New York City. He is the author of the novels The Hours, A Home at the End of the World, Specimen Days, Flesh and Blood, and By Nightfall. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and Best American Short Stories, and he is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award for The Hours, which was a New York Times bestseller, and was chosen as a Best Book of 1998 by The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Publishers Weekly. He is a Professor at Brooklyn College for the M.F.A program.
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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 6, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      Cincinnati, Ohio
    1. Education:
      B.A., Stanford University, 1975; M.F.A., University of Iowa, 1980
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt


Once our father bought a convertible. Don't ask me. I was five, He bought it and drove it home as casually as he'd bring a gallon of rocky road. Picture our mother's surprise. She kept rubber bands on the doorknobs. She washed old plastic bags and hung them on the line to dry, a string of thrifty tame jellyfish floating in the sun. Imagine her scrubbing the cheese smell out of a plastic bag on its third or fourth go round when our father pulls up in a Chevy convertible, used but nevertheless--a moving metal landscape, chrome bumpers and what looks like acres of molded silver car-flesh. He saw it parked downtown with a For Sale sign and decided to be the kind of man who buys a car on a whim. We can see as he pulls up that the manic joy has started to fade for him. The car is already an embarrassment. He cruises into the driveway with a frozen smile that matches the Chevy's grille.
Of course the car has to go. Our mother never sets foot. My older brother Carlton and I get taken for one drive. Carlton is ecstatic. I am skeptical. If our father would buy a car on a street corner, what else might he do? Who does this make him?
He takes us to the country. Roadside stands overflow with apples. Pumpkins shed their light on farmhouse lawns. Carlton, wild with excitement, stands up on the front seat and has to be pulled back down. I help. Our father grabs Carlton's beaded cowboy belt on one side and I on the other. I enjoy this. I feel useful, helping to pull Carlton down.
We pass a big farm. Its outbuildings are anchored on a sea of swaying wheat, its white clapboard is molten in the late, hazy light. All three of us, even Carlton, keep quiet as we pass. There is something familiar about this place. Cows graze, autumn trees cast their long shade. I tell myself we are farmers, and also somehow rich enough to drive a convertible. The world is gaudy with possibilities. When I ride in a car at night, I believe the moon is following me.
"We're home," I shout as we pass the farm. I don't know what I am saying. It's the combined effects of wind and speed on my brain. But neither Carlton nor our father questions me. We pass through a living silence. I am certain at that moment that we share the same dream. I took up to see that the moon, white and socketed in a gas-blue sky, is in fact following us. It isn't long before Carlton is standing up again, screaming into the rush of air, and our father and I are pulling him down, back into the sanctuary of that big car.


We gathered at dusk on the darkening green. I was five. The air smelled of newly cut grass, and the sand traps were luminous. My father carried me on his shoulders. I was both pilot and captive of his enormity. My bare legs thrilled to the sandpaper of his cheeks, and I held on to his cars, great soft shells that buzzed minutely with hair.
My mother's red lipstick and fingernails looked black in the dusk. She was pregnant, just beginning to show, and the crowd parted for her. We made our small camp on the second fairway, with two folding aluminum chairs. Multitudes had turned out for the celebration. Smoke from their portable barbecues sharpened the air. I settled myself on my father's lap, and was given a sip of beer. My mother sat fanning herself with the Sunday funnies. Mosquitoes circled above us in the violet ether.
That Fourth of July the city of Cleveland had hired two famous Mexican brothers to set off fireworks over the municipal golf course. These brothers put on shows all over the world, at state and religious affairs. They came from deep in Mexico, where bread was baked in the shape of skulls and virgins, and fireworks were considered to be man's highest form of artistic expression.
The show started before the first star announced itself. It began unspectacularly. The brothers were playing their audience, throwing out some easy ones: standard double and triple blossomings, spiral rockets, colored sprays that left drab orchids of colored smoke. Ordinary stuff. Then, following a pause, they began in earnest. A rocket shot straight up, pulling a thread of silver light in its wake, and at the top of its arc it bloomed purple, a blazing five pronged lily, each petal of which burst out with a blossom of its own. The crowd cooed its appreciation. My father cupped my belly with one enormous brown hand, and asked if I was enjoying the show. I nodded. Below his throat, an outcropping of dark blond hairs struggled to escape through the collar of his madras shirt.
More of the lilies exploded, red yellow and mauve, their silver stems lingering beneath them. Then came the snakes, hissing orange fire, a dozen at a time, great lolloping curves that met, intertwined, and diverged, sizzling all the while. They were followed by huge soundless snowflakes, crystalline bodies of purest white, and those by a constellation in the shape of Miss Liberty, with blue eyes and ruby lips. Thousands gasped and applauded. I remember my father's throat, speckled with dried blood, the stubbly skin loosely covering a huge knobbed mechanism that swallowed beer. When I whimpered at the occasional loud bang, or at a scattering of colored embers that seemed to be dropping directly onto our heads, he assured me we had nothing to fear. I could feel the rumble of his voice in my stomach and my legs. His lean arms, each lazily bisected by a single vein, held me firmly in place.

I want to talk about my father's beauty. I know it's not a usual subject for a man--when we talk about our fathers we are far more likely to tell tales of courage or titanic rage, even of tenderness. But I want to talk about my father's frank, unadulterated beauty: the potent symmetry of his arms, blond and lithely muscled as if they'd been carved of raw ash; the easy, measured grace of his stride. He was a compact, physically dignified man; a dark-eyed theater owner quietly in love with the movies. My mother suffered headaches and fits of irony, but my father was always cheerful, always on his way somewhere, always certain that things would turn out all right.

When my father was away at work my mother and I were alone together. She invented indoor games for us to play, or enlisted my help in baking cookies. She disliked going out, especially in winter, because the cold gave her headaches. She was a New Orleans girl, small-boned and precise in her movements. She had married young. Sometimes she prevailed upon me to sit by the window with her, looking at the street, waiting for a moment when the frozen landscape might resolve itself into something ordinary she could trust as placidly as did the solid, rollicking Ohio mothers who piloted enormous cars loaded with groceries, babies, elderly relations. Station wagons rumbled down our street like decorated tanks celebrating victory in foreign wars.
"Jonathan," she whispered. "Hey, boy-o. What are you thinking about?"
It was a favorite question of hers. "I don't know," I said.
"Tell me anything," she said. "Tell me a story."
I was aware of the need to speak. "Those boys are taking their sled to the river," I told her, as two older neighborhood boys in plaid caps--boys I adored and feared--passed our house pulling a battered Flexible Flyer. "They're going to slide it on the ice. But they have to be careful about holes. A little boy fell in and drowned."
It wasn't much of a story. It was the best I could manage on short notice.
"How did you know about that?" she asked.
I shrugged. I had thought I'd made it up. It was sometimes difficult to distinguish what had occurred from what might have occurred,
"Does that story scare you?" she said.
"No," I told her. I imagined myself skimming over a vast expanse of ice, deftly avoiding the jagged holes into which other boys fell with sad, defeated little splashes.
"You're safe here," she said, stroking my hair. "Don't you worry about a thing. We're both perfectly safe and sound right here.
I nodded, though I could hear the uncertainty in her voice. Her heavy-jawed, small-nosed face cupped the raw winter light that shot up off the icy street and ricocheted from room to room of our house, nicking the silver in the cabinet, setting the little prismed lamp abuzz.
"How about a funny story?" she said. "We could probably use one just about now."
"Okay," I said, though I knew no funny stories. Humor was a mystery to me--I could only narrate what I saw. Outside our window, Miss Heidegger, the old woman who lived next door, emerged from her house, dressed in a coat that appeared to be made of mouse pelts. She picked up a leaf of newspaper that had blown into her yard, and hobbled back inside. I know from my parents' private comments that Miss Heidegger was funny. She was funny in her insistence that her property be kept immaculate, and in her convictions about the Communists who operated the schools, the telephone company, and the Lutheran church. My father liked to say, in a warbling voice, "Those Communists have sent us another electric bill. Mark my words, they're trying to force us out of our homes." When he said something like that my mother always laughed, even at bill-paying time, when the fear was most plainly etched around her mouth and eyes.
That day, sitting by the window, I tried doing Miss Heidegger myself. In a high, quivering voice not wholly different from my actual voice I said, "Oh, those bad Communists have blown this newspaper right into my yard." I got up and walked stiff legged to the middle of the living room, where I picked up a copy of Time magazine from the coffee table and waggled it over my head.
f0"You Communists," I croaked. "You stay away now. Stop trying to force us out of our homes."
My mother laughed delightedly. "You are wicked," she said.
I went to her, and she scratched my head affectionately. The light from the street brightened the gauze curtains, filled the deep blue candy dish on the side table. We were safe.

My father worked all day, came home for dinner, and went back to the theater at night. I do not to this day know what he did all those hours--as far as I can tell, the operation of a single, unprosperous movie theater does not require the owner's presence from early morning until late at night. My father worked those hours, though, and neither my mother nor I questioned it. He was earning money, maintaining the house that protected us from the Cleveland winters. That was all we needed to know.
When my father came home for dinner, a frosty smell clung to his coat. He was big and inevitable as a tree. When he took off his coat, the fine hair on his forearms stood up electrically in the soft, warm air of the house.
My mother served the dinner she had made. My father patted her belly, which was by then round and solid as a basketball.
"Triplets," he said. "We're going to need a bigger house. Two bedrooms won't do it, not by a long shot."
"Let's just worry about the oil bill," she said.
"Another year," he said. "A year from now, and we'll be in a position to look at real estate."
My father frequently alluded to a change in our position. If we arranged ourselves a certain way, the right things would happen. We had to be careful about how we stood, what we thought.
"We'll see," my mother said in a quiet tone.
He got up from the table and rubbed her shoulders. His hands covered her shoulders entirely. He could nearly have circled her neck with his thumb and middle finger.
"You just concentrate on the kid," he said. "Just keep yourself healthy. I'll take care of the rest."
My mother submitted to his caresses, but took no pleasure in them. I could see it on her face. When my father was home she wore the same cautious look she brought to our surveys of the street. His presence made her nervous, as if some part of the outside had forced its way in.
My father waited for her to speak, to carry us along in the continuing conversation of our family life. She sat silent at the table, her shoulders tense under his ministrations.
"Well, I guess it's time for me to get back to work," he said at length. "So long, sport. Take care of the house."
"Okay," I said. He patted my back, and kissed me roughly on the cheek. My mother got up and started to wash the dishes. I sat watching my father as he hid his muscled arms in his coat sleeves and returned to the outside.
Later that night, after I'd been put to bed, while my mother sat downstairs watching television, I snuck into her room and tried her lipstick on my own lips. Even in the dark, I could tell that the effect was more clownish than alluring. Still, it revised my appearance. I made red spots on my checks with her rouge, and penciled black brows over my own pale blond ones.
I walked light-footed into the bathroom. Laughter and tinkling music drifted up through the stairwell. I put the bathroom stool in the place where my father stood shaving in the mornings, and got up on it so I could see myself in the mirror. The lips I had drawn were huge and shapeless, the spots of crimson rouge off-center. I was not beautiful, but I believed I had the possibility of beauty in me. I would have to be careful about how I stood, what I thought. Slowly, mindful of the creaky hinge, I opened the medicine cabinet and took out my father's striped can of Barbasol. I knew just what to do: shake the can with an impatient snapping motion, spray a mound of white lather onto my left palm, and apply it incautiously, in profligate smears, to my jaw and neck. Applying makeup required all the deliberation one might bring to defusing a bomb; shaving was a hasty and imprecise act that produced scarlet pinpoints of blood and left little gobbets of hair--dead as snakeskin--behind in the sink.
When I had lathered my face I looked long into the mirror, considering the effect. My blackened eyes glittered like spiders above the lush white froth. I was not ladylike, nor was I manly. I was something else altogether. There were so many different ways to be a beauty.

My mother grew bigger and bigger. On a shopping trip I demanded and got a pink vinyl baby doll with thin magenta lips and cobalt eyes that closed, when the doll was laid flat, with the definitive click of miniature window frames. I suspect my parents discussed the doll. I chsuspect they decided it would help me cope with my feelings of exclusion. My mother taught me how to diaper it, and to bathe it in the kitchen sink. Even my father professed interest in the doll's well-being. "How's the kid?" he asked one evening just before dinner, as I lifted it stiff-limbed from its bath.
"Okay," I said. Water leaked out of its joints. Its sulfur colored hair, which sprouted from a grid of holes punched into its scalp, had taken on the smell of a wet sweater.
"Good baby," my father said, and patted its, firm rubber cheek with one big finger. I was thrilled. He loved the baby so.
"Yes," I said, holding the lifeless thing in a thick white towel,
My father hunkered down on his huge hams, expelling a breeze spiced with his scent. "Jonathan?" he said.
"Uh huh."
"You know boys don't usually play with dolls, don't you?"
"Well. Yes,"
"This is your baby," he said, "and that's fine for here at home. But if you show it to other boys they may not understand. So you'd better just play with it here. All right?"
"Good." He patted my arm. "Okay? Only play with it in the house, right?"
"Okay," I answered. Standing small before him, holding the swaddled doll, I felt my first true humiliation. I recognized a deep inadequacy in myself, a foolishness. Of course I knew the baby was just a toy, and a slightly embarrassing one. A wrongful toy. How had I let myself drift into believing otherwise?
"Are you all right?" he asked.
"Uh huh."
"Good. Listen, I've got to go. You take care of the house."
"Mommy doesn't want to have a baby," I said.
"Sure she does."
"No. She told me."
"Jonathan, honey, Mommy and Daddy are both very happy about the baby. Aren't you happy, too?"
"Mommy hates having this baby," I said. "She told me. She said you want to have it,
f0but she doesn't want to."
I looked into his gigantic face, and could see that I had made some sort of contact. His eyes brightened, and the delta of capillaries that spread over his nose and cheeks stood out in sharper, redder relief against his pale skin.
"It's not true, sport," he said. "Mommy sometimes says things she doesn't mean. Believe me, she's as happy about having the baby as you and I are."
I said nothing.
"Hey, Im late," he said. "Trust me. You'll have a little sister or brother, and we're all going to be crazy about her. Or him. You'll be a big brother. Everything'll be great."
After a moment he added, "Take care of things while I'm gone, okay?" He stroked my cheek with one spatulate thumb, and left.
That night I awoke to the sound of a whispered fight being conducted behind the door of their bedroom at the end of the hall. Their voices hissed. I lay waiting for--what? Soon I had fallen asleep again, and do not know to this day whether or not I dreamed the sound of the fight. It is still sometimes difficult to distinguish what happened from what might have happened.

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Reading Group Guide

Before the phenomenal success of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Hours, Michael Cunningham published A Home at the End of the World to critical acclaim. It's the boldly affecting story of a love triangle between two men and a woman: Jonathan, headstrong and lonely; Bobby, dreamy and vulnerable; Clara, charismatic and adventurous. Challenging conventional notions of family and sexuality, the story spans four decades, reflecting many of the cultural changes and contradictions of America itself. In many ways more relevant than when it first appeared, A Home at the End of the World is an unflinching re-examination of the definition of family and gender roles, determined to explore unanswered questions raised by Sixties and Seventies counter--culture that dog us to this day.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 40 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 14, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Cunningham's best work

    A Home At The End of the World is, in my opinion, Cunningham's best work yet. It's the story of Bobby and Jonathan, best friends and social outcasts, and their unspoken love affair through the years. When Bobby joins Jonathan and his friend, the older and free-spirited Claire in New York, the trio become a family and the dynamics change as Bobby and Claire begin a love affair and Jonathan feels like an outcast, unable to express to Bobby his deep love for him. Claire and Bobby have a child together, and the three raise the girl together. Eventually, Calire comes to see that Jonathan and Bobby are happiest together and she leaves with the little girl. It's proof positive that a family doesn't have to consist of a mother, a father and a child but that a family is whatever you make it to be.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2010

    amazing book!

    i couldnt put it down! the characters are complex and delightful. the book is written by the perspective of almost all the characters. very touching to show a very new age "family"

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2008

    The Ultimate Love Triangle

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2006

    Wonderful Book!

    This book is very well writen and weaves a story about interesting characters and thier interesting choices in life. It almost read itself to me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2004


    Mr. Cunningham deserves multi BRAVOS for this book! The story stirred my inner passions and reflectiveness. This is wonderful writing! BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2004

    Well-written but meandering

    Having read The Hours (and finding it excrutiatingly boring) years ago, I approached this book with much apprehension, especially upon instantly being reminded of Cunningham's device of telling each chapter from a different character's perspective. While it was annoying in The Hours, I feel that it really added a depth to this novel. My only beef with it being that often times an event would occur and be told from a particular perspective that wasn't as potentially interesting as another's might have been (i.e. Clare's version of the first time she had sex with Bobby, rather than from Bobby's POV which seemed infinitely more rich to me). The plot leaves something to be desired. Each of the character's definitely take a journey, but I don't feel that the action in many cases was interesting enough to work. It seemed as if the circumstances of these character's lives were often forced in order to lead to some sort of emotional or psychological revelation. On the whole, I found the entire thing to be unbelievable, though I did wholly believe the characters as well-rounded individuals (go figure!). In terms of action, I also have to say that Cunningham is a little too showy and smart for his own good. The language of this text is occasionally too flowery and descriptive for its own good. At several times I felt that the action sputtered or completely stalled while the writer turned a phrase or showed exactly how 'good' a writer he really is. The treatment of AIDS in this book is certainly worthy of note. At the end I was entirely floored by the seemingly careless regard for such a serious subject. But then I had to remember that this was written in the early 1990s and perhaps there wasn't as great a sensitivity towards the subject (though even that I don't entirely believe). While this may have been the attitude towards the disease at large in our country (and our world for that matter), I am continually surprised when gay writers don't at least make a small effort to 'lead by example' so to speak and present a positive image or attitude instead of reflecting the negative one. I fully understand the fear and abhorance that are clearly illustrated here in this book, but is it really necessary to present AIDS so hopelessly? While it might be fatal it isn't instant death, and so much of this novel makes you wonder why people don't just kill themselves as soon as they discover they have it. All of that being said, I guess I would still have to recommend this book to others. Obviously the writing is above average if it was able to provoke such a charged response out of me hours and days after I have finished reading the book. Be warned, though, there is little happiness or hope to be found here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2004

    Excellent, Excellent, Excellent

    This book is a fabulous read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The characters are interesting and unusual. Cunningham gets to the very heart of what makes a home and what is a family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014


    Aiisha: 1 /\ Raghn: 1 |2 Raina: 1

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2004

    Embark throughout the generations of fragile family

    This book is more reflective towards for those growing up in urban culture and mesmerize throughout what people want. This book shares us the idea of what should been told, what should have been shared against the rules and condition how we live. 'A Home at the end of the world' is one of Micheal Cunningham's Best

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2004

    Near Perfect...

    This is an amazing story. I love the way that you feel as if you know the characters personally, and feel for them. This book is great in all aspects except one. DETAILS. Too many details, some of which bored me to tears.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2004


    Three friends, each with their own idiosyncrasies, are drawn to one another and form what some people would deem an unconventional relationship. While I found Mr. Cunningham's novel fascinating at certain points, I grew frustrated with the central characters complacent behavior when it came to their own lives. I suppose if the characters hadn't made an impact on me, I wouldn't have cared at all. However, I can't whole-heartedly recommend this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2002


    This is not just a great gay novel. it's a great novel. Period. The character dynamics are developed flawlessly. This is a book I'd re-read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2001

    to the future...

    Cunningham's novels do have the ability to all but read themselves. this novel begins perhaps more strongly than most i've read...what i loved most was his development of Clare, Bobby and Jonathan. From the start, Bobby and Jonathan's relationship fascinated me. There was always something unspoken present--something unspoken, but understood between the two of them if not anyone else. the only bit of lingering distaste it has left me...is the outlook on one's future. as a young girl, with three years of college left to go, i feel my future is limitless and it is novels like this that seem to scissor that excitement, that passion for the future. but i think that is, in fact, what cunningham is trying to do. he is not necessarily saying that The Future is bad, scary place. he presents three characters, painfully human ones at that, who once shared the same outlook on the future but whose vision failed them. here cunningham offers an alternate form of a future...one that may not be socially conventional or even accepted, but one that works for them. we should all embrace this idea, that our futures will work out, just maybe not in the way we thought it would.

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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