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.
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
“Lyrical . . . Memorable and accomplished.” The New York Times Book Review
“Novels don't come more deeply felt than Cunningham's extraordinary four-character study . . . The writing [is] a constant pleasure, flowing and yet dense with incisive images and psychological nuance.” Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe
“The story of Jonathan, Clare, Bobby, and Alice is also the story of the 70's and 80's in America--and vice versa. It is destined to last.” David Leavitt, author of The Marble Quilt
“Cunningham has written a novel that all but reads itself.” The Washington Post Book World
“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 [this one].” Sherry Rosenthal, San Diego Tribune
“Luminous with the wonders and anxieties that make childhood mysterious . . . A Home at the End of the World is a remarkable accomplishment.” Laura Frost, San Francisco Review
“Brilliant and satisfying . . . As good as anything I've read in years . . . Hope in the midst of tragedy is a fragile thing, and Cunningham carries it with masterful care.” Gayle Kidder, San Diego Union
“Exquisitely written . . . Lyrical . . . An important book.” Charleston Sunday News and Courier
“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.” Richard Eder, The Los Angeles Times