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Summary

The whole course of one’s life really can change in an instant.

Peter is 44, prosperous, childless, the owner of a big New York apartment, a player in the NY contemporary art dealing scene. He has been married to Rebecca for close on 20 years. Their marriage is sound, in the way marriages are. Peter might even describe himself to be happy. But when Mizzy, Rebecca’s much younger brother, comes to stay, his world is turned upside down. Returning to their New York flat after work one day, Peter sees the outline of Rebecca in the shower. But when he opens the shower door, it is Mizzy he comes face to face with. From that moment on, Mizzy who occupies all of Peter’s thoughts. His fascination with him is erotic but not exactly sexual. Without ever really falling out of love with his wife, he tumbles into love with her brother, and is encouraged that way by the young man.

With traces of the tensions that ripple through Death in Venice, this new novel from Michael Cuningham brilliantly examines the quest for unattainable, and temporal, beauty.

©2011 Michael Cunningham (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What listeners say about By Nightfall

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Delicate but not as deep as the Hours

The narrative is wonderful, beautifully performed and once Michael told me in a book signing session that Hugh Dancy is a friend of him. The story you would like to follow till the end and there are some unforgettable moments but on the whole it's not as good as his Hours.

6 people found this helpful

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What does crisis look like?

It's all too easy to be unsympathetic towards Peter and the crisis that unfurls itself from his centre. But when you give yourself a real chance to listen to his story, you'll feel a true pang of sympathy for him living in his gilded cage.

The literary and art references throughout suited the style and the character.

And Hugh Dancy's narration is spot on.

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  • antonio
  • 01-06-12

Sad,almost desperate, but beatifully written...

What did you love best about By Nightfall?

Michael Cunningham is truly a great writer that can give a deep insight into the souls of his characters

Would you be willing to try another book from Michael Cunningham? Why or why not?

These books are not "entertaining" , so one needs to be in a special mood ; but yes i will indeed read one more book from Cunnigngham

Which scene was your favorite?

The end is beautifully written and very moving

Who was the most memorable character of By Nightfall and why?

The story revolves arounf three characters ; they are equally interesting

Any additional comments?

nope

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paulina Nowicka
  • 12-08-17

captivating

Such an amazing and heartbreaking story about identity crisis, family struggles, art and love. Hugh Dancy's voice takes you in a journey through human emotions so... human, you never want it to end.