By Nightfall

Michael Cunningham, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-374-29908-8
Contemplating an affair that never was, SoHo art dealer Peter Harris laments that he "could see it all too clearly." The same holds true for Cunningham's emotionally static and drearily conventional latest (after Specimen Days). Peter and his wife, Rebecca—who edits a mid-level art magazine—have settled into a comfortable life in Manhattan's art world, but their staid existence is disrupted by the arrival of Rebecca's much younger brother, Ethan—known as Mizzy, short for "The Mistake." Family golden child Mizzy is a recovering drug addict whose current whim has landed him in New York where he wants to pursue a career in "the arts." Watching Mizzy—whose resemblance to a younger Rebecca unnerves Peter—coast through life without responsibilities makes Peter question his own choices and wonder if it's more than Mizzy's freedom that he covets. Cunningham's sentences are, individually, something to behold, but they're unfortunately pressed into the service of a dud story about a well-off New Yorker's existential crisis. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 238 pages - 978-0-312-61043-2
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-00-731851-3
Hardcover - 238 pages - 978-0-00-730776-0
Compact Disc - 7 pages - 978-1-4272-1057-9
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-00-730777-7
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