11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Empathy, insight and depth not found in the movie...,
This review is from: A Home at the End of the World: A Novel (Paperback)
If you've seen the movie, please, please, please read the book! If you have not seen the film, read the book instead. Cunningham's charactars are real and interesting, and even when they disappoint you, you want to know them better. Though this book examines the meaning of family and explores alternatives, it neither paints an idealized portrait of "traditional" heterosexual families nor presents experimental forms as the easy way out. The gay man/bisexual man/straight woman/child composition of family, though it sounds far-fetched, is exactly fitting for these characters. Still, it does not fully satisfy them. And though we're surprised and disappointed at some of the choices made by the characters, they make perfect sense as we consider the inner lives of the individuals making them. I think the omission of Erich's character from the movie took away from the power of the relationship between Bobby and Jonathan. In the book, their life together in the house caring for Jonathan's sick ex-lover provided some of the most emotionally resonant moments in the whole novel. Just as they had in their adolescence, they ended up only with each other, and somehow in this home at the end of the world, it was almost, though not quite, enough. Some of Cunningham's emotional insight is so empathic that you'll find yourself aching from the truth of it. Don't miss this read.