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Midnight All Day Paperback – September 4, 2000
2016 Book Awards
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Top Customer Reviews
The subjects of these stories are lonely, entangled in triangular relationships, lost, young but already burnt-out, disillusioned, emotionally afraid, or 'fighting to preserve oneself', for 'Love could be torn down in a minute like taking a stick to a spider's web.'
In this world 'without certainties', two people talking is already 'the apogee of civilisation.'
With cool, restrained sentences Hanif Kureishi evokes masterly 'the complexity and detail of inner motion.'
Not to be missed.
Despite this criticism, the characters are acutely drawn and are utterly credible. They tend to stumble or shamble through their lives from one opportunity to the next mistake, initiating and terminating relationships. Despite their tendency to write about or enact other characters, they often display very little facility for introspection. They often resort to their bottles or recreational drugs and treat sex as if it were a challenge.
So the stories deal with late twentieth century British professional middle classes, whose careers are always on top until they are bust, whose fortunes are always up until they crash, and whose relationships are always idyllic until they are failed.
Hanif Kureishi has a keen eye for the character of eighties and nineties Britain and on several occasions one feels implicitly that his subjects would not dream of discussing their woes with their parents. They are confident yet vulnerable, assertive yet indecisive, committed yet utterly ephemeral. There are occasions when these characteristics are a little overstated, but overall this is a moving and memorable collection which is probably best read one story at a time, rather than cover to cover.