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Know The Night: A Memoir Of Survival In The Small Hours (2014)

by Maria Mutch(Favorite Author)
3.84 of 5 Votes: 2
1476702748 (ISBN13: 9781476702742)
Simon & Schuster
review 1: This book is beautifully written, insightful, and compelling. BUT, while the prose is, as other readers have commented, poetic, for me it was just too poetic--I wanted more of the grit of her existence (and she does give some examples, but they were wrapped around this rather fey aura of words). After awhile the book just became too dreamy for me. Perhaps that was Mutch's intention, but I needed a bit more of the string, not just the kite. Ironically, Byrd's book (which I read many years ago), and to which Mutch draws a parallel, is a very gritty account of his spending months alone in a shelter/hole at the South Pole, a grueling experience by any measure. Maybe for me my memory of reading about his experience simply prevailed over Mutch's.
review 2: While this
... more book will probably translate more easily to those who have special needs children, it's a terrific though challenging book for anyone. If Mutch isn't a poet she should be, and much of the narrative is connected by complicated imagery and rhythms. Her son Gabriel, who has both autism and Down's Syndrome, by and large stops sleeping for two years, with all of his night care left to his equally sleepless mother. Scrambling for kinship, she finds it through jazz, which Gabriel loves too, and the writings of Robert Byrd, a Depression-Era Antarctic explorer who isolated himself in the sunless, frigid night for four months. Mutch weaves her own speechless isolation with that of Byrd's, interspersing poignant philosophical passages throughout, many of them trying to plumb what such isolation does to the mind in its fretful search for meaning. Her dedication to her son, though, says through the whole book what Mutch finally confesses at the end, that this is a love story, and it's only there that's she's able to scratch out a semblance of meaning. Stylistically, it's tough to find a better handled book. less
Reviews (see all)
This mom is an eloquent well read author who blesses the reader as she tells her story of silence.
This just was not my type of book so I was unable to finish reading through the whole book.
advance reading copy arrived today 11/16/2013
Great book
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