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Paperback That Night Book

ISBN: 0385333307

ISBN13: 9780385333306

That Night

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

On a warm suburban night, the sound of lawn sprinklers is drowned out by the rumble of hot rods. Suddenly a car careens onto a family's neat front yard, teenage boys spill out brandishing chains and leather, and a young man cries out for the girl he loves. Tonight fathers will pick up snow shovels and rakes to defend their turf, and children will witness a battle fueled by fierce, true love. This is the night they will talk about and remember as the...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

So Good, I Read it Once a Year

This book is fantastic; definitely McDermott's best. Readers who compare it with the movie aren't really being fair, because the movie changes the end of the story completely, though I have to admit that if I hadn't seen the movie, I would never have read the book.First of all, as an English major and fellow writer, I have to say that the writing here is fantastic! McDermott is poetic, eloquent, and has an uncanny knack for creating believable characters in a time and place that felt all too real. Although I was not alive during the 1960s, McDermott fully realizes not just the protagonists of That Night but all the less central characters as well. Many stories are told in this novel, and in the end the collective storytelling method comments not just on two ill-fated teenage lovers, but on a time, a place, and an entire era that has since passed.My advice is this: read the book AND watch the movie. Both realize McDermott's vision in totally different ways, though the book feels more true-to-life concerning the nature of first love.

Loved This Book!

I loved this book! I graduated from high school in 1959 and this book took me back, no doubt about it. I knew a couple of girls who got pregnant while still in school, and it was as terrible as is depicted in this book. (Thank goodness for progress and change.....) This book has very strong, well-developed, definitive characters, especially the young narrator. I can still feel the book as if I lived in the neighborhood......


This is one of my all time favorites. I first read it when I was barely out of my teens and identified with Sheryl, the teenager who becomes pregnant and is sent away to live with relatives. Now, as a suburban mother, I identify with the mothers whose lives- dashed hopes and dreams - and those of their husbands and children are so vividly described in McDermott's uncanny way of creating a visual and lyrical snapshot of suburban life in the sixties.Alice McDermott really gets it right. Early love and the inevitable loss of it colors the way we think for the rest of our lives. The memories this novel brings back to me are so strong that this is one of the few books I re-read every few months.

McDermott makes magic of the moon!

If there is a synonym for splendid, it is THAT NIGHT. Reading this superior novel is like taking a journey down the suburban sidewalks of youth, cracked and weathered, but familiar. It is a journey through the high school yearbooks of everyone you have ever loved, their photos smiling out at you in that moment right before the shutter clicks and adulthood begins. McDermotts story is one of first love, between teenagers, told with such an urgency that any "adult" love we may stumble upon later in life pales in comparison. The author writes with a keen eye for detail and a highly tuned ear for the sounds of growing up, and growing away from those we have loved. When this book breaks your heart, and it will, it does so without the sentimental trappings of so many love stories. If you don't love this book--I'll take it off your hands.

Fabulous! I'd like to see this one back in print.

Rick and Sheryl are high school sweethearts involved in an intense love affair. When Sheryl discovers that she's pregnant, her mother sends her away, not even giving Sheryl a chance to say goodbye to her beloved. When Rick comes to find -- he hopes to rescue -- Sheryl from her mother's home, a fight ensues. The narrator is Sheryl's neighbor, who was a little girl at the time of the fight, and who found Rick and Sheryl's relationship utterly romantic and fascinating at the time. Her memories of the fight, and of that summer, are long-lasting, and she describes those memories in that way that makes them seem to glow a little more softly as the time has passed. The book recaptures lost youth, and at the same time makes us realize that our youth is truly irretrievable. I love this book even more now than when I first read it in 1987! (FYI, the book is by Alice McDermott.)
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