Cover Image: The Beauty of Dusk

The Beauty of Dusk

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Member Reviews

Lovely memoir about the author, a well known NYT writer, losing sight in one eye.  He surveys other people who are struggling with the loss of some type of function as well as many people who have lost their sight.
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I have long enjoyed Frank Bruni's columns whether about restaurants or politics, so I was surprised and disappointed to find that this book about his loss of sight in one eye (and potentially both eyes) was like so many others of this genre.  It is not a new subject, nor is Bruni's treatment of it original.  A reader could go back to Marcus Aurelius and a find a succinct examination of the question of suffering and the ways of dealing with it constructively.  The Beauty of Dusk is essentially a short book about Bruni's personal life experience and a much longer book of examples of people (many of them athletes) who rose above tribulation.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir, not only on the authors experience, but the casual tone of the reality that allowed the gravity of the story to be highlighted.
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First of all, Frank Bruni is an incredibly gifted writer (I have enjoyed his articles over the years on a myriad of topics).  In this book, he turns the focus on having a sudden onset of extreme vision problems in one eye (with the constant risk and fear  of it also happening in his other eye).  As a member of the disability community myself, our tag line is it's a community you can join at anytime and often very suddenly.  Bruni has to recalibrate how he experiences the world and through this, he openly discovers new appreciations (I love his descriptions of exploring Central Park with his dog for example).  Bruni also interviews many people who live with disabilities to understand their experiences and discoveries.  Bruni successfully integrates his living with a disability into his fuller identity (a gay middle-aged man with incredible life experiences and knowledge!).  I highly recommend this book and have recommended it to others because it is a vivid, beautiful personal tale of living your life fully.
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Frank Bruni is a descriptive and thoughtful writer. In this volume, he covers disabilities and aging after he loses sight in his eye. This is not only his story. He peppers his own experiences with anecdotes of other disabled individuals, sharing his longing and optimism. My favorite chapter is when he chronicles his dog, Regan's, becoming his and their bonding. I was also struck by his take on spirituality when he muses his God represents Rules of Conduct.  Having had a detached cornea myself, I could easily relate and we are aging so there is that.

Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley
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Four years ago, seasoned journalist and author, Frank Bruni of New York, aged 53,  woke with heavily blurred vision in his right eye. Turned out, he'd had a stroke of sorts and there was a chance that he would lose left eye vision as well. At first bereft, Bruni flailed, trying experimental treatments, watching his partner walk away, harboring desolation... Then his journalistic and authorial instincts cut in and he began to both investigate the worlds of his diminishment and those of others (many of severity much greater than his) and to recalibrate his life philosophies. The result is "The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found," a beautifully written, generously researched, and deeply examined memoir of his recent years. Instead of continuing to flounder, the author discovers a largely invisible world of sufferers and existential adventurers, a world that inspired him to remake his own existential underpinnings. Peppered with wonderful stories of courageous souls, The Beauty of Dusk is not a soppy self-help Instagram pitch. Rather, it is a deeply and wise journey told humbly and with flowing, almost poetic prose. As someone poleaxed by almost trivial harbingers of mortality, I  sank in, riveted by the flowing narrative, blessed by the close counsel. An uncommonly graceful and profound memoir, The Beauty of Dusk will surely figure in 2022 Best Of lists.
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Thank you to the author, Avid Reader Press and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

After unexpectedly, and permanently, losing his sight in one eye, the author struggles to regain his balance - metaphorically and physically. This very personal meditation on life changes, loss, aging, and most importantly adaptation, is beautifully written and very engaging. The author takes us with him on his journey, shares his encounters with a wide variety of people who give insight into various aspects of dealing with disability - and never descends into pathos or self-pity. A remarkable and uplifting book!
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The Beauty of Dusk by Frank Bruni This was an interesting and comforting book to read. I am a decade or so older than Mr. Bruni but he unfortunately entered our club at an early age. By this, I mean a realization based upon his own situation that we all have a life cycle that has a clear final ending. It’s how we get there that perhaps we can partly can control. Mr. Bruni lately was an Op-Ed writer for The New York Times and I would read his columns on Sundays. I also would seem him occasionally on TV News Programs. It was from one of these programs I learned he had suffered a stroke in one of his eyes and lost nearly all the vision in this eye. Once he accepted this fact and that there was no cure, his primary question was, could the same happen to his remaining eye ? The medical establishment response was- Maybe.
So, what do you do? Crawl under the blankets? Or maybe use your journalistic skills to learn about how others deal with these kinds of issues. Thankfully Mr. Bruni chose the latter. As he writes early in the book, “…. This is an interesting foretaste of our shared future, a beginner’s guide to old age.” Yes, it is. One way or another we all will experience a decay from our strong, fast, fantastic memory abilities as we age. That is what this book is all about getting on with life even given the curves, holes and frustrating bits that happen to ourselves. 
Unlike his Op-Eds, here he pours himself into the writing. I especially enjoyed his new love of his life, Regan a five year old dog that he adopted from his brother’s family in S. California. Living alone in New York City he now had the responsibility and joy of bringing love to a creature who now makes sure he gets out and walks twice a day. From experience I know walking a dog is good for both of us. Now, Mr. Bruni has moved not too far from me to Research Triangle where he teaches at Duke and continues to walk Regan. A very good book to read  for one who used to be strong, handsome and with a good memory.
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Gorgeous. This isn’t only about Frank Bruni’s discovery that he’s losing his eyesight, it is a breathtaking account of how we learn to see the “ordinary” day-to-day stuff that we literally overlook. Bruni writes so beautifully. His research via interviews with a wide variety or people makes this book burst with underline-able passages that I found to be overwhelmingly   smart and valuable. At times I laughed and at other times I smiled while reading like during this lovely passage about a car ride with his dad as they listened to Sinatra. Lots to discuss in this one - Perfect for a book discussion group - there’s so much here. Heartfelt thanks to Avid Reader Press for the advanced copy. What a gift.
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Frank Bruno has 
 written a moving intimate raw look at his partial loss of his eyesight,he draws us into his life his thoughts and feelings..His writing drew me in following his diagnosis .his search for healing.A memoir I will be recommending,#netgalley#avidreaderpress
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It was only the first full week of 2022 when I started this, and it's already the best thing I'll read all year. Bruni's words are magical and emotional, informative but plaintive, brimming with sorrow and hope. I loved this.
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