Reader reviews and comments on Tuesday Nights in 1980, plus links to write your own review.

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Tuesday Nights in 1980

by Molly Prentiss

Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss X
Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2016, 336 pages
    May 2017, 336 pages

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There are currently 21 reader reviews for Tuesday Nights in 1980
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Debra V. (Kenosha, WI)

Tuesday Nights....
Loved the book! A story about the crazy, changing art scene in New York in 1980, following the lives of an artist, a critic, and various "art groupies" for one year. There is just enough backstory to flesh out the characters -- including the story of the artist's sister and her son. The descriptive language alone makes the book worth reading. In fact the art was so beautifully described it made me ache to see the actual pictures. A book I will probably read again!
Molly B. (Longmont, CO)

Total Enjoyment!
What a fascinating, fun book! The writing was really enjoyable to read – creative, often ethereal, and full of information about synesthesia and the art world of the 1980. Prentiss has a way of presenting a whole lot in a few words. She can evoke a huge memory or a strong feeling with just one well-crafted sentence. Great story – varied characters, tension, resolution, nothing redundant or boring or unnecessary. I'm a fan, waiting for the next one from Molly Prentiss.
Maureen S. (Huntington Station, NY)

Tuesday Nights in 1980
In this debut novel, Molly Prentiss achieves not only a fresh style, but creates a powerful flow of emotions that make you care about the characters. The story begins as one decade ends and a new one begins; bringing new life adventures to our characters. The story follows the life of Raul, the artist, James, the art critic, who has a little known condition known as synesthesia ( I suggest the reader look up this condition as it will add more depth to the character) and Lucy, who turns out to be both their muses.

The story is fast moving and depicts life in the Art World in New York City in the 1980's. The writing is beautiful and descriptive. It is the story of relationships, love and lose, and inspiration. I would strongly recommend this book to all readers, especially anyone interested in art. It is a great book for book clubs since the characters are so finely developed, there is much to discuss.
Maggie S. (Durango, CO)

Tuesday Nights in 1980
"But that's the point" his father would've said back, "The imperfections, the time that's past, the hiccups... That's the wear of the world on it. That's the life."

This one line, in my opinion, sums up Molly Prentiss' book "Tuesday Nights in 1980." The scratches and scars and bad decisions we make in our lives are life. With all of that we can still find beauty and love and hope. The novel takes place in New York around the contemporary art scene. It is edgy and at times reading the story is very difficult and heart breaking. The writer really put me in that place and made me know and sympathize with all of the characters and the tracks that their lives were taking them. One novel I will recommend.
Diane S. (Batavia, IL)

Tuesday Nights in 1980
New York, on the cusp of 1980, the changing art scene of Soho before it became officially known as Soho. Following the lives of three individuals for the next year: Lucy in her early twenties coming from Idaho to experience life in a big city, James who after college has no clue what to do and whose unique ability enables him to see colors and paintings in a unique way will find himself the reigning critic of the art world and Raul, escaping the post Peron Dirty War in Argentina as well as his sisters new husband whom he despises, will find himself the art worlds new favorite. These three will find their lives entwined in many ways.

New York in all its rawness, street artists squats, art galleries, new relationships, grittiness, the many ways to create art, unfaithfulness, a young boy missing and a new young boy arriving. A tragic accident that will change all these characters and others close to them. Loved the way these characters change within one short year, realistic maybe not but possible, a year can seem short but much can happen. This book was structured in such a unique and original way. Combining the disappeared in Argentina and a young boy missing in New York, tragic for those involved regardless of where or how many, one is more than enough. James ability an added dimension to the book, the way he sees colors around things made this so interesting. Not a clichéd happy ending but an ending that shows the characters still have decisions to make, work to do, they still have to change. Julian, the young boy who will make them see what they have lost but also what they have gained.

Will everyone fall in love with this novel, these characters, maybe not, but I did. Wonderful book that I wasn't ready to end and one that I will definitely think about.
Darra W. (Mendocino, CA)

Art (and a City) in Transition
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must confess that I have a weakness for books about the art world, particularly the New York art scene of the late 20th century. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed "Tuesday Nights in 1980" . . . and would have regardless of any personal inclinations. Peopled with quirky, flawed (i.e., human), and multi-dimensional characters; heady with the atmosphere of a teeming, transitional urban environment; and graced with the richness of well-crafted prose, this first novel hints at literary pleasures yet to come. I'll definitely be watching for more from Ms. Prentiss!
Patricia L. (Seward, AK)

Why Art?
Art. What is it? Why do it? Who cares? Using fiction in an attempt to answer these questions is commendable and daunting. Prentiss does a respectable job. At times her prose rambles but her believable characters carry themselves and the reader through some most unbelievable situations mostly unscathed.
James Bennett, an art critic of some repute, is hopelessly addicted to the sensual nature of his passion. His wife, Marge, loves James so much she gives up her passion to enable his eccentricities. Raul Engales, Argentinian/American, new to the 80's New York art culture striving the find his way while running from past demons. Lucy, naive 20 something, escaped Ketchum, Idaho "…pulled the trigger on the move…to what people called…The Big Apple—because of a book and a postcard, which she believed to be signs." Set in New York City among artists of all stripes. Mix in a horrific accident or two, love, jealousy, fame won and lost and a story vaguely reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch emerges.
Prentiss peppers her writing with sentences that require a second look making the plot almost secondary. Describing Raul as "… he had perhaps become old, in spirit at least, much earlier; when your parents die, so does the idea of infinite time on the planet. Instead, you are forced into becoming weirdly wise, gaining too soon the knowledge that life is both precious and perfectly meaningless, neither philosophy leaving much room for boredom." Lucy, months into her adventure muses: "…the men adored her and then disposed of her. With each of them she felt briefly and tightly tethered, hopeful that they would deliver her to that place that she craved: the deep dark cavern of love and lust, the place where longing stopped. But none of them did and in between her encounters with them, and usually even during, she felt deeply alone." And in a lighter vein, the description of a gallery owner working an opening. "Winona was like a sponge, wringing herself out onto someone and then moving on to soak in someone else."
Underneath it all is the question of why—why pursue a passion? For whom? Walter Pater has written that "…art comes to you proposing frankly to give nothing but the highest quality to your moments as they pass." Tuesday Nights in 1980 merely attempts to chronicle the depth of energy and passion that enables art to grace our moments, successfully.
Highly recommended for lovers of art and contemporary literature and/or enjoy a story that demands an engaged reader.
Rory A. (Henderson, NV)

Just try to breathe while reading this novel!
"Tuesday Nights in 1980" is a luminous wonderland of a first novel, a headlong tumble into the beginning of the New York City art world in the 1980s that makes me remember my art teacher in college, and while she was as good as this novel is great, she wasn't as delightfully descriptive as Molly Prentiss is here, using two great human vehicles, an art critic with synesthesia and a painter who escaped from the murderous atmosphere of Argentina. You'll linger a lot, rereading so many passages that you'll almost lose track of the story told of these two men, but not mind so much because it means you have more time with them.

Hopefully Molly Prentiss has another novel in mind to follow this one, and will take the same care and exude the same energy that she has here. She's worth it.
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Beyond the Book:
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