“One man would be grinning while the art lovers toasted in his name. another man would never paint again.”

What is this book about?

Tuesday Nights in 1980 follows a group of people involved in the art scene in New York during the 1980’s. There’s an artist from Argentina who ran away from the problems his country and family are facing, then we have art journalist and collector James Bennett who is dealing with failure in his work and his home life and the girl who connects both men, Lucy, who comes from a small town to find herself in the big city. The stories are all connected and interspersed, giving you a slice of life of the art world in the 1980’s.

Why is it boring?

The book is certainly well written and entertaining, but to me it did lack a bit of risk. There are quite some bad things that happen to our characters, but it never felt like it actually mattered that much. The book creates plenty of drama and hardship, but doesn’t delve into the underlying turmoil of the characters to really hit home.

Who would you recommend it to?

If New York is your dream city and you love art, then Tuesday Nights in 1980 is perfect for you. I highly recommend it to people who enjoyed either City on Fire or The Interestings, as it reminded me of both of these books.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

Molly Prentiss is a very skilled writer and I certainly hope we get to read a lot more from here. The stories she weaves together work very well and the connections between them never felt forced to me. She does a great job of imagining the New York art scene of that time and even though I wasn’t even born in the early 80’s, I now feel like I knew what it was like. Tuesday Night in 1980 made me fall in love with the New York of that time and with the feeling that there anything is possible.

Rating: 3,5/5

Review Copy attained through Netgalley with special thanks to the publisher Penguin Books UK.

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Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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