Forever: A Novel

( 117 )

Overview

This widely acclaimed bestseller is the magical, epic tale of an extraordinary man who arrives in New York in 1740 and remains ... forever. Through the eyes of Cormac O'Connor - granted immortality as long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan - we watch New York grow from a tiny settlement on the tip of an untamed wilderness to the thriving metropolis of today. And through Cormac's remarkable adventures in both love and war, we come to know the city's buried secrets - the way it has been shaped by greed, ...
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Forever

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Overview

This widely acclaimed bestseller is the magical, epic tale of an extraordinary man who arrives in New York in 1740 and remains ... forever. Through the eyes of Cormac O'Connor - granted immortality as long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan - we watch New York grow from a tiny settlement on the tip of an untamed wilderness to the thriving metropolis of today. And through Cormac's remarkable adventures in both love and war, we come to know the city's buried secrets - the way it has been shaped by greed, race, and waves of immigration, by the unleashing of enormous human energies, and, above all, by hope.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316735698
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Edition description: 1st Back Bay Paperback Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 86,285
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Pete Hamill
From his days as a crack reporter (who incredibly rose to the editor-in-chief post of both rival dailies The New York Post and The New York Daily News) to his novels like the sweeping Manhattan epic Forever, Pete Hamill keeps his typing fingers on the pulse of the city he calls home.

Biography

Throughout his colorful career as a writer, New York City has been a constant backdrop and inspiration for Pete Hamill -- from his success at several New York newspapers and magazines to his look back at A Drinking Life to his latest sweeping novel about a man gifted with immortality in the city he calls home: Forever.

Born in Brooklyn in 1935 as the first of seven children to Irish immigrant parents, Hamill attended Catholic schools throughout his childhood. More in tune with the city streets than the schoolroom, he dropped out at 16 to labor in the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a sheet metal worker, and from there signed up with the U.S. Navy, where he was able to eventually complete his high school education. The G.I. Bill of Rights helped him gain admission to Mexico City College in 1956-1957, where he was a student of art and design.

While Hamill fell in love with Mexico (and would eventually come to consider it his second home), his interest in design brought him back to New York to study at Pratt Institute. However, in 1960, he made the fateful career move that would change his life: taking a job as a beat reporter for The New York Post. Hamill's pavement-pounding work made him a crafty chronicler of city life -- from the grimy streets of the crime beat to the chaotic uprisings of the 1960s -- and he graduated to columnist. Soon after, he made the slightly scandalous move to the Post's rival paper, The New York Daily News. Perhaps one of Hamill's most intriguing achievements in New York journalism is the fact that he served as editor-in-chief of both papers -- the city's two most notoriously competitive dailies.

Hamill's nonfiction books have resonated with readers craving more than a few column inches. His 1994 memoir, A Drinking Life, was, as Publishers Weekly noted, "not a jeremiad condemning drink... but a thoughtful, funny, street-smart reflection on its consequences." Turning his attention to other lives, Hamill has also written tributes to idols Frank Sinatra (1998's Why Sinatra Matters) and Mexican painter Diego Rivera (1999's Diego Rivera).

Hamill has also enjoyed critical and commercial success as a fiction writer. His 1997 novel, Snow in August, was an instant New York Times bestseller. On the gritty coming-of-age story, the Times observed, "Mr. Hamill has told versions of this story many times, in fiction and journalism. But in his new novel...Mr. Hamill adds magic. Hamill is not a subtle writer, but his gift for sensual description and his tabloid muscularity fit this page turner of a fable."

2002's Forever brings Hamill's street smarts and near-encyclopedic knowledge of New York City together with his gift for spinning a story. Perhaps his most ambitious work yet, the novel traces the history of Manhattan through the eyes of a man who has watched it unfold for the better part of two centuries -- thanks to an otherworldly wish he is granted. It's likely Hamill's secret wish as well.

Good To Know

Since the 1950s, Hamill has had a keen interest in Mexico and considers it his home away from home. As a reporter, he covered the events in Tlatelolco in 1968, the Olympic Games that followed, and a major earthquake in 1985. For six months in 1986, he served as editor of The Mexico City News.

He is married to Japanese journalist Fukiko Aoki and has two grown daughters -- one a poet, the other a photographer for the Arizona Republic in Phoenix.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York, and Cuernavaca, Mexico
    1. Date of Birth:
      1935
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Education:
      Mexico City College, 1956-1957; Pratt Institute
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 117 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(71)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 117 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2011

    One of the best books I have ever read

    This book was a gift to me and it is not the type of book that I would read on my own. Historical aspects are of no interst to me but I have to admit, from page one, I was hooked. I literally could not put this book down. I cried, I laughed and I became a huge fan of Pete Hamill. Definitely worth reading and definitely not what you think.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    One of my favorites

    I read this book several years ago and enjoyed every page. Pete Hamill
    paints a picture of New York through the ages. I think of this story quite often and I am glad it is finally in ebook format. The story of a man you cannot die and how he sees the world change before his eyes. I highly recommend this book. Check out other books by this author too.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Entertaining novel of early New York life

    Pete Hamil is an authority on New York history.....This book covers a few hundred years of life inside Manhatten...from George Washington to 9/11. I have read this book twice. It is one of my favorites.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Definitely A MUST READ...

    This is by far one of the best books that I have read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2011

    Highly Recommended- you will remember this book Forever!!

    Historical fiction does not come any better than this. If you enjoy this genre then this is the book for you. Unforgettable characters -both real and dreamed up by Pete Hamill. Add a touch of mysticisim for a great story that spans time.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    Historical Fiction/fanatasy

    I think this would sum up my thoughts on "Forever" by Pete Hamill. This book can almost be placed in the historical fiction genre but is more than that. I think anyone reading a book by Pete Hamilton will go back for another novel of his. I thoroughly enjoyed North River as did my wife and neighbor. Another novel...Snow in August I think we prove to be as good as either...if not better. Pate Hamill is a wordsmith. His dialog is superb as are his characters.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fabulous read!

    Dramatic historical novel. Fascinating characters and storyline. I read it in two days! And have recommended it to all my friends.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2005

    I wanted this to last forever.......................

    I came to his country from Ireland as well and have grown up listening to much folklore and legend. This was such a beautiful story that mixed some imagination with a sprinkle of fact. Perhaps that is the purpose of story-telling, to enhance what we all want to believe, simplifiy the tedious, to make the dark side dramatic and swift, but to leave enough hope for life to be worth living.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    Amazing.

    Epic, addictive story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Forever New York!

    What happens if you could live forever in the City That Never Sleeps?
    From George Washington to the collapse of the Twin Towers, Cormac is blessed (or cursed) to see and live it all, somewhat like Lazarus Long in Heinlein's Time Enough for Love. Since Cormac can not leave Manhattan and keep his immortality, what he has time enough to love is New York City herself. Interesting, well-researched and told by someone who loves New York, this book is a modern classic.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2010

    Interesting Idea to Portray History of Manhattan

    I enjoyed this story very much, and was intrigued by the vehicle Pete Hamill uses in telling a history of Manhattan through the eyes of a single character who has been given the "gift" of living forever so long as he does not leave the island. However, for the length of the book I felt it could have included more information on historical characters and perhaps a little less on the mystical aspects of the story. I also liked that the story focussed on lesser known historical figures and although I struggled at times to understand what was going on in the context of a particular period in history, the novel did entice me to look further into such characters as Tweed. I'll look for more from this author.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing read!

    I had long considered Tom Perrotta my favorite author, then I read this book, my first read by Pete Hamill. This book single handedly catipulted Hamill to the top of my list, to be equal with Perrotta...I had to retain some loyalty.

    Mr. Hamill's stroy telling skills are, without question, some of the best out there. This book is not only fun, touching and enjoyable as hell, but also facinating as it takes you through the history of manhattan. A must read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Lovely, very interesting

    This is the kind of book one can lose him or herself in. I love it. It's rather slow to start, but a point is hit where you simply can't turn back, and then you're stuck. But it's a good kind of stuck. Highly recommended. Read it. It's beautiful, simply beautiful.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2003

    The first half was great --

    I enjoyed the start of the book in Ireland and the general development of the plot. I found it to be entirely too long and the ending a complete, hokey disappointment. The historical versus modern-day depictions are more interesting.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2012

    Happy reader

    I just finished this book could not put it down,
    Held my attention from the first page to the last page

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    HIGHLY Recommend!!!

    Having grown up heading in and out of Manhattan, this books spoke to me like no other. After having a conversation about it with my younger sibling, I purchased it for them as stocking stuffer.

    Peter Hamill weaves a wonerful tale & paints an interesting vision of what life must have been like from the very start of the island of Manhattan through the eyes of an immortal. A MUST READ for the new year!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2003

    Best book I've ever read!

    If I could give this book 10 stars, I would! It completely went beyond my expectations and left me astonished. The way Hamill mixes fiction with history makes the book all the more interesting and even makes the fiction somewhat believable. This is definitely a book I'll be reading again!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2013

    Third best book on my lifelist

    This book is so wonderful. Nit only is it a great fantasy read, it gives true history of the history and shaping of NYC. I heartly recommend bothe the NYC aspect AND the character of Cormac O'Connor

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    fantasy read

    This was not particularly my type of subject, however I did finish reading the book. Well written for the most part, with the exception that the author got quite wordy -hence the length of the book. Even though its fantasy based there's still a lesson to be learned here. The reason I gave this book three stars and not four is due top the authors babbling.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2012

    Loved this Book!! If you love history or if you love a good stor

    Loved this Book!!
    If you love history or if you love a good story, it will be easy to fall in love with Forever. This is one of the best books I've read this year, and I will definitely recommend it to all my "reading friends." Forever provided a fascinating look at the history of NYC throughout the years and it accurately mirrored the history of the country as a whole, in my opinion. Beware, the "mysticism" aspect may get in the way a little at times if you're a true realist, but overall, I just loved this book and will probably read it over and over....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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