Reviews for: Manhattan Beach

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The Memphis Flyer, 12/17

“Jennifer Egan’s Novel Tells a Tale that Never Changes”

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Sydney Morning Herald, 12/15/17 

“Manhattan Beach looks to the past for inspiration, turning to the events of the Depression and World War II to tell a story that is at once a celebration of personal possibility and a portrait of a moment of transformative change.”

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The Georgia Straight, 11/23/17
Manhattan Beach is a novel of sifting layers, of looming shadows, a subsurface exploration of the depths and mysteries within each of us, with moments that will provide a startled shock of recognition. It’s a wonder.”
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Brooklyn Rail, 12/13/17

In the end, with Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan has gone above and beyond in meeting the challenge facing every storyteller—to make the lives of seemingly ordinary people extraordinary.

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Commentary Magazine, 10/17/17

Manhattan Beach is an old-fashioned historical novel about a young woman growing up in Brooklyn during the 1930s and ’40s. It has a grand, 19th-century elasticity: There are confusions of love, parties, shoot-outs, shipwrecks, and torrid, meaningful sex. But however varied Egan’s subjects and her narrative approach, her themes are constant: identity, transformation, and the desperate illusions of finding fulfillment.

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London Review of Books, 11/28/17

“In writing a historical novel about organised labour, organised crime and the war, Egan has taken on two challenges: to document the past without being boring or hokey, and to reveal something new about a period whose mythologies and aesthetics still have meaning to us… The mythopoeic both enriches and confuses Manhattan Beach by expanding it beyond its setting – war becomes War, quest becomes Quest.”

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The Guardian Podcast (UK), 11/21/17

“Although we live in a continuous present, technology changes constantly and everyone feels old.”

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“Good With Her Hands” on Public Books, 10/02/17 

“Egan knows that our technology and the way we use it is all about humanity.”

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The Nation, 11/16/17

“…haunting, shrewd, and immensely pleasurable.”

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New Zealand Herald, 10/28/17

“Egan writes passages so well-crafted that they lift right off the page and sing.”

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Buffalo News, 10/26/17

“Jennifer Egan does everything right as a novelist.”

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The Daily Telegraph, October 2017

Manhattan Beach becomes the stuff of Hollywood, with flashbacks, deceptions, revelations and wild twists.”

New Statesman, 10/22/17

“There’s a lot to learn from Jennifer Egan’s new novel, both about deep-sea diving during the Second World War… first rate prose that fizzed.”

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Good Housekeeping, October 2017

“Jennifer Egan’s evocative writing transports us back in time.”

Literary Review (UK), 10/20/17

“Egan is at her best when representing hidden connections and transforming worlds. At these moments, Manhattan Beach comes close to being as subtle and engrossing as anything in her previous works.”

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Financial Times, 10/20/17 

“Flawlessly done, with enough of a spin on the usual historical-novel tropes to make the whole enterprise seem surprisingly fresh. The flawlessness includes ease of consumption: I read the book in one sitting without effort and without even noticing that I wasn’t tempted to check my social media”

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Red Magazine (UK) 

“Meticulously researched”

Belfast Telegraph (UK) 

“… genuinely affecting and handsomely constructed”

LA Review of Books, 10/26/17

“Jennifer Egan has found the quiet melody of a young woman’s New York.”

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Newsday, 10/27/17

“Alight with such moments of black comedy, this truly fine novel, so rich in period and emotional atmosphere and so cunningly plotted, is a joy (and a terror) — one of the standouts of the year.”

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Maine Edge, 10/18/17

“Jennifer Egan is one of the most gifted writers of her generation. Few – if any – 21st century authors have both the storytelling acumen and brilliance of wordcraft that she brings to the table.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/22/17

“The sweep of this breathtaking novel spans the Great Depression, congenital physical disability, a world at war, working women’s struggle for equality, racism, abortion rights, and, of course, the wonder/terror duality of the sea.”

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Globe and Mail, 10/13/17 

“What is revelatory is how beautifully drawn, vivid and moving this familiar setup is when crafted by Egan’s skilled hand. Although the basic structure and setting is perhaps standard, her talent renders it anew – making Manhattan Beach a sparkling, lush epic of a novel.”

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Esquire, 10/18/17

“Anna Kerrigan, Eddie’s beloved, abandoned daughter, a young woman of exceptional smarts and strength, brilliantly realised by Egan … the new book offers a wholly immersive experience. It is a novel of the sea and the land, full of watery metaphors but also concrete situations and people so real you feel you could reach out and touch them. Anna Kerrigan is her heroine for her times, and ours too. There won’t be many better works of fiction published this year.”

The Herald, 10/14/17

“… consolidates Egan’s reputation as a master of her craft.”

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