Reviews for: Manhattan Beach

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Chicago Tribune, 10/2/17 

‘”Manhattan Beach” is a historical novel by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “A Visit From the Goon Squad.” Its “old-fashioned” emphasis on seamless plot and complex characters feels shockingly, and reassuringly, new… Egan builds her story with the countless particulars of her chosen era — America at war, Americans at nightclubs, gangsters and sailors and union workers all fighting for a slice of a diminished post-Depression pie.”

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Library Journal (starred review)

“This large, ambitious novel shows Egan at the top of her game. Anna is a true feminist heroine, and her grit and tenacity will make readers root for her.”

Vanity Fair, 10/01/17

Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Egan makes her maiden deep dive into historical fiction with the vivid Manhattan Beach.” 

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The Jackal Magazine (UK), 10/01/17

“The novel of the moment.”

Mail on Sunday (UK), 10/1/17

“Egan’s first foray into historical fiction, this is a more conventional book than her fans might expect, but it’s as darkly immersive an experience.”


Book Forum, 10/1/17

“Manhattan Beach is a fleet, sinuous epic, abounding with evocative details, felicitous metaphors, and crystalline historical assessments . . . [and] magnificently captures this country on the brink of triumph and triumphalism.”


Bustle, 1o/1/17

This is Egan’s first novel since her wildly successful A Visit from the Goon Squad, and she’s hit it out of the park again.

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Milwaukee Journal Senteniel, 09/29/17

“..It’s no surprise to see this restless shape-shifter — each of whose four preceding novels tried something new — go old school in “Manhattan Beach,” featuring the sort of smart but constricted Victorian heroine one finds when reading George Eliot.”

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Star Tribune, 09/29/17

“Pulitzer winner Jennifer Egan’s new book, “Manhattan Beach,” is a thoroughly satisfying old-fashioned novel about a Brooklyn family in wartime.”

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SF Gate, 09/29/17

“… an unusually well written, well researched, emotionally satisfying page-turner — which demonstrates that the power of her work lies beyond virtuosic literary stunts.”

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I News (UK), 09/29/17

“Egan is a brilliant writer. There are phrases and sentences here I wouldn’t like to have missed, and Manhattan Beach will make a splash.”

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The Guardian (UK), 09/29/17

‘Remarkable cinematic scope…This is a novel that will pull you in and under and carry you away on its riptides.”

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The Boston Globe, 09/28/17

“Egan’s most remarkable accomplishment yet. . . . At once a suspenseful novel of noir intrigue, a gorgeously wrought and richly allusive literary tapestry, and a transporting work of lyrical beauty and emotional heft, “Manhattan Beach’’ is a magnificent achievement.”

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Evening Standard (UK), 09/28/17

“Egan has written a gripping, modern version of a 19th-century novel.”

Independent (UK), 9/28/17

“…genuinely affecting and handsomely constructed.”

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Newsday, 09/27/17

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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The New York Times, 09/27/17

“Immensely satisfying . . . [Manhattan Beach] is a dreadnought of a World War II-era historical novel, bristling with armaments yet intimate in tone. It’s an old-fashioned page-turner, tweaked by this witty and sophisticated writer so that you sometimes feel she has retrofitted sleek new engines inside a craft owned for too long by James Jones and Herman Wouk. . .  . She is masterly at displaying mastery. . . . Egan’s fiction buzzes with factual crosscurrents, casually deployed. . . .  Egan works a formidable kind of magic . . . This is a big novel that moves with agility.”

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Vox, 09/26/17

“Throughout the book, Egan’s prose is as smooth and understated as her structuring: it draws absolutely no attention to itself, but there are almost no false notes. It’s windowpane prose, transparent and elegant.”

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The Washington Post, 09/26/17

“…dares to satisfy us in a way that stories of an earlier age used to.”

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NPR, 09/26/17

“Manhattan Beach is ambitiously and deliciously plot-driven, and it boldly helps itself to a wide library of earlier New York stories: There are echoes here of Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the Damon Runyon tales that would became Guys and Dolls and Joseph Mitchell’s briny descriptions from The Bottom of The Harbor. . . . In drawing from the classic catalog of New York stories, Manhattan Beach also takes its place among them.”

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My San Antonio, 09/25/17

“Manhattan Beach” is an enthralling work of historical fiction that weaves together beautiful imagery, an immersive story, and compelling characters into a single story of family secrets and unconditional love.”

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Booklist (starred review), 8/17

“Egan’s propulsive, surprising, ravishing, and revelatory saga, a covertly profound page-turner that will transport and transform every reader, casts us all as divers in the deep, searching for answers, hope, and ascension.”

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Kirkus (starred review), 6/20/17

“Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there’s nothing Egan can’t do.”

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Publisher’s Weekly (starred review), 5/8/17

“Splendid…the novel is tremendously assured and rich, moving from depictions of violence and crime to deep tenderness. The book’s emotional power once again demonstrates Egan’s extraordinary gifts.”

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