Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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LONGLISTED for the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION

The daring and magnificent novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad.

"Immensely satisfying...an old-fashioned page-turner, tweaked by this witty and sophisticated writer...Egan is masterly at displaying mastery...she works a formidable kind of magic." --Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"Dares to satisfy us in a way that stories of an earlier age used to." --Ron Charles, The Washington Post

"Egan's prose is transparent and elegant...But the chief joy of reading Manhattan Beach lies in diving under the surface pleasures of the plot (which are plentiful--it's immersive and compelling), and sinking slowly to its dark and unknowable depths. There are deep truths there." -- Vox

"Excellent... Manhattan Beach is a fleet, sinuous epic, abounding with evocative details and felicitous metaphors...[it] magnificently captures the country on the brink of triumph and triumphalism." -- Bookforum

"Egan's first foray into historical fiction makes you forget you're reading historical fiction at all." -- Elle

Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have vanished.

With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan's first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men. Manhattan Beach is a deft, dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world. It is a magnificent novel by the author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, one of the great writers of our time.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2017.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781476716732
1476716730
Branch Call Number: EGAN J
Characteristics: 438 pages ; 24 cm

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DPLjennyp Dec 12, 2017

I love Jennifer Egan, but this was not my favorite. It just never left neutral for me. Still, a good, solid read, especially if you like historical fiction.

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EmilyEm
Dec 11, 2017

An accomplished work of historical fiction about a seamier side of New York City and its implications for two families. While the book’s central character is the young Anna Kerrigan who wants more from her life than the narrow choices given women, there are also the two men in her life, both enigmatic and driven. I like how Egan tells this story, weaving story and backstory, with original plotting that was certainly satisfying, but why such an abrupt ending? That’s its only flaw. Highly recommended.

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brangwinn
Nov 29, 2017

Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. And when it takes me to a place I’ve never been, its even better. Living in Seattle, I am familiar with how women built the Boeing planes during World War II, but I didn’t think of them as impacting ship building at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She’s managed to tell the stories of three people within the book, showing the courage of women as well and the mob rule and its impact during the war. The afterword about how the story idea was born, from real people of the era makes the story even more enjoyable.

h
harrissusanc
Nov 27, 2017

The crime story meshed with dives, psychology, society, technical detail and fresh imagery of the sea in all its transformations, unfolds with brilliance. But Dexter Styles’ gangster lines are pure entertainment. Another award winner here.

l
LPL_Sarah
Nov 27, 2017

Jennifer Egan is impossible to pigeonhole as a writer. An historical fiction novel like nothing else she's written-- I thoroughly enjoyed it.

k
kirpet
Nov 26, 2017

story of anna kerrigan who grew up in brooklyn in 1930's, pre-war. Sister serious deformities, father left family after breaking off with mafia element , joined merchant marines . anna became a diver , working on warships in brooklyn harbor. she had one night stand with sdexter styles who presumably killed her father, or so he thought. she has a baby by stiles who is murdered and eventually meets up with her father . Very good story, history, holds attention well.

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laphampeak
Nov 13, 2017

Egan takes us to the New York harbor shipyards where she weaves together elements that make a new and fresh take of a time during WWII. There are women's factory war effort, gangsters, Anna's female feat in being a woman diver, and, of course, romance and relationships. Each of these contributions compliment one another in a cleverly told story.

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talk2terih
Nov 03, 2017

At first glance, this is a historical novel with a protagonist whose romance goes terribly wrong. But it is done so beautifully, with rich and satisfying characters, diverse and beautifully drawn, and deft use of vocabulary, equally diverse and beautiful. The central theme of the story is the sea, how it molds and shapes the characters in both positive and negative ways. It leaves no one unaffected. Bottom line: this is a beautifully written story, evocative and informative, and while it breaks no new ground, it brings gravitas to its genre.

mackintofi Oct 22, 2017

A fantastic read!

a
amistein
Sep 03, 2017

Ami - FAll 2017

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