Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

eBook - 2017
Average Rating:
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Baker & Taylor
Years after she is placed in the hands of a stranger vital to her family's survival, Anna takes a job at the Brooklyn Naval Yard during the war while meeting with the man who helped them and learning important truths about her father's disappearance. By the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad.

Simon and Schuster
* Winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction
* Winner of the New York City Book Award
* New York Times Bestseller
* A San Francisco Chronicle Top 10 Book of the Year
* A New York Times Notable Book and a Washington Post Notable Fiction Book of 2017
* A Time magazine and USA Today Top 10 Novel of 2017
* Winner of the Booklist Top of the List for Fiction
* Longlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction
* Named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, The Guardian, Vogue, Esquire, Kirkus Reviews, Philadelphia Inquirer, BookPage, Bustle, Southern Living, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“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

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

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: Scribner,, 2017
ISBN: 9781476716756
1476716757
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Baker & Taylor Axis 360
Alternative Title: Axis 360 eBooks

Opinion

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List - Best of 2017
RCPL_Librarians Nov 26, 2017

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c
COURIER3
Apr 16, 2018

Not my cup of tea!

s
sheojuk
Apr 01, 2018

I miss the days when editors had broad general knowledge, and could correct silly mistakes like wine being matured in pine barrels (yikes!), or Intensive Care Units existing in the 1930's... Aside from that, there was not a single character I found credible. Same with the dialogue. One test of a novel, historical or otherwise, is "do I care about these characters?" And this time the answer is an unequivocal NO.
Did anyone notice EVERY character, including the 3rd-person narrator, spoke in exactly the same voice, with those odd contractions? He'd no phone. They've nine children. Etc. And the one distinctive voice, the bosun on the merchant ship... loses his voice. Mostly. Sort of.

What?!?

Goon Squad was imaginative and distinctive. We can only hope JE got the diving research out of her mind and can return to writing worth reading. This one was a waste of many hours...

d
damjih
Mar 28, 2018

I have the same comments as many, well researched, but it really should have ended 2/3 of the way through when one of the characters is no longer around...and an entire other POV felt like it was from another book. I only stayed till the end to see if a deservedly sad ending awaited these characters who made all made bad decisions...

SPPL_Kristen Mar 20, 2018

I can't say I was expecting a book like this from Jennifer Egan. I'm still not sure what to think of it, but her characters are well-developed and interesting enough to keep me reading.

b
Butterfly121761
Mar 02, 2018

I really enjoyed this book. Couldn't put it down. Jennifer Egan had a way of weaving the characters of this novel in and out of the story that left you wanting to know what would happen to them next. I had to restrain myself from peeking ahead to see what was going to happen and am so glad I resisted that urge. I will be reading her other books for sure!

c
clans
Feb 19, 2018

Did anyone read this to the end? I wonder. After a while it resembled a radio program you're only half listening to but of which still can follow the story line. I resorted to reading only dialogue and found it helped move the story along. Did the writer get paid by the page or did the Pulitzer Prize make her editors timid? I think Egan needs a firm editor! This 390 page book could be reduced easily to 200 pages without harming the plot. What a waste of superb talent, and,.. my time. Do give Egan another chance by reading "Emerald city."

r
Roundcat
Feb 18, 2018

I found the secret to the author's research in the back of the book, where Egan describes how she became very interested in the Manhattan Naval Yard and the divers who worked there. In weaving the characters in the story into this background, she begins by introducing the most important characters, then weaves other themes and characters into their stories. As in life, things change for each of them and the world around them changes also. Using flashbacks to pull the story forward, we learn the parts of each character's story that we need to know. The development of the characters is a large part of the story; so we have historical themes that affect their lives as well as their life changing decisions and their tragic blind spots. Not all the people we care about make it to the end of the story.

w
wardlind
Feb 16, 2018

Omg! What is all the fuss about with this book? Prizes, best seller — really? I never cared about any of the characters. Thought it was extremely slow-moving and disjointed. A real mess, frankly.

r
Rashaunny
Jan 29, 2018

Fun read mostly for the period descriptions. Encouraging in my opinion though it did seem to be come from a feminist focus it was fair play. It rather overly characterized the weaknesses of culture at the time and mischaracterized some of it's strengths. I loved the play by play of the father on board the merchant ship. Note that I listened to the Audiobook, if I had read the book I may have been more critical.

In the later chapters she refers to YWCA as a place to find boarding back when YMCA and YWCA did that as part of their ministry. If you wonder why there is cheap boarding all across Europe but in America there is only homeless shelters by Salvation Army or the such it is because the YMCA and YWCA served the population that weren't destitude but could not front for a hotel. In addition it was a place of service & community to those transient people instead of seedy motels. Unfotunately it became a hookup spot (a la the popular Village People song) and the only brothels in America for transient people closed down.

brookse0518 Jan 25, 2018

Captivating. The author really did her research on this story.

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