Manhattan Beach (Egan) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
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.
Dwight Garner - New York Times

The prevalence of the ocean in this story is not simply atmospheric; it is central to the symbolism.… Turning their backs on the crowded constraints of their urban lives, all three look to the ocean as a realm that while inherently dangerous also promises the potential for personal discovery and an almost mystical liberty. This is a novel that deserves to join the canon of New York stories.
Amor Towles - New York Times Book Review

[P]olished to a high sheen. Manhattan Beach — longlisted for a National Book Award even before it was released — is a historical novel set during World War II in New York.… Manhattan Beach may not offer the brilliant variety of forms found in Goon Squad, but Egan is still blending a jazzy range of tones in these chapters, from Tennessee Williams’s apartment-trapped despair to Herman Melville’s adventures at sea… [and] a particularly rich noir romance.… [Manhattan Beach] dares to satisfy us in a way that stories of an earlier age used to.
Ron Charles - Washington Post

This truly fine novel, so rich in period and emotional atmosphere and so cunningly plotted, is a joy — one of the standouts of the year.

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.
Boston Globe

A work of remarkable cinematic scope. . . . This is a novel that will pull you in and under and carry you away on its rip tides.… Its resonances continue to wash over the reader long after the novel ends.
Guardian UK

Manhattan Beach is ambitiously and deliciously plot-driven.
NPR's Fresh Air

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.

Egan’s first foray into historical fiction makes you forget you’re reading historical fiction at all.

The novel’s crooked politicians, organized-crime bosses, and shady cops make it read like a fast-paced, hard-boiled drama.
Marie Claire

(Starred review.) [S]plendid.… More straightforwardly narrated than some of Egan's earlier work … 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.
Publishers Weekly

(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.
Library Journal

(Starred review.) 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.

(Starred review.) After stretching the boundaries of fiction in myriad ways Pulitzer Prize winner Egan does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel.… Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there's nothing Egan can't do.
Kirkus Reviews

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