This widely acclaimed bestseller is the magical, epic tale of an extraordinary man who arrives in New York in 1740 and remains . . . forever.
Through the eyes of Cormac O'Connor -- granted immortality as long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan -- we watch New York grow from a tiny settlement on the tip of an untamed wilderness to the thriving metropolis of today. And through Cormac's remarkable adventures in both love and war, we come to know the city's buried secrets -- the way it has been shaped by greed, race, and waves of immigration, by the unleashing of enormous human energies, and, above all, by hope.
This novel demands that the reader immediately suspend disbelief, but if this summons is heeded the reward will be a superior tale told by Hamill (Snow in August; A Drinking Life) in the cadence of the master storyteller. The year is 1741 and this is the story of Cormac O'Connor "Irish, and a Jew" who grows up in Ireland under English Protestant rule and is secretly schooled in Gaelic religion, myth and language. Seeking to avenge the murder of his father by the Earl of Warren, he follows the trail of the earl to New York City. On board ship, Cormac befriends African slave Kongo, and once in New York, the two join a rebellion against the British. After the rising is quelled, mobs take to the streets and Kongo is seized. Cormac saves Kongo from death, but is shot in the process. His recovery takes a miraculous turn when Kongo's dead priestess, Tomora, appears and grants Cormac eternal life and youth so long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan, thus the "Forever" of the title. What follows is a portrait of the "city of memory of which Cormac was the only citizen." Cormac fights in the American Revolution, sups with Boss Tweed (in a very sympathetic portrait) and lives into the New York of 2001. In that year he warily falls in love with Delfina, a streetwise Dominican ("That was the curse attached to the gift: You buried everyone you loved"), and comes into contact with a descendant of the Earl of Warren, the newspaper publisher Willie Warren. His love, his drive for revenge and his very desire to exist are fatefully challenged on the eve and the day of September 11. This rousing, ambitious work is beautifully woven around historical events and characters, but it is Hamill's passionate pursuit of justice and compassion Celtic in foundation that distinguishes this tale of New York City and its myriad peoples. 4-city author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great fantastical historical novel.
Wonderful historical treatment. Vivid picture of NYC through the ages. Ending to sudden and vague. A disappointing last page.
loved this book, a true history of New York. Felt like I was there with Cormac walking and living the times. A must read!
This is a haunting story both picturesque and magical as you time trip through the history of New York. One man who lives on and on takes the reader back in time and let's you walk the streets of ny over many centuries. You will never walk down a cobbled street in NYC without thinking about the history of those who lived years ago.