Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach

“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

Details Manhattan Beach

TitleManhattan Beach
Release DateOct 3rd, 2017
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, New York

Reviews Manhattan Beach

  • Emily May
    1 1/2 stars. Um, definitely not what I was expecting from Egan at all... is this really the same author who wrote A Visit from the Goon Squad?Manhattan Beach feels like several stories in one, all struggling to come together, all lacking cohesion, none of them emotionally engaging. This is a messy book, full of plot points that seem unnecessary and deliberately convoluted. Is it a novel about a young woman navigating a male-dominated world and wo...
  • Angela M
    I can't say I loved A Visit From the Goon Squad as much as the Pulitzer Prize committee or the National Book Critics Circle, or the many five star reviewers on Goodreads, but I liked it well enough to want to give this one a try and I'm so glad I did. It's a very different kind of book than Goon Squad. It's a work of historical fiction beginning around the Great Depression and continuing through the war years. It appears to be well researched and...
  • Liz
    2.5 stars, rounded up“Hope became the memory of hope: a numb, dead patch.” This books starts in the midst of the Depression and continues during WWII. Anna is initially a twelve year old and a true daddy’s girl. Then she's working at the Naval Yard during the war and her father has disappeared five years earlier. The writing here is as good as you'd expect from Jennifer Egan. And she's done her research and the parts of the book describing ...
  • Arah-Lynda
    It is not as though I had high expectations going into this.  Having never read a Jennifer Egan novel before I was bereft of preconceived notions.But based on the blurb and certainly on the first few chapters I was eager to continue reading what promised to be an interesting well written story.Set in depression era Brooklyn, Anna Kerrigan is only 12 years old as the story opens.  She is accompanying her father Eddie on one of his many errands....
  • Paromjit
    This is a hauntingly ambitious historical novel of the sea and New York, set during the Depression era and the Second World War. It is impeccably researched in its period details and well plotted. Anna Kerrigan is 11 years old, with her beloved father, Eddie, as they make their way to Manhatton Beach, and the opulent home of nightclub owner Dexter Styles, a man with ties to the mob. The family are barely getting by, Eddie is a bagman for the unio...
  • Cheri
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!What I was drawn to: The story centers on Anna Kerrigan, and her Irish family, beginning in Brooklyn during the Great Depression, an era and location that should come alive, so much rich history to drawn from. So, what did and didn’t work for me? I was drawn into this story for very brief periods of time. When Anna was caring for her sister, whose disabilities require constant care and supervision, her devotion to her sister ...
  • Robin
    Expectations. They'll get you every time.I haven't read the award winning and controversial book by this author, A Visit from the Goon Squad. But I understood, from many reviews, some found it dull, some found it pointless, others found it ultra modern and stylistic, but none really questioned the actual writing (thank the good lord, since it won the Pulitzer).So, I was thrilled to receive the ARC of this book, eager to dive into the writing of a...
  • Hannah
    That was disappointing. I adored A Visit from the Goon Squad; it was one of my favourite books of last year, so you can imagine how beyond excited I was to read this book - I took my sweet time starting it to be able to read it at the just the right moment, I was so sure I would love this. But I didn't. I enjoyed the first chapter and was ok with the ones following - until around page 150 - when I realized that I have no idea what the point is, w...
  • Doug H
    Do yourself a favor and do not believe the paid reviewers who are giving this good or even somewhat decent reviews. I don't usually curse in my reviews, but the truth is that this is half-assed crap bordering on total shit. The characters are flat, the plot flounders and everything is presented via repeat descriptions of Veronica Lake hairdos and laughably bad James Cagney film dialogue. When characters are no longer needed, they die, move far aw...
  • Holly B
    2.5 starsManhattan Beach takes place in NY during the Great Depression and into World War II. We meet twelve-year old Anna Kerrigan and her father, Eddie. Eddie's other daughter, Lydia is severely crippled and the family has no money for the wheelchair that she needs. Manhattan Beach is home to a rich gangster, Dexter Styles and Eddie brings Anna to his home, seeking a job that he desperately needs to care for Lydia and his family. Exactly what i...
  • Ron Charles
    Jennifer Egan has wisely chosen not to compete with “Goon Squad” and its postmodern razzle-dazzle. Instead, her new book leaps into the past, offering us a story built on sturdy older forms polished 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. The country isn’t entirely in agreement about entering another foreign war,...
  • Bianca
    I read the blurb for this novel and it sounded right up my alley, so I decided to give Jennifer Egan another go although I didn’t care to finish A Visit from the Goon Squad - her Pulitzer winning novel.As you can tell from my rating, I didn’t love Manhattan Beach either. A masterpiece, it is not. I wish publishers stopped writing that in blurbs, how about letting the readers and the critics come to that conclusion?Honestly, reading it felt li...
  • Andrew Smith
    This book tells the story of Anna Kerrigan, born into an Irish family in Brooklyn shortly before the Great Depression. It’s the story of her family too – sister Lydia, mother Agnes and father Eddie – but these other family members flit in and out of the narrative whilst Anna is always present, even when the focus isn't directly upon her. When Eddie is forced to find a new way of feeding his family – the Depression having seen off his care...
  • Lisa
    An poignant and compelling novel which is deep in strength and courage and rich in historical detail. SUMMARYA spirited eleven year-old, Anna Kerrigan accompanies her beloved father, Eddie to the grand Brooklyn beach home of handsome underworld figure, Dexter Styles. It’s a cold winter day in 1934 and Dexter is charmed by the indomitable Anna who delightedly removes her shoes on the beach and puts her tiny toes into the frigid surf. With his fa...
  • Louise Wilson
    This novel is set in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan is nearly 12 years old. She accompanies her father to the house of a man whom she learns is crucial to the survival if her family. Years later, her father disappears and the country is at war. Anna becomes the first female diver, a dangerous and exclusive occupation repairing ships that will help America win the war. Anna is the sole provider for her mother and her severely ...
  • Jessica
    I have tried desperately to get into this book, but I've now started it over for a third time and it's just not jelling for me.
  • Bam
    *3.5 stars rounded up. Anna Kerrigan has a memory of visiting Dexter Styles' lovely home overlooking Manhattan Beach in NYC with her father when she was a young girl. Eddie Kerrigan is a bagman for a gangster, so what business does he have with Mr Styles, who runs several nightclubs? When, in 1937, Eddie disappears, his wife, Anna and her crippled little sister, Lydia must fend for themselves, not knowing why he deserted them, or if he is dead or...
  • Rebecca Foster
    Set in the 1930s and 1940s, this is the story of Anna Kerrigan, a New Yorker of Irish extraction whose father disappears after working for Dexter Styles, a gangster who owns several nightclubs. Egan focuses on interesting historical side notes such as Anna’s work as a diver at Brooklyn Navy Yard during WWII, but in general her insertion of period detail is not very natural. I couldn’t help but compare this with her previous novel, the highly ...
  • Drew
    "What can't she do?" is right. Turns out Jennifer Egan can do anything she damn well pleases, including take 7 years to write a World War II novel that manages to shuck all the expected conventions of writing about those years. There is some amount of mystery here but it isn't a mystery novel, just like there's plenty of history but it isn't a historical novel. Egan's writing has all the pleasure of a comfy blanket on a crisp autumn morning - so ...
  • Rae Meadows
    A 3.5 I suppose. I was disappointed by this novel. I really liked Goon Squad, but Manhattan Beach? Meh. Although it was a competent and well-formed novel, it didn't dazzle me. There's nothing glaringly wrong with it, but I was never emotionally invested. It felt overburdened by research, and at times the plot felt like stretch. (The period dialog felt hokey to me at times.) I live across the street from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, so that was fun, lo...
  • Skye
    For the most part I enjoyed this long meandering read. There were plenty of twists and surprises, some more believable than others. Unfortunately, I found several passages throughout the book so slow it just made the story drag.
  • Karen
    Manhattan Beach written by Jennifer EganThis is a hard review for me to write, because while it is apparent in the acknowledgements Jennifer Egan lists the many people she interviewed and the many books she read to meticulously research and bring this book to life, it was a disappointing experience. I have tremendous respect for this Pulitzer Prize winning author whose historical novel Manhattan Beach will most likely find her audience of fans fo...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    There is this thing with me and Jennifer Egan books. I feel like I should love them but they don't quite hit right. Even with A Visit From the Goon Squad, the one I liked best, I didn't have the effusive response everyone else did. And yet I keep reading them, waiting to break the cycle. But here we are again, much the same as before.In this story of a daughter, Anna, whose father disappears under mysterious circumstances, there is a lot to love....
  • Gumble's Yard
    The author’s follow up book to the brilliant A Visit from the Goon Squad. I could not help but admire the author’s versatility and bravery in writing such a very different book.And despite its conventionality (in complete contrast to its predecessor) there is much to admire here: Egan’s strong writing wears the considerable research behind the book lightly - although the diving parts are detailed this do not seem out of keeping for Anna’s...
  • Meike
    This is not a bad novel at all - but as a whole, it left me rather unaffected. First of all, I want ro applaud Jennifer Egan for not writing A Visit from the Goon Squad Pt. II -this woman trusted in her talent, went ahead and created something completely different. I really appreciate it when a writer is daring and aims to stay exciting and relevant, so I certainly shed no tears just because this artist boldly changed gears. "Manhattan Beach" is ...
  • Neil
    "Yes, as everyone knows, meditation and water are wedded for life" - Epigraph taken from Moby DickJennifer Egan spent many years researching this novel. When she was touring to promote The Keep, she was taking opportunities to visit and interview people who could provide background information. Then, before starting to actually write this novel, she published her most well-known work A Visit from the Goon Squad.I wonder if Goon Squad is becoming ...
  • Roman Clodia
    "You sound like a girl in a love serial," Anna said.Well, I haven't read A Visit from the Goon Squad but this isn't at all what I expected from a Pulitzer winner... (but, then, I hated All the Light We Cannot See so clearly I and the Pulitzer panel are Not As One!)Firstly, this feels like 3 separate stories crammed together messily: the first is Anna's story, she a feisty if oddly flat young woman working in the Brooklyn Naval Yard in 1942. She w...
  • Doug
    My sincere thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the privilege of reading an ARC of this novel five months prior to publication, in exchange for this honest review. (WARNING: some very mild minor spoilers ensue!) Let's face it - when your last book won every book award under the sun, including the Pulitzer, unless the follow-up - eagerly anticipated by fans for seven long years - is a flat-out masterpiece, there is bound to be a bit of dis...