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Manhattan Beach (2017)

de Jennifer Egan

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
2,1231165,707 (3.67)188
Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have been murdered.… (més)
Afegit fa poc perbiblioteca privada, librarypowr, ClaraR, ctheiss63, LeahLL, jgallo123, Laura1124, alice443, juleikaps, lucylove73
  1. 10
    The Given Day de Dennis Lehane (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These compelling, sweeping novels offer richly descriptive historical settings, memorable characters, and ambitious narratives that incorporate social turmoil and crime. The Given Day is set at the end of World War I; Manhattan Beach during World War II.… (més)
  2. 00
    Grandpa Green de Lane Smith (Whisper1)
    Whisper1: This is a wonderfully illustrated book with a beautiful accompanying story.
  3. 00
    Lucky Us de Amy Bloom (Ciruelo)
  4. 00
    Empire Rising de Thomas Kelly (Othemts)
  5. 00
    Brooklyn de Colm Tóibín (jbvm)
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Anglès (113)  Neerlandès (1)  Danès (1)  Alemany (1)  Totes les llengües (116)
Es mostren 1-5 de 116 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Jennifer Egan is an absolute wizard at portraying the contemporary, so I was a little disappointed that Manhattan Beach is just a perfectly fine historical novel. Egan has clearly done her research, and the changing mores of race, sex, and class in 1940’s New York is fun to read about. But many characters are introduced only to be abandoned, and the narrative loses momentum when it switches from Anna, who seems only tangentially connected to the underworld. ( )
  doryfish | Aug 20, 2021 |
Overall, this was a decent read with a unique setting and a story that sets it apart from the mass of WWII-era historical fiction. And yet...I found it hard to get through and at times I was frustrated with both the writing and the characters. I'm certain a reader who really appreciates literary fiction could gush about how wonderful this book is, but I just wish the author could have been a little more clear about what kind of novel she was writing and straightforward in the plot, rather than letting the story meander at times. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jul 15, 2021 |
Human beings want to belong, want to feel a connection whether it is to a large group or just a single person. "Manhattan Beach" is a wonderfully rich novel which explores this need for connection. The story moves back and forth in time and points of view but it mainly focuses on a father and daughter who fight isolation for any number of reasons (ethnicity, social status, gender, etc.). There were times when I was not sure where we were heading and I was a little annoyed by the jumping around but it all works to telling a complete and satisfying story. There are a huge number of characters who come and go but even some of the ancillary characters end up with very full stories. This is the 4th book of Jennifer Egan's I have read and they are all great (I suspect I'd pick "A Visit From the Goon Squad" if forced to choose a favorite) but they are all different from each other. I really enjoyed this book. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Objectively, this is an excellent novel. It's well written, the characters are interesting, and it's well structured, effectively employing multiple points of view. The setting and backdrop are flawless.

And yet--unlike Welcome to the Goon Squad, Manhattan Beach lacks a propulsive spark. It moves a little too slowly, a little bit too measured. I can't fault it, and yet it stops just short of being superb. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
It's not Goon Squad, which I've listened to twice as an audiobook, and look forward to reading as an actual book. But it's a great historical, deeply researched novel with an unusual occupation for the protagonist. I did not affect me as deeply as Goon Squad did, and I doubt I'll return to it.

Some plot turns were predictable

I liked it but didn't love it. ( )
  flemertown | Jul 10, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 116 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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....All the harbor details — from the dangerous mechanics of underwater work to the irritating chauvinism of Navy officers — feel dutifully researched. The whole novel, in fact, boasts its tweedy historical accuracy...All these strong currents — from noir thriller to family drama to wartime ad­ven­ture — eventually return to the private moment that opens “Manhattan Beach.” If that ending is surprisingly hopeful, it’s never false, and it dares to satisfy us in a way that stories of an earlier age used to.
 
They may also understand, rightly, that this will turn out to be a more traditional novel than the raucous and inventive “Goon Squad,” although the two books offer many of the same pleasures, including fine turns of phrase, a richly imagined environs and a restless investigation into human nature....Thus, the mystery of “Manhattan Beach” resides not in whether these three will meet again, but when. And a central satisfaction of the novel resides in how far-flung Egan’s characters will become and what varied terrain they will explore, before being inevitably drawn back together..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.
 
Unpredictably, Egan has written something that looks at first glance like a traditional historical novel.

A work of remarkable cinematic scope, Manhattan Beach portrays the lives of an Irish family in Brooklyn, set against the backdrop of the Great Depression and then the second world war...Egan’s decision to withhold crucial scenes until late on ends up feeling disappointing, even if one can appreciate the reasons for her doing so...This is a novel that will pull you in and under and carry you away on its rip tides. In particular, Anna’s plight as a woman whose will is larger than her circumstances is dramatised with tremendous power. Its resonances continue to wash over the reader long after the novel ends.
 
The subject matter of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan's latest novel, Manhattan Beach, is not particularly revelatory. The book's overarching themes are certainly well-worn, its characters the kind we're accustomed to. The book tackles precarious familial bonds, secrets and lies, love and lust, abandonment and individualism – all ideas we've encountered in literature many times before..What is revelatory, however, is how beautifully drawn, vivid and moving this familiar setup is when crafted by Egan's skilled hand. Although the basic structure and setting is perhaps standard, her talent renders it anew – making Manhattan Beach a sparkling, lush epic of a novel....But more than any other ingredient, it's the complex dynamics that propel this human tragedy where Manhattan Beach finds its deepest strength. Even when we can predict the unravelling that is to come, it is no less enthralling. The experiences of these characters ring true, as do their flaws, their desires and their downfalls.
 

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Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.
—HERMAN MELVILLE, MOBY-DICK
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For Christina, Matthew, and Alexander Egan, and for Robert Egan

our uncle Bob
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They'd driven all the way to Mr. Styles house before Anna realized that her father was nervous.
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How could he stay away when she was waiting so hard?
Luck was the single thing that could rearrange facts. It could open a door where there was no door. A crooked game was worse than unfair; it was a cosmic violation.
"If wishing could make men die, there'd be nary a live one left."
“… this was the problem of men and women, what made the professional harmony he envisaged so difficult to achieve. Men ran the world, and they wanted to fuck the women. Men said “Girls are weak” when in fact girls made them weak.”
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Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles. Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father's life, the reasons he might have been murdered.

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