Manhattan Beach

  • by Jennifer Egan
  • Narrated by Norbert Leo Butz, Heather Lind, Vincent Piazza
  • 15 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The long-awaited novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly 12 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 nightclub 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.
Mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful, with the pace and atmosphere of a noir thriller and a wealth of detail about organized crime, the merchant marine, and the clash of classes in New York, Egan's first historical novel is a masterpiece, a deft, startling, intimate exploration of a transformative moment in the lives of women and men, America, and the world. Manhattan Beach is a magnificent novel by one of the greatest writers of our time.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Wonderful Story More Standard Than Most Egan

An incredibly well written novel (no surprise). Jennifer Egan's prose is clear and concise but also beautiful and evocative. In this case, she puts her talents to use in a straight-forward novel instead of using unique/experimental techniques and structure.

Well, the structure is a little bit adventurous.The book follows multiple characters through time and place. Using the first person, Egan shifts narration between characters--but all of the story lines ultimately center around Anna. Her story is compelling, and the way it unfolds makes it even more so.

This is a great historical novel with very specific details that make it almost feel like non-fiction.

The narration is fantastic. I am convinced that using multiple narrators is the best way to create an audiobook. Heather Lind was especially good at voicing each character differently.



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- sgonk

A Book Only Critics Can Love

I found this book to be a slow-moving bore. The critics have raved about it because they love anything they can tie into gender, and they extol the books literary qualities, such as fine turns of phrase and imagery. Great if you are passing out an award, but for a general reader, this is a plodding read with no rewards at the end. The narration is adequate, neither adding to nor distracting from the book. With all the wonderful books available, this one is a good one to skip.
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- Howard N. Singer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-03-2017
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio