City on Fire

City on Fire No Ltimo Dia De Dezembro De , Nova Iorque Prepara Se Para Celebrar A Passagem De Ano Em Times Square, A Famosa Bola Cai Na Baixa, Os Antros Punk Explodem De Energia As Penthouses Da Zona Alta Da Cidade Iluminam Se Em Elegantes Festas Tem Ticas Sobre A Neve Que Cobre O Central Park Derrama Se O Sangue De Samantha Cicciaro Muitos Metros Acima, Na Varanda De Um Luxuoso Apartamento, D Se Um Encontro Improv Vel Entre Regan Hamilton Sweenie, Herdeira De Uma Enorme Fortuna, E Mercer Goodman, Um Professor Negro Rec M Chegado Do Interior Do Pa S A Uni Los Est William, Um Artista Pl Stico A Bra Os Com A Sua Arte E Os Seus Dem Nios Rotas Individuais Em Colis O, Que Nos Conduzem Aos Recantos Mais Solit Rios De Uma Cidade Perigosa, Selvagem, Beira Do Colapso Em Seu Redor, Gravitam Pessoas T O Diferentes Quanto Os Mundos Que Habitam Um Adolescente Suburbano Seduzido Por Manhattan, Um Financeiro Acossado, Um Jornalista Obcecado Com Uma Nica Hist Ria, Um Grupo Terrorista, E O Detetive Que Tenta Descobrir Quais S O As Liga Es De Cada Um Deles Ao Tiroteio No Central Park E Quando A Cidade Se Cobre De Negro No C Lebre Apag O De De Julho De , Estas Vidas Mergulham Numa Escurid O Da Qual Sair O Transformadas Para Sempre Uma Sinfonia Pica Um Romance Grandioso E Esmagador The New York Times T O Grande Quanto A Vida Washington Post Soberbo Booklist

Garth Risk Hallberg s stories and essays have appeared in Best New American Voices, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Prairie Schooner, New York Magazine, Glimmer Train, Slate, Canteen, and The Pinch, as well as at The Millions, where he s a contributing editor A 2008 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Fiction and a two time finalist for the National Book Critic

✻ City on Fire Epub ✾ Author Garth Risk Hallberg –
  • Paperback
  • 1024 pages
  • City on Fire
  • Garth Risk Hallberg
  • Portuguese
  • 06 July 2019

10 thoughts on “City on Fire

  1. says:

    Boy, I wanted to like this book.Garth Risk Hallberg is certainly a writer of exceptional promise and unmistakable ability There are passages in City On Fire that sublimely evoke New York City, portraying the Big Apple s magnetism and its monstrous shadow so effectively as to make it feel like you re walking the streets yourself The amount of detail conjured in these pages is frequently astonishing.And yet why Why must the writer tell us, for example, the relative size of an heirloom mattress and what it took to move it into an apartment years before Mr Hallberg does not know how much is too much 900 pages is a marvelous length, but no matter how artfully the words are assembled on them, they still need to convince the reader they are absolutely essential On this account, City On Fire fails miserably As a steak, the novel is riddled with gristle.Would this were the only problem But the novel is structured primarily as a limited omniscient, third person account from the perspective of its individual characters Try as he might, Mr Hallberg cannot inhabit his characters individually His diction is out of control So much so that, yes, I find the exclamation point necessary It s such a glaring problem, I m rather shocked it wasn t addressed further in editing On almost every page he makes specific word choices and digressions of description that take the reader out of the story At no time in the book did I believe I was hearing anything other than the novelist s voice and most of the time that novelist was hovering in my ears like a drunk mosquito.Probably 20% of this novel is what I call a word salad sophisticated jumbles of vocabulary arranged in a semblance of meaning It all sounds impressive, but when you get to thinking about what you ve just read, it doesn t hold up Mr Hallberg does not know what to leave out The effect is to flatter the writer, not to envelop or transport the reader.Along similar lines the assertions and summations Mr Hallberg makes of his characters, for his characters, are frequently less than credible when considered for even a moment As a reader, I quickly grow tired of being asked to swallow generalizations wholesale Again, these sound significant, but amount mostly to clutter, not perspective and much less real insight At times I felt like Mr Hallberg was fulfilling a list of requirements for an ambitious novel about the 70s Race, check Abortion, check Punk rock, check Redevelopment and gentrification, check Then there s the three page chapters, chronological hopscotch, smattering of extra textual elements this is an exceptionally fussy and mannered book There is never any doubt as to Mr Hallberg s intelligence there is some question as to his ability to make his ambition serve the needs of a truly great book that he may indeed have in him.The final nail in this coffin of exhaustion was, for me, the all inclusive plot Here we have yet another shaggy dog tale, culminating in the convergence of characters and the careful parceling out of information at prearranged intervals I don t know why these kinds of stories are still regarded by some as inherently profound like, everything s connected, man Does the novelist forget that a narrative comes together by his own hand, and that the reader knows and expects this And does he think that the end of the book can excuse the rest of it Setting the climax during a historic, notable event does not imbue a novel with importance.Come fall hell, now already you will see a lot of breathless excitement about City On Fire It certainly has the elements we ve come to expect of a literary blockbuster But like The Art of Fielding which, I hasten to add, is a MUCH worse book than this one , City On Fire is the kind of tome that now makes me suspicious of big advances and lockstep marketing campaigns The power in these coronations lies not with the writer and his prowess, but with those bestowing their great favor and, let s not forget, money upon him City On Fire indeed heralds a great talent, but it isn t a great book.Best of luck in your future endeavors, Mr Hallberg.

  2. says:

    for the most part, this book was totally worth 2 million dollars and it s definitely worth the cover price of 30.00 but damn it s hard to review at its most reductive, it s a multi viewpoint novel told from the perspective of several characters living in new york during 77, culminating in that summer s blackout it s a panoptic of the ultra wealthy and the squatters, the artists and musicians and revolutionaries, gay and straight, old and young, black and white and asian, uptown and downtown, police and criminals both white collar and otherwise , journalists and teachers, sex and drugs and rock and roll and on and etc the narrative axis around which the separate stories spiral out is the shooting of a teenage girl in central park on new years eve, but although that event does serve as an anchor, it s hardly the main focus this is not a mystery novel it s a sprawling, exciting puzzle whose individual stories interlock so tightly that it s impossible to discuss one part without having to discuss all the parts it s a little bit Infinite Jest, a little bit A Visit from the Goon Squad, a little bit jonathan dee, a little bit Underworld, a little bit pynchon, and oddly enough, a little bit A Midsummer Night s Dream didn t see that one coming, did ya and it s the parts that feel MND y that brought this one down to a 4 instead of a 5 star basically, i loved the book until the blackout itself while i think the blackout is a smart choice with great metaphorical potential, and while i acknowledge that the situation necessitates some irrealism, it just got a little murky for me in those bits some stories definitely benefitted from this tonal change particularly mercer s, and also keith and regan s but others, like jenny s and charlie s, just missed the mark for me like Night Film, this book has all sorts of ephemera crammed in a zine, letters, news articles, patient records, emails but it doesn t come across as gimmicky it is all necessary to tell this sprawling tale this 900 page book that reads smooth as chocolate milk it s a beautiful, lonely book about the changing face of a city a city which has been changed several times over since the 70 s it s wonderfully nostalgic reading i ve lived in new york for twenty years, and i have seen many changes firsthand, but there s still so much that is recognizable in this book, despite hallberg s changing of a few don t have to know anything about new york to love this book or fireworks, punk rock, posthumanism, fiscal concerns, or messianic delusions i mean, it helps, so you can chuckle at things like this Rotten, Vicious, Hell Thunders, like some firm of malign lawyers.but this is a novel about people about the way human beings live and love and screw up it s one of the most impressive debuts i have ever read, even though i m not crazy about the endish bits you d be wise to read it, since it s all anyone s going to be talking about for the next year or so got laid off read a giant book although, considering this cat got two million dollars for this debut, i m probably approaching this from the wrong side.come to my blog

  3. says:

    Couldn t make it past the prologue Two characters took about 50 pages to move a Christmas tree across the crosswalk I don t care how big the buzz is life is too short.

  4. says:

    HOW TO READ THIS BOOKAfter page 350 I decided to skip all the passages which bored the bejeesus out of me As there were quite a considerable number of those, getting through the next 550 pages became a whole lot easier, even occasionally enjoyable Even so, I feel like I need someone to come and defibrillate me HOISTED WITH HIS OWN PETARDOn page 617 we read She seemed to like exactly those things he found most irksome about The New York Review of Books its unapologetic boringness, its privileged hostility to privilege.This seems to describe perfectly the army of fans this novel has Let me run that by you again She seemed to like exactly those things he found most irksome about City on Fire its unapologetic boringness, its privileged hostility to privilege.Man, is this book unapologetically boring Fiction is sometimes described as life with the boring bits left out But the way to tell if you re reading literary fiction is that they stick all the boring bits back in Still, I got no one to blame but myself If I want plot I can reread Gone Girl, right.HOW BORING IS BORING For instance, the zine A bunch of the characters in the book are anarcho punks, that s to say punks with political pretensions and teenage insights on our woeful rat bastard capitalist world Maybe you can remember when you sat around vowing to smash the state and eat the rich If not, Mr Hallberg is here to remind you of what you missed, all the embarrassing posturing and useless gestures and unpleasant sex So we get the complete reproduced 30 page 1976 punk zine called Land of 1000 Dances, and it s as authentically toe curling as they all really were It s kinda cute to see stuck in the middle of a big serious literary thing but still, you read the actual words at your peril It s the kind of reading which could make you bulimic A young Shane McGowan and his rad zines, 1976 A PARAPLEGIC TURTLETom Wolfe s well known novel The Bonfire of the Vanities is not an unfair comparison, that one is also vast 700 pages , set in New York City, panoramic, know it all, and also has a plot propelled by a single crime And it s a page turner, reason being that it s funny Okay, perhaps that is an unfair comparison because Garth Hallberg is not funny, I purely hope he s not trying to be, anyway, because there is not the merest trace of the flicker of a wan grin to be had in the entire thing, far as I could see So if it s a grown up serious novel then City on Fire has to be very compelling for other reasons, but instead it just seeps and sogs and backtracks, always backtracks It inches forwards at the speed of a paraplegic turtle and then comes to many lurching dead stops as the author inserts 30 or 40 pages of back story about each and every character Mr Hallberg believes that his characters are all infinitely interesting But the 17 year old dopey but bright Charlie Weisbarger, or the hipster reporter Richard Groskoph or the overreaching financier Keith Lamplighter are really not that interesting LAH DI DAHMr Hallberg has a smooth and often graceful style but quite often you have to ask yourself huh, what was that again He has a trick of presenting a banal idea in a frightfully fancy way Such as For it was only with her that he d ever felt that powerful powerlessness he knew was love.And One of his mother s antiquated beliefs involved the curative power of manual labor, and though she framed it as a favor he could do for her, he knew she was thinking of it the other way around when she asked him, at breakfast, to mow the north pasture and Claggart s eyes he is a dog by the way , moist and brown and rimmed with amethyst, were able to grow to a size that made the rest of him seem pitiably small and defenseless, and to project the purest distillate of melancholy a melancholy from which only Jenny could save him, he would have claimed, had he the power of speech.and There was a period just after the inevitability of ruin hove into view and just before it smashed into the hull of your life that was the closest to pure freedom anyone ever got.THE BLACKOUTAs you may know, the climax, the denouement, the culmination of this novel s infinite elaborations happens during the New York blackout of July 13 14, 1977 This takes the form of several characters looking for a needle in a haystack is the needle there No Is it there then No And then There s a kind of petering out Yes, really.Garth Hallberg has a whole lot of talent, for sure Just like Neil Young is a great guitarist And as it happens a track on my ipod popped up earlier Driftin Back It s 27 minutes long Neil Young doodlin away on his guitar Nice stuff and all but ah 27 minutes of one track WHY IS THIS BOOK SO LONG EASYEventually, probably like every other exhausted defeated would be Garth Hallberg fan, I had to realise that rarely had I found myself in the presence of an author quite so much in love with himself His remarkable trick, amongst all the New Franzens, was to get so many of the great and the good to fall in love with him too I think Garth knows the secrets of Mind Control You shall publish my vast novel Yes, O Garth not one word shall we cut 903 pages it is Just look at those back page blurbs I wanted it to go on and on and on well, it really did, that was one of the problems darling it assures us that we are not alone and that hope is infinite yes, you are not alone in hoping that this novel will come to an end soon, please dear Lord while I was reading I could barely do anything else that s because it sucks all the time right out of your day along with most of the joy and the innocent pleasure of reading a new novel as opposed to a great leaden beast which presses down upon you like a very succubus sent from the Evil One.RATINGSmooth patrician style 4 starsVocabulary a recherche 5 starsCharacters 2 starsPlot you re kidding, no starsFun with odd handwritten inserts and the famous zine 3 starsFeeling of accomplishment at finishing this beast with okay quite a bit of kangaroo style skipping about but still, hell 5 starsOverall 2.5

  5. says:

    1975, 4 70 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 1020 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

  6. says:

    I can t, just can t read this any It is hanging over my head like Damocles sword Have read half but I just don t care enough about any of these characters to continue Yes, it is well written, but way to wordy and just not for me a good fit I am so darned relieved to be done.

  7. says:

    Five reasons for 5 stars 1 I had read 177 pages of this physical heavy weight book I own it Then I saw that my library carried this audiobook it was change of plans Instantly I recognized Rebecca Lowman as one of the main narrators I began to melt into REBECCA LOWMAN BLISS Rebecca adds life to the language and brings the characters alive 2 Rebecca Lowman s voice is so sincere, warm, and realI m interested in anything she talks about It was because of Rebecca I experienced the lovely floaty feeling writing by Garth Risk Hallberg.3 I did float No, I wasn t on drugs.but you tell wouldn t float elevate in body and soul resting on the couch, eyes closed, being read to by this lovely voice I don t usually float when I m reading a novel.but the impossible happened During my walks , I couldn t float but this storytelling kept me interested walking imagining peacock feathers, Regan in costume and her outrageous mask for a gala, Charlie who is so deliciously in love with Sam..all of 17 years of his age, microphones, music, bartenders, Christmas lights, punks to love, 4 The short chapters helps makes this book inviting The letters in the book are what the author calls interludes having the physical book with the audio is a great combination and I got a kick with the graphics, artwork, and photosand reading the letters 5 New York City 70 s clubbing, guitars, buzz cut city on fire freedom dreamers Audiobook 5 starsRebecca Lowman 5 starsGarth Risk Hallberg 4.5 starsOverall 5 stars Big kicking bootstattooslove, sex, punk rock music, fireworks, a shooting,.BLACKOUT distorted gorgeous trippy writingseveral characters looking for love, others for friendship, others to escape pain I LOVED THE DREAM LIKE floaty EXPERIENCEwhich came from the prose delivered soooo LOVELY by REBECCA LOWMAN Final conclusion The audiobook heightened the enjoyment should I repeat it again..ha

  8. says:

    City on Fire was marketed as one of the biggest book releases of 2015 Garth Risk Hallberg s 900 page debut novel, sold to the publisher for a whopping 2 million, has been likened to Donna Tartt s The Goldfinch and Jennifer Egan s A Visit from the Goon Squad And while I see the similarities, I think Hallberg s doesn t quite stack up to either of these novels.Let s disregard the fact that yes, this book is incredibly well written Hallberg understands language He writes with precision, with big ideas and at times even bigger words Not to toot my own horn, but I feel like I have a fairly wide vocabulary Hallberg either is a walking dictionary, or had one at his side while writing this for there were dozens of occasions in which I had to stop and look up a word and as an avid reader, that doesn t happen too often I appreciated that, though when every single character has the author s vocabulary it drew me out of the story.Hallberg has a strong hold on the sentence But perhaps too strong I have to agree with another reviewer who said that she couldn t read without being aware of the author s presence While the story was engaging, it wasn t absorbing enough to forget that you are indeed reading a story, not experiencing it And what the two books I mentioned earlier did for me was deliver a book that was than a book they were experiences.I will applaud Hallberg for writing a 944 page novel that rarely drags With a mix of eclectic and well thought out characters along with a nicely paced and mysterious plot, I was always compelled to read on I loved almost every character s perspective And the 3rd person omniscience with the free indirect speech which I am a fan of, though others find it plodding and meandering writing , reminded me at times of Yanagihara s stellar A Little Life Sadly there are few other comparisons to make between Hallberg s novel and the former.Ultimately I found the ending to be satisfying but in that way that left me little to chew on It was all wrapped up with a pretty bow at the end, and I was left without anything to rip open and examine further I d still recommend this one to those courageous enough to take on this nearly 1000 page novel Perhaps you ll find something within, and maybe my own re reading not for a long while though would provide deeper insight I m sure there is much I missed, and I will miss these characters and their stories I only wish I was left with less perfection and of the raw, gritty reality that is presented elsewhere in the book 3.5 stars

  9. says:

    I can already feel the sting from the glances of side eyed skepticism and even scepticism as I type this, that for 600 pages, anyway City on Fire, the massively hyped, crazy quilt pastiche of a doorstopper was this close to earning a spot on my imaginary Favorites shelf I was utterly enraptured by Garth Risk Hallberg s swirly, sweaty portrait of NYC in the mid to late 70 s Even with the pretentious slathering of the most obscure words of the English language, I flew through the pages as if they were popcorn buttered Even as Hallberg kept gumming up the works by rolling out character after character all interesting, if not likable into the fray, even as the forward flow of the narrative kept being hijacked by being shifted into reverse seemingly, at Hallberg s whim , even as I kept feeling Hallberg was liberally borrowing from the styles of Pulitzer Prize winners and NYC veterans Jennifer Egan, Donna Tartt, Don Delillo, Tom Wolfe to dangle as award bait, I still could not get enough of this novel.Then, at about the 60% mark, the bottom fell out.I can t quite pinpoint the reason why the book started tanking for me, but it seemed as if Hallberg was dithering about how to end the thing I never confused this for a mystery or thriller it s nothing of the sort, really , but each time he d hover close to a suitable climax and denouement, he d retrace his steps and rehash key plot points I m sure this is the tritest criticism ever, but if ever a book earned it, City on Fire is the one this book is in desperate need of a competent editor one allowed to excise the fat When I mentioned to a friend that Hallberg is in love with his own writing, it s the seeming absence of an editor I was referring to The veterans of the doorstop novel Norman Mailer, Stephen King, may ve gotten away with getting their manuscripts published with a minimum of editing, but a relatively cachet less read formerly novel less author like Hallberg Leaving in all this fat can only lead the cynical reader to point the finger at Knopf for inflating the page count A 300 page cut could ve made this a masterpiece.I purposely haven t mentioned the plot, as it takes a backseat to the crisply rendered vision of a city at the verge of upheaval There is a good one, though, coursing beneath the brilliant prose and beautifully ugly backdrop There s way too much to concisely mention, but using the real life July 13, 1977 Blackout of NYC as a fulcrum of sorts to balance upon, Hallberg has enlisted a solid cast of characters as instruments some unwitting, some actively involved in that upheaval There s the gay, African American aspiring novelist and NYC transplant from backwoods Georgia Mercer Goodman Billy Three Sticks aka William Hamilton Sweeney III , Mercer s punker boyfriend whose up and coming band Ex Post Facto s biggest hit , City on Fire provides the book its title the musically talentless Nicky Chaos another punker whose nihilistic machinations form an SDS SLA esque group bent on changing the world called PHP, or Post Humanistic Phalanstery Samantha Cicciaro, a Long Island NYU student, photographer, fanzine publisher, and daughter of one the few original fireworkers those that run elaborate fireworks displays Richard the journalist, whose essay on the origins of fireworking uncovers a much deeper and far reaching story Charlie, the asthmatic 15 year old Long Islander who desperately wants to get out from under his overbearing mother s wingOkay, I think you get the picture there s so much going on here Hallberg s undertaking is hugeand than a little Sisyphean there s so much going on, it s impossible to tie up every loose end I admire Hallberg s fortitude and vision, which is epic in scope I can see why bidding wars arose over this I, as well after reading half of this wanted to exalt it to all even the skeptics Alas, with all the aborted endings and untrimmed fat, the best I can do is warn readers not to expect perfection There s enough of a slow burn to make City on Fire a worthwhile read, but it s certainly not the be all end all novel the first half portended.

  10. says:

    I survived City on Fire No matter what else I read in 2016, I feel a sense of accomplishment after finishing this dense, sprawling, 900 page tome.For it is dense and sprawling Comparisons to Dickens and Pynchon and David Foster Wallace and hell, even Shakespeare, are apt The plot is so complicated it defies summary There is a punk group on a mission there is a rich family embroiled in a corruption scandal there is an honest cop close to retirement there are estranged lovers there is a girl who was shot there is an angry father there is a prodigal son and there is a journalist trying to uncover the truth And everything comes to a head during the July 1977 blackout in New York City.This is a novel so crammed with stuff that it took me a while before I started to like it Sure, my expectations had been raised because Garth Risk Hallberg had inspired a bidding war for this debut, ending up with a 2 million advance I know, it s crazy Also, I made the mistake of listening to this on audio, which I would not recommend because the print version makes better sense of all the ephemera and found objects, including letters and zines and diary entries.In short, I would recommend this novel if you like epic stories that make you work a little harder It s a book I will need to reread to fully appreciate Favorite Quotes The reason we can say anything we want in America is that we know it makes no difference And she learned that you couldn t stockpile anything that mattered, really Feelings, people, songs, sex, fireworks they existed only in time, and when it was over, so were they The Lonliest Man in the World, she said, only has room in his heart for one person, and if he can t have that person, he locks himself away He tells himself no one could possibly love him, but really, it s that he refuses to love anyone else.

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