Synopses & Reviews
From the bestselling author of Snow in August
and A Drinking Life
comes this magical, epic tale of an extraordinary man who arrives in New York City in 1740 and remains... forever.
From the shores of Ireland, Cormac O'Connor sets out on a fateful journey to avenge the deaths of his parents and honor the code of his ancestors. His quest brings him to the settlement of New York, seething with tensions between English and Irish, whites and blacks, British and "Americans," where he is swept up in a tide of conspiracy and violence. In return for aiding an African shaman who was brought to America in chains, Cormac is given an otherworldly gift: He will live forever ? as long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan.
So unfolds the story of the intertwined lives of a man and a city. Cormac comes to know all the buried secrets of Manhattan ? 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. Through Cormac's eyes, we watch the city grow from a tiny community on the tip of an untamed wilderness to become the thriving metropolis of the present day.
A writer, a painter, and a man of sensual appetites, Cormac takes part in the dramas of his times through fat years and lean. He is an insurrectionist, abetting a slave revolt in the early days of the colony. He is a revolutionary, taking up arms in the war of independence. He is an activist, taking up pen to bear witness to social injustice. And he is a chronicler of Manhattan, from its great triumphs to its greatest catastrophe.
Through it all, Cormac must fight, generation after generation, a force of evil that returns relentlessly in the scions of a single family. It is a family whose path first crossed his in Ireland and whose persistence puts at risk all his hopes for fulfilling his destiny. As he searches out these blood enemies, he must watch everyone he touches slip away: the men at whose side he has fought, the friends he has treasured, the women he has loved. And so he seeks the one who can change his fate, the mysterious dark lady who alone can free him from the blessing and the curse of his long life.
Drawing on Pete Hamill's bone-deep knowledge of New York City — its history, its neighborhoods, its people, its ever-changing variety — Forever is his long-awaited masterpiece, a Shakespearean evocation of the mysteries of time and death, sex and love, character and place. It is both an unforgettable drama and a timeless triumph of storytelling.
Cormac O'Connor, who arrives in New York City from Ireland in 1741, has been given the gift of immortality — but only on the condition that he never leave the island of Manhattan. Through his eyes, this magical epic follows the city's transformation from a burgeoning settlement to the thriving metropolis of the present day. But this is also Cormac's story as he explores the mysteries of time and immortality, death and loss, sex and love.
About the Author
Pete Hamill started his career at the New York Post in 1960. He is the author of seven novels and two collections of stories, and his writing has appeared in most national magazines. He has been a columnist for many years, and currently writes a column for New York Newsday. He lives in New York City with his wife, writer Fukiko Aoki.