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Tabloid City by Pete Hamill
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Tabloid City

by Pete Hamill

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Pete Hamill's Tabloid City is like book turned into a poetic mural about New York City. I loved the way that he weaved together so many different stories into such a great treasure.

He starts off with the city room of the New York World and the Editor in Chief, 71 year old Editor in chief, Sam Briscoe looking for the "wood" (the big story of the issue). I loved the references to the newsrooms of the past and the feeling of nostalgia. There was sort of a gritty romance with the city. With the Internet news, you don't get to know the people writing the stories.
Helen Loomis like Sam, is another reluctant bridge to the past, aching for a smoke and using her column, nicknamed "Vics and Dicks" to give people a few laughs for the day about dumb criminals.

There are many more characters, a victim of serving in Iraq, now in a wheelchair, a black converted to a terrorist group and his father heartsick and working against it. A sad but real love story between Sam Briscoe and very intelligent and generous woman and so many unforgetable stories make up this complex painting.

I really loved this book, everything fit together the gritty and the beautiful, the sad and regretful, and it was all pure poetry to me.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a feeling for the complex city of New York and also enjoy great and I mean great writing.

Come on, read it, if you don’t like it, you can blame me! ( )
  Carolee888 | Aug 11, 2012 |
Pretty good.
  shazjhb | Jun 24, 2012 |
I really liked the way Hamill weaved several stories together so that they all related to each other, but each was a compelling story in itself. Strong characters and the right mixture of emotion and practical reality. I can recommend Tabloid City to anyone looking for a good read. ( )
  sproe | May 25, 2012 |
Tabloid City is a day in New York City, and what a day it is. It starts just after midnight with Sam Briscoe, editor of the last slowly dying afternoon tabloid in New York City, contemplating the next day's headlines. He's a newspaperman from way back who longs for the days when the papers weren't being encroached upon by an army of websites. He pines for the days of smoky newsrooms filled with activity, for headlines that people were eager to read instead of the same old bad news. But Sam is just one of many characters that populate the pages of Tabloid City. Its pages are filled with characters ranging from a wealthy socialite and philanthropist to a Muslim extremist to a war veteran bent on revenge to a police officer whose own son has gone wrong all of whose paths will cross in the shadow of murder all in Hamill's one day in New York City.

Tabloid City is not told in chapters but in minutes. The story is not written in first person style, nonetheless every few pages, marked by the new time, the perspective changes to a different character, covering dozens of characters. This style is perfect for the story Hamill is trying to tell. It, plus its present tense storytelling, conveys the urgency, the quickness with which momentous changes occur in a city that pulses with life at all hours. It captures a cross-section of the city's denizens and their complicated, often distant, relationships. Hamill is a champion at bringing his city to life. Many of the things that make New York unique find their way into the pages, and the gritty daily grind of the city that never sleeps is palpable through the eyes of longtime residents who have grown weary of their anonymous struggle against its changing face. Hamill paints a picture of New York struggling in recession and of people who are relentlessly nostalgic for lives that they used to live in a New York that was, if not simpler, than at least more real.

Tabloid City is about New York, a city where changes are always only minutes away, but a city that longs for its own past. It's also about humanity. The characters here are anything but lovable. They are angry, they are mysterious, they are hurting, needing, lost, vengeful, but, above all, real. Each is hurtling along toward their destiny in an unforgiving place, a place they can't help but love. Tabloid City does have somewhat of a thrilling end, but the journey is the better part. ( )
  yourotherleft | Jan 27, 2012 |
In his new novel, Tabloid City, author Pete Hamill explores the interconnectivity of the big city on a molecular level, switching from one point of view to the next, combining the details into a veritable detective’s pad of suspects, dates, times, witnesses and motives.

Almost ten years after the tragedy of 9/11 Hamill dictates an unsolicited terrorist plot against a tiny spot on the map called Manhattan, not far from ground zero, all in the background of a technology war (not dissimilar in mode from distribution changes happening just this past month at the New York Times).

In case the setting didn’t make Hamill’s place of residence obvious, the proof is in the details. Take, for example, the doo-wop group that Sam Briscoe (the closest thing we have to a protagonist in all of this) encounters on the 6 train – they’re as real as the train. Or take Briscoe’s reflection on the MegaMillions ad.

These things are not the watchful eyes of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s T.J. Eckleberg—they are and were there.

It is these very real markers on Hamill’s road map that make the story so relatable and so real. As the cover suggests, we could have passed any one of these characters on the street and been none the wiser. And while the format is at first a little jarring and somewhat distancing, it is also disarming, denying the reader a need to necessarily side with one character or the other, one motive or another. The reader is, instead, enlisted as a silent member of the jury in a case settled out of court.

The end result is a full story, without flourish, without prejudice, a 3-D picture—no hearsay or lies on the stand necessary. That reality leaves little to fabrication or imagination and once the tale is told, you couldn’t really ask for more. ( )
  laurscartelli | Dec 12, 2011 |
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Epigraph
...You shall search them all.
Someday by heart you'll learn each famous sight
And watch the curtain rise in hell's despite;
You'll find the garden in the third act dead,
Finger your knees---and wish yourself in bed
With tabloid crime-sheets perched in easy sight.
Hart Crane, "The Tunnel,"
from The Bridge
I have no one to speak to, no one to consult, no one to support me, and I feel depressed and lonely. I do not know what to do...

-------Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab,
the "underwear bomber"
Dedication
in memory of
Jose "Chegui" Torres
1936-2009

Champion. Writer. Singer.
Dancer. Laugher. Brother.

para siempre, 'mano
First words
Here comes Briscoe, seventy-one years old, five foot eleven, 182 pounds.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316020753, Hardcover)

In a stately West Village town house, a wealthy socialite and her secretary are murdered. In the 24 hours that follow, a flurry of activity surrounds their shocking deaths:

The head of one of the city's last tabloids stops the presses. A cop investigates the killing. A reporter chases the story. A disgraced hedge fund manager flees the country. An Iraq War vet seeks revenge. And an angry young extremist plots a major catastrophe.

The City is many things: a proving ground, a decadent carnival, or a palimpsest of memories--a historic metropolis eclipsed by modern times. As much a thriller as it is a gripping portrait of the city of today, Tabloid City is a new fiction classic from the writer who has captured New York perfectly for decades.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:48 -0400)

When a wealthy socialite and her secretary are found murdered in a stately West Village townhouse, a flurry of seemingly unrelated people spring into action. A reporter chases the story while a tabloid executive holds the presses, a ruined financer attempts to leave the country, a war veteran plots revenge, and a terrorist plans an attack.… (more)

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