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Pete Hamill (1935–2020)

Author of Forever

47+ Works 6,274 Members 193 Reviews 16 Favorited

About the Author

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Irish immigrant parents in 1935, Pete Hamill attended Mexico City College, Pratt Institute, and The School of Visual Arts before starting a career in journalism. In 1960, Hamill accepted an entry-level job at the New York Post, becoming a columnist five years later. Hamill show more subsequently worked as a columnist for the New York Daily News and the Village Voice. Later working as a contributing editor at Esquire, Hamill has written articles for the New York Times magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Vanity Fair, and Playboy magazine, among others. He is also an accomplished novelist, having written more than a dozen books, including his national best-selling memoir, A Drinking Life, and the novels Snow in August; Why Sinatra Matters; and Lost Cities, Vanished Friends. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Pete Hamill

Forever (2002) 1,815 copies
Snow in August (1997) 1,142 copies
North River (2007) 739 copies
A Drinking Life: A Memoir (1994) 620 copies
Downtown: My Manhattan (2004) 444 copies
Tabloid City: A Novel (2011) 272 copies
Why Sinatra Matters (1998) 241 copies
The Guns of Heaven (1983) 175 copies
Diego Rivera (1999) 88 copies
The Gift (1973) 84 copies
Loving Women (1989) 42 copies
Flesh and Blood (1977) 32 copies
A Killing for Christ (1969) 30 copies
Subway Series Reader (2000) 28 copies
Tools As Art (1995) 25 copies
Mexico The Revolution and Beyond (2003) — Essay — 24 copies
Dirty Laundry (1978) 24 copies
The Times Square Gym (1996) 19 copies
The Deadly Piece (1979) 8 copies
Doc [1971 film] (1971) — Screenwriter — 7 copies
Irrational Ravings (1971) 6 copies
Jack Levine at 90 (2005) 2 copies
Dieu a tire le premier (1984) 2 copies
Book Signing 1 copy
Fric pourri (1979) 1 copy

Associated Works

Brooklyn Noir (2004) — Contributor — 202 copies
Blood on the Tracks [sound recording] (1975) — Liner Notes — 172 copies
Guys and Dolls and other writings (2008) — Introduction — 93 copies
USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series (2013) — Contributor — 83 copies
Brooklyn Noir 2: The Classics (2005) — Contributor — 69 copies
Travelers' Tales MEXICO : True Stories (1994) — Contributor — 61 copies
American Christmas Stories (2021) — Contributor — 59 copies
The Irish Songbook (1971) — Foreword — 51 copies
Jerry Robinson: Ambassador of Comics (2010) — Introduction — 35 copies
The Speakeasies of 1932 (1701) — Introduction, some editions — 31 copies
Transit Talk : New York's Bus and Subway Workers Tell Their Stories (1998) — Foreword, some editions — 26 copies
National Geographic Magazine 2015 v228 #6 December (2015) — Contributor — 18 copies
Brothers: 26 Stories of Love and Rivalry (2009) — Contributor — 13 copies
Undercover Reporting: The Truth about Deception (2012) — Foreword — 12 copies
Vietnam: la guerre en face (2014) — Introduction — 1 copy


20th century (41) American literature (52) anthology (88) authors (37) autobiography (40) biography (107) books (118) books about books (162) books and reading (38) Brooklyn (58) essays (124) fantasy (60) fiction (685) first edition (51) Great Depression (37) Hard Case Crime (37) historical fiction (190) history (106) Ireland (52) journalism (108) Library of America (60) literature (70) memoir (183) music (62) mystery (82) New York (210) New York City (177) non-fiction (286) novel (99) NYC (80) own (41) read (91) reading (62) short stories (91) to-read (415) travel (45) unread (54) writers (42) writing (76) WWII (49)

Common Knowledge



Sam Briscoe is a reporter from the United States come to Belfast to write about the war there. The bloody war that has split Ireland in two. The IRA, the UVF, the SAS. Protestants versus Catholics. The whole bloody mess.
His uncle is murdered, he’s being followed, and his daughter is caught up in the middle of it. That part of the book is pretty good! But I was really bored with all the detail given to the conflict in Ireland. 800 years of Irish history, and a lot of it seemed to be on these pages! I was very much into the crime, the chase, and the action! I just wasn't reading this for a history lesson.

“She’s safe. Other people are dead, but my daughter is safe. That’s it. The game’s over.”
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Stahl-Ricco | 4 other reviews | Feb 17, 2024 |
‘’In that lost city of memory, the wind is always blowing hard from the harbor and the snow is packed tightly on the hills of Prospect Park. They are skating on the Big Lake and the hallways of the tenements are wet with melted snow and the downtown stores are glad with blinking lights and the churches smell of pine and awe.’’

Pete Hamill’s stories transport us to Brooklyn, in a time when everything seemed simple, and much more innocent. From the 50s to the 80s, his stories echo the struggles of people who love, deceive, hate, hope, kill. Bittersweet, harrowing, hopeful, tragic, every page gives us a glimpse into the lives of women and men who faced a reality that had nothing to do with today’s world where only cheap mottos, made up by dubious individuals can be heard. Yes, times were hard back then but, at least, people believed. Today, most of us demonstrate our endless idiocy, our empty, superficial ‘minds’ and our blabbering, severely overused mouths.
I’d rather spend all my life in the poor Brooklyn neighbourhoods of the 50s than our falsely affluent cities, full of illiterate influencers and Youtubers who poison the minds of our children.

These are my favourite stories in the collection.

‘’There were other drawings too; buildings with spirals of black cloud issuing from chimneys; barefoot men with shaved heads and gray pajamas; watchtowers; barbed wire.’’

The Christmas Kid: In one of the most moving stories I’ve ever read, a boy who has survived the nightmare of the German demons, finds warmth and kindness in the city of New York. But demons are always lurking nearby…

The Price of Love: A divorced man tries to decipher his feelings for his ex-wife.

The Love of His Life: A man spends all his life waiting for the girl of his youth.

‘’He always loved this time of the New York day, when the sun faded and the light turned a warm grey, softening the hard edges of the world.’’

Good-bye: A married couple has to face the toughest decision.

6/6/44: A story paying tribute to D-Day, the day when Hitler’s reign of terror came to an end, the day to which we all owe our freedom.

The Men in Black Raincoats: The crime of a former IRA man comes back to haunt him.

Gone: A man becomes the victim of a peculair crime. Judging by the current state of our cities, full of ‘’citizens’’ of a barbaric ‘faith’ that dictates them to decapitate babies and rape dead women, I can’t say I blame him…

The Second Summer: A Muslim young woman from Syria has to obey her heathen parents and their law of Allah.

The Man With the Blue Guitar: An Italian widow falls in love with a young Greek man but her late husband’s brother has other views in mind.

The Waiting Game: In a too-good-to-be-true story, a man waits patiently for the love of his life.

Up the Roof: A woman who has lost her husband in the Korean War finds solace in an unlikely place. But will it last?

The Book Signing: In a shocking story, a successful writer cannot escape the fate that cries for retribution.

This collection is not for today’s audience. It seemingly has no place in a ‘culture’ of tattoos, unwashed wannabe- Che Guevaras who live in luxury and selfie-takers. However, there is always the blessed minority of the sane who will treasure a world that has disappeared forever.

‘’I must be healing, he thought. I don’t fear, I don’t love, I don’t hate. The wound is closed. I am alone. I am indifferent. I have survived.’’

My reviews can also be found on https://theopinionatedreaderblog.wordpress.com/
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AmaliaGavea | 5 other reviews | Jan 20, 2024 |
Very enjoyable read and loved the concept! Imagine never leaving Manhattan!
Suem330 | 40 other reviews | Dec 28, 2023 |
Book Description: "This widely acclaimed bestseller is the magical, epic tale of an extraordinary man who arrives in New York in 1740 and remains ... forever. Through the eyes of Cormac O'Connor - granted immortality as long as he never leaves the island of Manhattan - we watch New York grow from a tiny settlement on the tip of an untamed wilderness to the thriving metropolis of today. And through Cormac's remarkable adventures in both love and war, we come to know the city's buried secrets - 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."

I can't say enough how very much I enjoyed this story. The development of Cormac's maturity and insight over time is outstanding. The author took him from a sensitive and devoted preteen to an innocent, curious, and brave teen, to a point where his age becomes fixed but his character growth and maturity is not. His character traits in each phase of his life were believable and sensible. That, above all else, really stood out to me.

I've skimmed through this book several times over the years but always decided against it because of the excessive language and sexual content. It is not at all the kind of book I normally read---but I'm not willing to not recommend it based on that. The story is fun, heartbreaking, amazing, and informative, all in turns. It's not at all what I usually read, but I'm glad I did. Just be aware---strong language and explicit sex run rampant from cover to cover. (Knocking off two stars for sex and language...and I'm pretty stingy with my five star ratings!)

There were some very interesting comparisons between Irish and African traditions and tribal rituals. I also gained some new insight on George Washington that will cause me to never see him the same again. A very fascinating history that I was not ready to tell goodbye...even after over 600 pages.

A couple things bugged me throughout---namely the "fight scenes". Cormac is not yet fully grown when his age is fixed, yet he manages to brutally massacre several armed men much bigger than him. Even in his early teens, he takes out a grown man with several "body guards". These scenes were laughable to me. I mean, I get it that it's a fantasy but... Also, the last few pages when he busts someone out of the hospital without knowing the extent of their injuries and then hauls them up a rock face in a makeshift sling? Um. Please. I even laughed at the ending---pretty abrupt and sort of a let down after 600 pages. Still, there was so much awesome in the rest of the book that I just have to take it as a whole and love it.
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classyhomemaker | 40 other reviews | Dec 11, 2023 |



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